How can a basement be leaking when the ground is frozen?
In the absence of rain or melting snow it is common for homeowners to ask how they can develop basement leaks when the ground is frozen – truly a logical question. During winters in Southern Ontario, the frost line (the depth to which the ground freezes) can extend to 3.5 – 4 feet below grade; that’s why many homes are insulated at the top half of the basement wall; although the building code now requires insulation for the full foundation wall height. As the footings of the majority of foundations are typically 6.5 feet below grade, the lowermost 3 feet of soil above the footing and weeping tile never freezes; therefore, water that is present around the base of your foundation remains in liquid form throughout the year.
By far, the majority of foundations leak at or near the bottom of the wall, well below the frost line; thus, hydrostatic pressure is always present. The presence of hydrostatic pressure causes foundation cracks, tie-rod holes and snap rods, located well below the frost line, to leak because of their constant exposure to water pressure against the foundation wall.
This constant exposure of your foundation to hydrostatic pressure, even in the middle of winter, makes you vulnerable to basement leaks even when it is not raining and the snow hasn’t melted.
Fortunately, any type of basement leak, with very few exceptions, can be repaired even during the coldest winter months. It will probably cost alot less than you expect; contact us.