Originally posted 11/13/2018, revised 02/4/2021
For most people, the words “wet basement” conjure up the sounds of summer thunderstorms and the smell of damp concrete. Maybe you revisit the disgust and frustration you felt while cleaning out the dirty water that destroyed items you had stored in the basement.
But what if a wet basement became something in your past? Something you no longer have to worry about or deal with? And do you know that waterproofing doesn’t have to wait until warm weather?
Acculevel is a family-owned and operated company that specializes in foundation repair and basement waterproofing. Andy Beery started the business in 1996, and since then we’ve helped tens of thousands of satisfied customers restore strength, stability, and resale value to their homes. A clean, dry basement can be used for more than storage; with a few upgrades (like encapsulation) you can add valuable living space to your home.
In this article, we’re going to not only explain why you should waterproof your basement, but why doing so in the winter can be a great benefit to you.
This photo was taken by an Acculevel project manager during a free estimate appointment. Water has been leaking in through the wall, causing paint to flake and mold to grow.
Why You Should Waterproof in the Winter
Preparation is Key
If you have experienced a damp or wet basement in the past, you know it’s a matter of time before it happens again. Spare yourself and your home the stress of flooding and waterproof your basement during the winter. This will guard your home against the water that results from snow melt and spring rains.
Waterproofing in the winter also means that you will be free to enjoy the warmer spring weather. You can spend sunny days outside grilling on the patio instead of pumping water out of the basement. On rainy days you’ll be free to relax in the family room, confident that your basement is clean and dry.
Winter Soil is Often Drier
For us in the midwest, winter is typically our driest season. There’s typically less water in the ground from December-February. This lack of moisture makes installation cleaner and dryer. A good contractor will always treat your home with respect; but it’s a simple fact that the less mess made, the easier it is to clean up after.
Lower Humidity Helps Mold Removal
Not only is there less moisture in the ground in the winter, but the humidity level is also much lower. This makes it the ideal time to treat any mold that may have developed in damp spaces. Biological growth can be treated year-round, but if the mold isn’t actively blooming, the treatment will be more effective with less product needed.
Waterproofing Reduces Stress on Your Foundation
Hydrostatic pressure is the most common cause of foundation cracks. This pressure occurs when there is too much water in the soil around your foundation. The excess water pushes against your foundation, and the strain of it creates cracking or bowing. These damages often lead to water leaks in the basement.
A water drainage system can help prevent basement flooding, and relieve the hydrostatic pressure on your foundation.
In the winter, you also have to worry about water freezing in the soil, creating frost heaves or adfreezing. These are another way water causes a foundation to crack. Seasonal changes mean that winter can make a crack in your basement and spring rains will push water through it.
Installing water drainage in the winter allows you to stop this seasonal cycle before it starts. Of course, when the ground thaws you’ll need to get any foundation cracks repaired- but we have more on crack repair in this article.
As you might expect, winter is not the most popular time of year for water drainage. This can work to your advantage; contractors often have more openings and a shorter wait time during the “off” season. This gives you the opportunity to choose the most convenient time that fits into your family’s schedule.
Have More Questions about Basement Waterproofing?
Please check out our waterproofing guide. You can read it from cover to cover, select just the chapters that interest you, or bookmark it as a reference when you meet with contractors.
Has it been a few years since you hired a contractor to work on your home? Maybe you’ve put it off because you didn’t like how that last experience went? We’ve developed a guide for homeowners to use, that includes all the questions to ask a contractor.
Are You Ready to Get an Estimate Now?
If you live in Indiana or the surrounding states, contact Acculevel. We provide free written estimates to all of our customers. Contact our office, and one of our friendly staff will schedule an appointment for you with one of our experienced project managers. He or she will evaluate your house and its symptoms, then recommend the best course of action for you, to keep your home strong and healthy for years to come.
Acculevel’s goal is to do the best and most thorough repair possible, to protect and maintain your home. We know that allowing our employees into your home demonstrates trust, and we intend to repay that trust with the absolute best in customer service. Acculevel is accredited by the BBB, has an A+ rating, and average 5 stars on customer reviews.