Comprehensive Guide to Home Waterproofing

May 24, 2024


Waterproofing a house is essential to protect it from water damage, mold, and foundation issues. Torham Exterior Solutions Inc. specializes in providing top-notch waterproofing services in Hamilton, ON. Waterproofing ensures that your home remains water-resistant under specific conditions, unlike damp-proofing, which only protects against dampness or humidity.

Why Waterproofing is Essential

Waterproofing is crucial for safeguarding your home, particularly the basement, from water infiltration. Building codes mandate this protection for structures built below ground level. Waterproofing becomes vital in areas with a high water table or where groundwater accumulates in the soil.

Common Causes of Water Leaks and Seepage

Heavy rains and melting snow can accumulate water around your home’s foundation. If your window is not properly installed, it can lead to clogged windows, causing water to seep into your basement through cracks in the seams of the basement windows. Consistent rainfall saturates the soil, creating hydrostatic pressure that pushes water through basement walls and floors. Clogged gutters and downspouts can pool water around your foundation, exerting lateral pressure that damages the foundation and causes leaks.

Pathways for Water Entry into Basements

Water infiltrates basements through various paths:

  • Cracks in walls or floors
  • Cracks in mortar joints of masonry or block foundation walls
  • Joints where walls meet the poured concrete floor

Effective Methods to Stop Water Leakage

Several methods can prevent or mitigate water infiltration into your basement:

Improvement in Grading

Ensure the soil surrounding your house slopes away from the foundation, directing water toward the yard.

Cleaning the Gutters

Regularly clean your gutters to prevent overflow during heavy rains. Install leaf guards and downspout extenders to channel water from your home, reducing soil saturation around the foundation.

Repairing Window Wells

Install fitted window well covers to keep debris out and prevent drain clogs, which can lead to basement water seepage.

Interior Sealants

Interior wall and floor sealers, such as epoxies and urethanes, can block water penetration through cracks and pipe penetrations. However, these sealants are less effective for masonry foundations or areas with high hydrostatic pressure.

Interior Water Drainage

Installing an interior drainage system effectively minimizes hydrostatic pressure and keeps water out of your basement. This involves creating a channel along the basement perimeter and installing a French drain, PVC pipe, or a patented drainage system. The collected water is then drained into an internally placed sump pump system, which forces the water out of the basement.

Interior Waterproofing

Interior waterproofing, combined with coatings, is effective for minor dampness caused by condensation but not for stopping significant leaks. Addressing the root cause of water infiltration, such as soil saturation and hydrostatic pressure, is essential for a permanent fix.

Exterior Waterproofing

Exterior waterproofing is the only method recognized by the International Building Code (IBC) for preventing water damage. For existing basements, excavation to the bottom sides of the footing is necessary. After excavation, walls are powder-washed, dried, and sealed with a waterproof membrane. Weeping tiles or new drainage tiles are then placed at the side of the footing to capture water before it gets to the basement floor.

Polymer-Based Products

Polymer-based waterproofing products are widely used, unaffected by soil pH, and last a lifetime. They are sprayed directly onto walls and cure promptly, providing a semi-flexible barrier that accommodates slight substrate movements.

Consequences of Untreated Leaks

Failing to address water leaks can lead to several hazardous issues, including:

Mildew and Mold

Mold and mildew thrive in moist environments. When their spores are inhaled, they can cause respiratory problems or trigger allergies.


Rust, a flakey reddish iron oxide layer, forms on metal surfaces exposed to moisture. Efflorescence, a white mineral deposit, appears on concrete, brick, and tiles due to water carrying salts and minerals through the masonry material.

Rotting Wood

Moisture exposure causes wood to rot. When wood’s moisture content exceeds the fiber saturation point, wood decay spores germinate, penetrating and deteriorating the wood.

Stained Floors

Untreated leaks can lead to floor discoloration, which becomes difficult to remove, resulting in additional costs for treatment and repair.


At Torham Exterior Solutions Inc., we are committed to providing exceptional waterproofing services in Hamilton, ON. Proper waterproofing protects your home from water damage, mold, and foundation issues, ensuring a safe and dry living environment. Contact us today by calling (905) 537-8585 or filling out the form on our website.