It’s been an unusual winter so far in Chicago – no hockey, no snow, not really that cold. Even so, Chicagoans are still observing typical winter practices, like staying in the house, complaining about the Bears and eating too much.
Maybe it’s time to establish a new winter ritual in Chicagoland, having a basement waterproofing company seal your basement against seepage when the ground thaws and the inevitable spring rains begin. Acting now can be a smart move in several ways and you’ll still have plenty of time to hibernate.
4 Reasons it’s a Good Idea to Seal Your Basement During the Winter
- Snow Melts – Although not much snow has fallen in the Chicago area so far this winter, the Old Farmer’s Almanac, that always reliable source of weather prognostication, predicts significant snow for February and March. If the typical pattern prevails, snow storms will be followed by warmer weather and the snow will melt long before spring arrives and maybe only a day or two before the next snowfall. Once the snow melts, all that water has to go somewhere and at least some will end up in your basement if you’re not prepared.
- You’ll Be Prepared for Spring – Remember spring? It may not last long in Chicago but you can pretty much count on it being wet while it’s here. Temperatures will warm, thawing the ground around your foundation and allowing ground water to once again find its way into your basement. Rains are a big part of the spring weather pattern and rainfall will eventually find its way into your basement if you’re not prepared.
- Drought Made Things Worse – The Drought of 2012, still not officially over, has made basements all over the Chicago area more likely to leak, even if they’ve always been completely dry. The extended period of dry, hot weather caused the normally expansive clay soil in the area to dry out as water was drawn from it by thirsty vegetation. The soil shrank as it dried and pulled away from foundation wall, allowing an open pathway for water to enter. This shrinking soil is also responsible for a lot of new basement wall cracks because of the radical change in lateral pressure against the foundation wall as it shrank.
- Timely Repairs – Basement waterproofing companies tend not to be as busy in the winter as they are at other times of year so it’s a great time to have one seal your basement. If you wait until spring you may be baling water with a bucket before they’ll be able to get to your home.
What kind of basement repairs can be done in winter? Almost anything that can be done at other times of year. Non-structural wall cracks can be injected, interior drain tile can be installed, sump pumps can be replaced (or backup pump systems installed) and crawl spaces can be encapsulated. If absolutely necessary, exterior repairs can be done as well although they’re generally best left for warmer weather when digging is easier.
So, Mr. or Ms. Chicago homeowner, don’t let the coming of spring catch you by surprise with a leaky basement. Take advantage of the winter season by having your basement sealed by a professional basement waterproofing contractor and greet the first robin without worrying about soggy carpeting and soaked storage boxes.