A high water table is one of the geologic features that can cause problems around your home. So, you can’t afford to ignore it. Let’s look at the causes of a high water table, highlight some of the signs, and discuss what you can do to protect your home.
What Is a Water Table?
A water table, or simply groundwater table, is the boundary between the soil and the area where the rocks or soils get saturated permanently. It usually follows the ground surface, rising below hills and falling at valleys.
Water tables fluctuate depending on the seasons and from year to year. They go up when they receive more water than they can drain off. This can be due to heavy downpours or excess water from higher elevations. Additionally, they can also fall when people draw huge amounts of water from nearby wells.
High water tables in Kansas City and St. Louis, MO, often rise above the basement level. Some of the major factors that contribute to high water tables include:
High precipitation: Melting snow in spring and heavy rain in spring and summer months can increase the amount of water that percolates the soil, leading to high water tables.
Low-lying terrain: An area that’s near or below the sea level is more likely to experience high water tables in rainy weather due to high terrain flows that cause water to stagnate.
Nearness to a water body: Your home is more likely to experience flooding if you live near a water body and the surrounding soils are mostly clay, which is less permeable.
Increased irrigation: Watering your garden to keep it green can also lead to excessive water seepage to the ground, and this might push up the water table around your home.
Signs of a High Water Table
Keep an eye out for the following signs.
Basement flooding: If you and your neighbors experience basement flooding right about the same time, that’s a clear indication the water table nearby is pretty high.
Standing water: When rainwater or melt-offs fail to percolate through the soil, it’s likely the surface is already saturated due to a high water table.
Damp wooden floors and walls: Watermarks on your floor and walls are a sign of excess hydration. The water table might be pushing up and wetting the subfloor area. Older homes with timber skirtings are likely to suck up moisture and experience condensation, creating the illusion of rising dampness levels.
Septic system failure: A high water table near your septic tank can impede the drain field’s capacity to absorb and filter wastewater. When this happens, your septic system will back up and fail.
Does a High Water Table Affect the Basement?
Yes, it does. A high water table will drive up basement moisture levels significantly. And this will make the basement feel damp or muggy. When precipitation is high, groundwater may collect around your foundation walls and push against them. This might cause your walls to bow inward or crack.
At some point, a white powdery substance may appear near the intersection of the basement floor and wall. This is known as efflorescence and tends to form when minerals from the water crystallize.
If there are tiny cracks, you will also notice that they are growing bigger with time. These cracks will allow more water to your basement as they widen.
Remedies for High Water Tables
Left unchecked, a high water table can turn out to be a menace. Here’s what you can do as a homeowner in Kansas City and St. Louis to save your basement.
Waterproof your basement: Along with seal cracks on your basement walls, installing basement waterproofing solutions including an interior drainage system and a sump pump will help prevent flooding.
Add downspout extensions: These fixtures will carry rainwater away from your home and reduce the amount of water that goes into a nearby water table.
Carry out Proper Landscaping: Regrading your yard so that it slopes away will increase outflows during spring and winter, when precipitation is high.
If you’re experiencing unexplained water problems or are struggling to control basement moisture levels, a high water table might be the culprit. Schedule a free waterproofing inspection with us and find out what’s ailing your basement. We’ll apply the right fix.