Do you have water in your basement but aren’t sure if there are any cracks in your foundation? Don’t worry, it is very possible that you won’t be able to find a specific entry point for the water. This is because it comes through the walls. Concrete walls are porous, which means they have numerous tiny pores that aren’t seen with the naked eye. When the pressure from the water builds around and underneath your basement walls, gravity pushes water into your home through the mentioned pores.
Hydrostatic pressure is a force that’s created by standing water. When it rains or snows, or substantial amounts of snow begin to melt, the water saturates the soil around your home and increases hydrostatic pressure.
The type of soil your home was built on can dictate how much moisture will infiltrate the ground. For example, clay soil absorbs much more water than sandy soil. The more water it absorbs, the more build-up pressure is present around your foundation.
So, how can you prevent hydrostatic pressure problems? Since standing water causes this force to increase, the best way to keep your home safe is to keep the water from pooling near your house. Of course, you cannot stop rain from falling or snow from melting. However, several waterproofing measures can keep your home safe from water damage.
Is My Home Prone to Hydrostatic Pressure Problems?
Homeowners are not often aware of the potential problems increased hydrostatic pressure around their homes can cause. Unfortunately, this force can cause your foundation walls to bow, compromising your home’s structural stability. It can also push water into your basement, causing moisture levels to rise. When this happens, anything made of wood begins to rot. Also, mold growth occurs, which can present a major health hazard.
Did you know that foundation issues reduce a home’s value by up to 15%? This is another reason to check whether there is increased hydrostatic pressure around your foundation and take the necessary steps to protect your home.
To figure out whether there is increased hydrostatic pressure around your home, you can create a small hole in the wall and wait to see whether it will change color. If it becomes darker, the soil around your home is oversaturated.
If you do not wish to drill holes, you can perform a sheet test. Simply hang a plastic sheet on your basement wall and secure it with tape. Water drops forming on it are a telltale sign that something is wrong. You can also use a calcium chloride test to measure the emission rate of moisture or use a device for measuring humidity levels. If these are increased, water is threatening to enter your basement.
Preventing Hydrostatic Pressure Problems
As mentioned, to prevent an increase in hydrostatic pressure you need to keep water from pooling around your home. Fortunately, there are some simple ways to achieve this.
Maintain Your Gutters
Gutters and downspouts are two common things that usually go unnoticed by homeowners until they are full of leaves and need to be cleaned. While gutters are not ultramodern devices, they still have an especially vital role. Their job is to direct rainwater from the roof away from the home’s perimeter. However, gutters can experience some problems over time, so it is important to check them now and then and see whether everything is in order. For example, fasteners that are holding them in place can get loose and create small gaps through which water can leak from the gutters.
Leaves, dirt, and debris can pile up and create clogs that will keep the water from entering the downspouts. When this happens, water will spill over the edge of the gutter and soak the soil around the house. Cracks and holes can also appear on the gutters and create leaks. Inspecting these fixtures several times a year can ensure that your gutters are in decent shape and that roof water will not end up in the soil around your home.
Regrade Your Yard
If you notice that every time it rains water pools around your home’s perimeter, you might want to check your yard’s grade. If it has a negative grade, that means that your home was built on the lowest part of the property and that runoffs will always flow toward it, instead of away from it. Contact a professional who will check this for you. Regrading a yard is not overly complicated but will affect your landscaping. Luckily, you will only have to do this once. With this slight change, you will ensure that rainwater is directed away from your home and that it will no longer pool around your home. This way you can minimize the risk of hydrostatic pressure problems.
Install a Sump Pump
When rainwater saturates the ground around your home and accumulates beneath your foundation, it threatens to infiltrate the concrete floor and flood your basement. With a sump pit that will collect underground water and a sump pump that will pump it out through the discharge pipe, you can prevent water damage. An interior drainage system can also collect water that comes through the walls and direct it toward the sump pit.
To prevent hydrostatic pressure problems, contact your local contractors at Innovative Basement Authority and schedule a free inspection and quote. Ask about our waterproofing solutions and our expert will recommend those that are most suitable for you and your home.