No season in Toronto is quite as beautiful as autumn. With the leaves changing colour and that wonderful bite of frost in the air, curling up in the evening with a cup of tea and a novel is never more pleasurable.

But as anyone Torontonian knows, autumn is also the last chance to take care of the last home maintenance and repair work before the snow flies. With many outlets predicting heavier-than-average precipitation this winter, this could be your last chance to make sure your basement is ready for a wet spring.

If you want to make sure your basement is dry this autumn so you can spend a comfortable winter, here are the five tell-tale signs you should be on the lookout for. If you’ve noticed any of these problems over the past year, be sure to book a consultation with your Toronto basement waterproofing contractors today.

1. Water Stains

In houses with finished basements, water damage is one of the first things homeowners with a leaky foundation will notice. Water stains that are not dealt with will grow over time, and may cause your drywall or gyprock to start rotting.

If the leak is coming in through the foundation, repairing the drywall won’t be enough to stop the spread of moisture. You’ll need to consider a longer-term solution, and the best way to figure out what work needs to be done is to call a basement waterproofing company in Toronto that can help you determine where the water is coming from and what steps can be taken to stop it.

2. Mold

Basement leaks do not always manifest as actual water. Sometimes, the leaks are small enough that the only real sign that something is wrong is a pervasive sense of damp, and the spread of black mold.

This mold often forms in corners, and it takes the form of distinctive black blotches. While mold isn’t always caused by a leak in the foundation, it is always a sign of excess moisture. Not only is mold unsightly, it can also be bad for your health. For this reason, it is absolutely essential that the root cause be dealt with as soon as possible.

The first thing you’ll want to do is call a Toronto basement waterproofing company to assess how extensive the problem is. It may be necessary to patch the foundation internally or externally, in which case you may need to have the work done before the ground freezes.

3. Cracked Concrete

Most houses in the Toronto area rest on poured concrete foundations. While these foundations are designed to keep your house stable and your basement dry, over time the concrete can develop cracks and honeycombing that will let in water over time.

Even if you haven’t noticed leaks or flooding in your basement, if small cracks are starting to appear in the foundation walls or floor, you should get in touch with us immediately. Sometimes all it takes is a particularly heavy rain for these cracks to sprout leaks.

Being proactive about patching cracks or making more structural upgrades to your foundation are also a great way to improve the value of your home so even if you haven’t noticed leaks yet, be sure to take advantage of our Toronto foundation repair services.

4. Frequent Flooding

As a lakeside city, flooding has long been an issue in Toronto, and it’s one that basement waterproofing Toronto contractors need to protect against. While different parts of the city may be more or less susceptible to flooding (with the Port Lands, Leslieville, and the neighbourhoods around the Humber River being particularly at risk), flooding is something most homeowners can expect to deal with at some point or another.

But regular flooding is not normal, and if you are finding that your basement frequently has water in it, you probably have a pretty serious leak to repair. If you are interested in learning more about what to expect when waterproofing your basement click here for our rundown of all the internal and external changes that can help make your basement more resistant to flooding.

5. Flaking Paint

In many older Toronto basements, walls are made from masonry or plastered brick. In these cases, the first sign of a leak will likely be flaking paint. A build-up of moisture makes it difficult for dried paint to continue adhering to the walls, so flaking or bubbling paint indicates a deeper problem.

The best way to check whether paint is flaking due to a leak is to monitor the walls themselves. Do you find they are damp, even if you dry them? Are some of the bricks starting to crumble? These can be signs that internal leaks are causing rot to spread in the foundation.

Fixing a leaking basement is one of the most frustrating problems a homeowner can face. Even a small leak can cause serious damage, and DIY fixes can be difficult and risky. But this is one problem that will only get worse if you ignore it, so if you’ve noticed any of these five problems in your basement, you’ll want to schedule repairs as soon as possible.

At NTL Contracting, we have more than twenty years’ experience fixing leaks and waterproofing basements, and we can provide you with the expert advice you need to know what your options are and how you should move forward with repairs.

Give us a call today and find out how quick and easy the solution to your basement problems can be when you get the right professional help.