Saturday, January 18, 2014

Can I have my foundation waterproofed in the winter?


Hi Rob.  I enjoyed reading your article regarding the difference between foundation damp proofing and foundation waterproofing.  I live in Canada and I'd like to have my new construction residential home waterproofed with a spray on rubberized membrane.  Unfortunately my home will be constructed in the winter time and the outside temperatures are around 5 degrees Fahrenheit.   Can these rubberized products be sprayed on during the cold winter temperatures?



Hey, thanks for taking the time to read my blog.

I also live in Canada, I live in Ontario. We build a lot of houses and start them throughout the entire year including the winter.  I have waterproofed many a home in the winter when the temperatures can be rather cold.

In most parts of Canada winter is not continuously -15C/5F all winter, as you know the temperature will go above that and also well below that at times. The product that we use to spray foundations in the winter is called Code Blue.

Code Blue can be installed all the way down to -15C/5f. Anything below this temperature and it would have trouble sticking properly to the foundation. Since the temperatures during the day times routinely rise higher than the night time temperatures you should have no problem finding a day that is -15C/5f or above to do the waterproofing.

To make sure that when the waterproofing company arrives they are able to complete the job please make sure that the following is done before they arrive;

Fill all tie-holes, cracks or divots in the concrete wall.

You must shovel all the snow away from the foundation. What typically happens on a winter construction project is that because the foundation is sitting in basically in a hole the snow tends to fill in the hole. You need to shovel the snow off the foundation and far enough away that the waterproofing company can work on the wall. You should do this the day before they arrive to give the wall a time to dry a little if any of the snow happened to melt and form ice.

If you have ice on the foundation you need to remove it. Either chip it off with a scrapper or use my personal favorite a tiger torch. Tiger torches are attached to a propane tank and will melt ice very quickly, the concrete behind will not be damaged by the flame. Make sure you stay away from any wood framing or typar with your open flame.

You will need to expose the top of the footing. Remove any snow and ice or frozen dirt so that the waterproofing guys can spray on to the top of the footing. They do not require you to expose the side of the footing; they will only need to coat the top of the footing to waterproof the joint between the concrete foundation wall and the concrete footing.

The product doesn’t have to be code blue; there are other makers of rubberized membrane out there depending on where you live in Canada. When waterproofing foundations the job is only as good as the installers, make sure you hire a company with a good reputation and is comfortable working in winter conditions. The only thing that should affect the waterproofing installation will be the weather, if it’s snowing really hard then they probably wouldn’t install it until a dryer day or if it’s extremely windy they won’t be able to safely install it. Other than that you should be able to have your foundation waterproofed in the winter,
good luck.

Rob Abbott
Operations Manager
Village Builders Inc.

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