1.800.265.1914
Call Now1.800.265.1914

The Spring Thaw and Basement Renovations: Turn Disaster into Opportunity

May 10, 2019

Spring Thaw Into Opportunity


If you were to gather a group of homeowners who currently have a leaky basement or have experienced basement leaks in the past, you might notice that a large portion of them had their leaks occur during or after the spring thaw. With all the snow melting, spring rainfalls, and soft dirt, it is not uncommon that most foundations begin to leak around this time of year.

The first step in preventing basement leaks is awareness, and there is no better time than the present to become aware of how your foundation is holding up. While we are not directly able to check for leaks in your basement, we are able to make sure that it will be warm, comfortable, and cozy once your renovations or water damage repairs are complete.

A word of warning: Simply replacing damaged drywall is not enough, and will just lead to future repairs being needed. During your basement renovations, it is also a good idea to have a pre-drywall blower door test conducted by a building envelope consulting firm - such as our friends at Barrier Sciences Group - as it can catch any air leaks or problems with your home’s building envelope before they become hard to reach, or are covered up from drywall. This allows you to directly target the trouble areas and stay ahead of any future problems.

How the Spring Thaw Can Damage Your Foundation

As the weather warms up, the spring rains begin to fall, and all the snow has melted, the soil and dirt that surrounds the foundation of your home will become soft and saturated with water, causing a substantial amount of pressure on your home’s foundation as it shifts around. If there are any leaks in your basement or foundation that haven’t yet caused any troubles, they are likely to present themselves during the spring thaw.

The causes of these leaks could be from any number of different things, such as invasive tree roots, small cracks in the foundation, or even just due to the building’s age. As all the rainwater and melted snow builds up around a home’s foundation during the spring thaw, the added pressure can accelerate the severity of any leaks that already existed, or cause new leaks to form, making it crucial to stay ahead of any issues in your basement and to fix them before they become more severe.

Taking Advantage of a Leaky Basement and Your Repair Time

If you find yourself needing to make basement repairs right now or at some point in the future, it is worth taking advantage of your repair time to also improve the airtightness and insulation of your home. Once your basement leaks have been fixed, there are a number of different home improvements that you could easily make to improve your home’s comfort, utility cost, air quality and even its market value.

The reason that it is important to make the most out of your repair time, is that many home improvements can be more affordable to make than normal if you are already underway with a basement renovation or repair. That way, you are able to make many improvements (such as insulation upgrades and air sealing), while you already have your home under construction, and your walls and foundation are exposed - completely maximizing and making the most out of your repair time.

Basement Insulation and Airtightness Improves Comfort in the Entire Home

A leaky basement may seem like a curse at first - and it can be if it is left to be ignored - but it just might provide you with the exact incentive you need to help you make more than just repairs to your home. After all, investing in energy efficiency improvements is an excellent way of lowering your home’s operational costs; and by making airtightness and insulation improvements to your basement, you can notice the benefits throughout your home. The reason for this is due to something called the stack effect - which is also why attic insulation improvements are so effective at improving the interior comfort levels within an entire home.

The stack effect happens due to a difference in pressure and temperature within the home, compared to the home’s exterior. This happens most significantly in the winter, as the home’s hot air rises and escapes out any cracks or holes in the attic, it causes cold exterior air to be drawn in from leaks around the home’s foundation or basement. This not only creates cold drafts throughout the home - especially in the basement and on the floor above - but it also greatly reduces the energy performance of your home, and can make your furnace and air conditioner operate more frequently.

Choosing the Most Cost-Effective Basement Renovation is Easy

Whether you are making the most out of your troubles caused by the spring thaw, or you are simply looking to improve the energy efficiency and comfort of your entire home, by making improvements to the level of airtightness and insulation in your home’s basement, you can save money on your utility bills and see a noticeable difference in your home comfort levels.

Additionally, if you are looking to capitalize on any home reno rebates, you should consider having an energy audit (aka an energy assessment) done. This will not only help you qualify for up to $5,000 of rebates through the new Home Efficiency Rebate program, but it also provides you with a detailed roadmap of all the possible upgrades you could make in your home - ranked in terms of their cost effectiveness. All Ontario homeowners who live within either the Enbridge Gas or Union Gas service areas are able to apply for Home Efficiency Rebates.

With the information you gain from an energy audit, you are able to clearly see which upgrades would provide you with the biggest energy savings and comfort improvements per dollar of your investment. To schedule a time for a free in-home assessment of your home’s energy efficiency, or to chat with one of our Customer Care Representatives about your home improvement strategy and potential rebate options, feel free to contact us at 1-(800)-265-1914.

FREE Online Energy Audit

Conduct a FREE Online Energy Audit of Your Home with the MIT Award Winning My Energy Expert Application.

