Every new home in Ontario is protected by a mandatory warranty that is provided by the builder and guaranteed by Tarion.

According to Tarion, water penetration through the basement or foundation walls and defects in materials, including windows, doors and caulking, or defects in work that result in water penetration into the building envelope, are covered under the 2-year statutory warranty. To obtain further details, consult the Tarion website concerning the 2-year statutory warranty as well as the 1-year warranty and the 7-year Major Structural Defect warranty that includes significant damage due to:

  • Soil movement*;
  • Major cracks in basement walls (>6mm); and
  • Collapse or serious distortion of joints or roof structure and chemical failure of materials. 

*Soil movement means subsidence, expansion or lateral movement of the soil not caused by flood, earthquake, "acts of God" or any other cause beyond the reasonable control of the builder.

Tip graphicIf you are still covered under the two year statutory warranty, the builder will only repair a basement crack or a building envelope leak if you can show that you have an active leak (unless it is a crack >6mm wide). If you are worried about any crack's "leak potential", run your hose outside on the ground along the wall at the crack location for an hour or two. If it leaks, contact your builder to have it repaired.



Exclamation markYou have no control over the basement waterproofing repair method that the builder uses to repair a leak; in some instances, they will inject a crack, in other instances, they will apply hydraulic cement over the crack inside your basement to prevent the crack from leaking (after all, the repair only has to last until the end of the statutory warranty); the builder may even choose to excavate and repair the crack or leak externally.

Cost, not quality, is the primary determinant of how your basement leak is addressed by many new home builders. You can bet that they will not be sending in "Professional Waterproofing Contractors" to conduct the repairs; why? Professional Waterproofing Contractors charge much more than a builder is typically willing to pay.

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