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5 Effective Strategies to Prevent Costly Water Damage

Water damage is a common issue that homeowners face, leading to expensive repairs and potential health hazards. It’s essential to take proactive steps to protect your home from the costly effects of water damage. In this article, we’ll explore five proven strategies that can help you prevent water damage and maintain a healthy and safe living environment. Let’s dive in.

Table of Contents

Proper Grading: Essential for Preventing Basement Leaks

Proper grading is crucial to protecting your home’s foundation from water damage. Many homes lack adequate grading, causing water to pool and stagnate near the foundation. When the snow melts, the water remains on top of the foundation, exacerbating the problem.
To create effective grading, use topsoil that starts from the base of the foundation and extends away from the house or towards a drainage point. A good rule of thumb is to create a height difference of at least 3 inches between the highest and lowest points of the slope. Keep in mind that the appropriate slope will depend on the space available.
When landscaping, inspect your property for areas where water cannot naturally filter away from the walls. Check for settled topsoil and rebuild the slope if necessary.

Prevent Water Damage: 5 Proven Tips for Toronto Homeowners
Prevent Water Damage: 5 Proven Tips for Toronto Homeowners

Regular Eavestrough and Downpipe Maintenance: Key to Redirecting Water

Cleaning your eavestroughs and downpipes seasonally is vital for preventing water penetration. Leaves and dirt, especially during the autumn season, can clog gutters and impede water flow. If left unaddressed, excess water may spill onto your foundation, causing damage. In winter, frozen water can damage eavestroughs and downpipes or even lead to collapse due to excess weight.
Many homeowners overlook gutter maintenance because of their inaccessibility. To simplify the process, consider installing plastic or metal gutter guards that allow water through while blocking larger debris like leaves and branches. This will enable you to maintain your gutters less frequently.

Downpipe Extensions: Redirecting Water Away from Your Home

After cleaning your gutters and downpipes, ensure the discharged water lands away from your house. Many homeowners overlook the importance of extending their downpipe systems to direct water flow away from home.
Several methods are available for extending downpipes. You can connect another pipe using an elbow piece and direct the second pipe away from the house. If space constraints make solid extensions difficult, consider using a flexible downspout extension. Most expand up to 4 feet or more and are ideal for navigating tight corners. Remember to discharge water to a safe location to avoid creating new problems.

Addressing Cracks and Joints in Exterior Foundations: Strengthening Weak Points

Your home’s exterior foundation is only as strong as its weakest point when it comes to water penetration. Inspect the perimeter of your house for potential weak spots, such as:

  • The joint between your concrete pad and asphalt driveway
  • Patio and interlocking stones not properly sealed with polymeric sand
  • Small or hairline cracks in the concrete
  • Joints in basement windows with old caulking

While these fixes may not completely prevent water from entering your home, they help prevent further damage to your foundation and reduce the risk of future disasters.

Implementing a Robust Drainage System: Essential for Long-Term Protection

A good drainage system, including weeping tile, drainage beds, and window wells, is crucial for protecting your home from water damage. This system drains water through a layer of ¾-inch gravel down to a 4-inch perforated pipe. The water then flows through the weeping tiles to a drainage point and disperses throughout the ground.

Window wells are necessary for basement windows inset at ground level

These circular metal structures separate the ground from your window, allowing water to flow down to the gravel bedding and weeping tile installed inside the well. A window well cover is placed over the opening to prevent an excess of water that could be difficult to drain through the system.
Unfortunately, when drainage systems fail, repairs can be challenging due to the underground pipe location. Pipes may become clogged over time with crushed stone or other forms of aggregate. Fixing them requires excavation to access the pipes near the concrete footing.
That’s where Strong Basements can help! Our team offers services for installing weeping tiles, new drainage beds, and window wells, as well as full exterior foundation waterproofing jobs. If you’re experiencing water leakage through your foundation, contact us for a free inspection of your home.


Preventing water damage is an essential aspect of maintaining your home’s value and ensuring a safe living environment. By implementing these five effective strategies, you can minimize the risks associated with water damage and avoid costly repairs:

  1. Proper grading
  2. Regular eavestrough and downpipe maintenance
  3. Downpipe extensions
  4. Addressing cracks and joints in exterior foundations
  5. Implementing a robust drainage system

Remember, taking a proactive approach to water damage prevention can save you money and protect your investment in the long run. Reach out to Strong Basements for professional assistance in safeguarding your home against the costly effects of water damage.

Basement Waterproofing FAQ

Most frequent questions and answers

To dry a room after a water leak, follow these steps:

  1. Remove excess water: Use a wet vacuum, mop, or towels to remove as much standing water as possible.
  2. Ventilate the area: Open windows and doors to increase airflow and accelerate the drying process.
  3. Use fans and dehumidifiers: Set up fans to circulate air, and use dehumidifiers to remove moisture from the air.
  4. Remove wet items: Remove wet furniture, carpets, and other porous materials from the room to prevent mold growth.
  5. Monitor progress: Regularly check the moisture levels in the room using a moisture meter until the area is completely dry.

To fix water under your house, follow these steps:

  1. Identify the source: Determine whether the water is coming from a plumbing leak, poor drainage, or other issues.
  2. Address the source: Fix any plumbing leaks, improve grading around the foundation, or install a drainage system to prevent water accumulation.
  3. Remove standing water: Use a sump pump or wet vacuum to remove standing water from under the house.
  4. Dry the area: Ventilate the crawl space, and use fans and dehumidifiers to remove moisture.
  5. Inspect for damage: Check for signs of water damage, such as mold or rot, and take appropriate action to repair or replace affected materials.

To fix water damage:

    1. Assess the damage: Determine the extent and type of water damage to identify the appropriate course of action.
    2. Remove excess water: Remove standing water using a wet vacuum, mop, or towels.
    3. Dry the affected area: Ventilate the space, and use fans and dehumidifiers to accelerate drying.
    4. Remove damaged materials: Remove and replace damaged materials, such as carpets, drywall, insulation, and wood.
    5. Clean and disinfect: Thoroughly clean and sanitize the affected area to prevent mold growth and contamination.
    6. Repair and restore: Repair structural damage and replace damaged materials to restore the area to its original condition.

To prevent water damage in your home:

  1. Maintain gutters and downspouts: Regularly clean and inspect your gutters and downspouts to ensure proper water drainage.
  2. Inspect your roof: Check your roof for damage, and promptly repair any leaks or issues.
  3. Seal windows and doors: Apply weatherstripping and caulk to seal gaps around windows and doors.
  4. Insulate pipes: Insulate exposed pipes to prevent freezing and potential bursts.
  5. Install a sump pump: Install a sump pump in your basement or crawl space to remove excess water.
  6. Regularly check for leaks: Inspect your plumbing system, appliances, and HVAC for leaks and address any issues promptly.

If drywall has been exposed to water for an extended period or has signs of mold growth, it will likely need to be replaced. In cases where the water damage is minimal and the drywall has not lost its structural integrity, it may be possible to dry and repair the affected area. However, it’s crucial to thoroughly inspect and assess the extent of the damage before deciding whether to repair or replace the drywall.


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