Western Ontario

935 Keyes Drive
Woodstock, Ontario
Canada N4V 1C3

Phone: 1-800-265-1914

Fax: (519) 539-7946
TOLL FREE: 1-800-265-1914

Southwestern Ontario

7035 Industrial Drive
Comber, Ontario
Canada N0P 1J0

TOLL FREE: 1-800-265-1914

Muskoka, Haliburton, Northern Ontario

1027 Elwell Park Road
Gravenhurst, Ontario
Canada P1P 1R1

TOLL FREE: 1-800-265-1914

Central Ontario

29 Ferndale Industrial Drive
Barrie, Ontario
Canada L4N 9V5

TOLL FREE: 1-800-265-1914

GTA East

103 North Port Road
Port Perry, Ontario
Canada L9L 1B2

TOLL FREE: 1-800-265-1914

GTA & South Central Ontario

450 Industrial Dr,
Toronto (Milton), Ontario
Canada L9T 5A6

TOLL FREE: 1-800-265-1914

Eastern Ontario

1035 Moodie Dr #1,
Nepean, ON
K2R 1H4

TOLL FREE: 1-800-265-1914

Sarnia/Lambton

259 Campbell Street
Sarnia Ontario
Canada, N7T 2H3

TOLL FREE: 1-800-265-1914

BBB

Great Northern Insulation - Better Business Bureau Profile.

Lowes

GNI is the Authorized & Trusted Insulation and Air Sealing Installer for Lowe’s

Enenrgy Savers

Energy Saving

Energy saving and energy efficiency is easier than one might think. Great Northern Insulation helps to identify performance issues, while taking advantage of improvement opportunities.

100% Canadian

100% Canadian

Great Northern Insulation is recognized as Canada's largest full-service insulation contractor. GNI is 100% Canadian owned, proudly serving Ontario customers since 1980.

Foam Masters

Do it right the first time
- with foam mastersTM

WALLTITE® ECO™ is a high-performance system, professionally installed by certified and approved specialists. Its C.C.M.C. approved (Canadian Construction Materials Centre) - with product quality guaranteed - and with installation by highly trained experts with the technical know-how to do the job right, the first time.

Homestars

Best of 2017

From reputation to responsiveness, HomeStars consistently ranks Great Northern Insulation at better than 95% for customer satisfaction. Thanks to everyone for the great ratings! 

HomeStars 2018

Best of 2018

For the second year in a row, HomeStars consistently ranks Great Northern Insulation at better than 95% for customer satisfaction. Thank you again to everyone!

GreenGuard

The GREENGUARD®
Gold Certification promise

GREENGUARD® Gold Certification ensures the strictest criteria for low-level chemical emissions. Certified products are safe for individuals with sensitivities (children/elderly) and safe for use in school environments and health-care facilities. The product certification is widely recognized by the LEED Rating System (Leadership in Energy/Environmental Design).

Insulthane Extreme

Insulthane® Extreme

For the ultimate in high performance spray foam insulation, Insulthane® Extreme is the professional choice for residential, commercial, and industrial application. With improved thermal performance over other products, Insulthane® Extreme has an exceptionally low Global Warming Potential (GWP). Considered environmentally friendly, this next generation spray foam insulation is non-ozone depleting, and exceeds specifications of other HFC product alternatives.

EcoLogo

ECOLOGOTM:
Multi-attribute product certification

ECOLOGOTM is an accredited sign of environmental performance – holistic – green – sustainable - and compliant with strict, third party standards. Life cycle criteria for product certification may include manufacturing and operations; health and environment; product materials and performance; and product innovation, development, and management.

3M

3MTM products.
Quality + Performance = Savings

3MTM energy-saving products are designed to keep warm air in, and cold air out, while keeping energy bills down. Products optimize energy efficiency in buildings and homes; improve indoor environment for occupants; and effect the reduction of seasonal energy costs. 3M products are authorized for LEED credits (Leadership in Energy/Environmental Design).

Baeumler

Baeumler ApprovedTM
Professional, Certified and Insured

Baeumler ApprovedTM gives you peace of mind when connecting with contractors, trades and home service providers. All Baeumler Approved members have demonstrated high quality work for customers and other trade professionals. Members must also have Workers Compensation, liability insurance of at least $1,000,000 and prove professional certification.

Holmes and Holmes

Holmes and Holmes

 

Mike Holmes and his son Mike Jr. (MJ) convert MJ’s bachelor bungalow into a two-storey home for MJ and his girlfriend Lisa. Choosing the newest materials and build techniques, the father and son team follow Mike’s famous motto – “Make it right.” The show can be watched on HGTV and DIY Network.

Enbridge

Enbridge Incentives

The Energy Conservation Program provides incentives of up to $1,600 to customers who achieve energy efficiency and fuel savings – and Great Northern Insulation can pave the way.

Renomark

Great Northern Insulation proudly abides by a renovation-specific Code of Conduct set by RenoMark™.

eRenovate

We are Verified & Bonded by eRenovate. When you choose to proceed with our services through their platform, you receive the gaurantees set forth through their program.

Please, enter a valid value

Incorrect values!