Have you ever walked into your basement and found it flooded for no apparent reason? If there aren’t any cracks in your walls and your pipes are in good condition, it may seem like the water came out of nowhere. Unfortunately, the water likely came from the soil that surrounds your foundation.
Concrete basement walls are porous. This means that they contain numerous pores. Naturally, these act like an entranceway, and water can pass through them and enter your basement. However, this won’t happen if there is no hydrostatic pressure, this force pushes water into your home through the mentioned pores.
So, what causes hydrostatic pressure? Simply speaking, wherever there is water, there is hydrostatic pressure. During rainfall, the soil around your home becomes oversaturated and hydrostatic pressure increases. How much water will infiltrate the soil depends on the type of soil. For example, clay soil acts like a sponge, while sandy soil won’t absorb a lot of water. The more water ends up in the soil, the more build-up pressure is present around your home.
Keeping this pressure under control and making sure it does not increase is the best way to avoid moisture presence in your basement. Since standing water and excess water in the soil is the one to blame for increased water pressure, you need to keep it from pooling around your house. There is no way you can control how much rain will fall or how much snow will melt, but there are some ways you can prevent water from oversaturating the soil around your foundation.
Should I Worry About Hydrostatic Pressure Problems?
There are a lot of things that could damage your home. For example, a tree could fall on it during a storm, or your roof can become damaged due to hail and wind. These are all obvious potential problems homeowners are aware of. However, not everyone is aware of the damage groundwater can cause. Due to increased hydrostatic pressure, water from the soil can infiltrate your home and increase humidity levels in your basement. Why is this a problem? Moisture presence causes mold growth and rot. While mold can be a huge health hazard, rot can even compromise your home’s structural stability.
Increased hydrostatic pressure can also cause your basement walls to bow, making them less stable. It doesn’t come as a surprise that this type of foundation problem can significantly lower your home’s market value. This is something you need to keep in mind if you are planning to sell your Moberly, MO home in the future.
If you wish to find out whether the hydrostatic pressure around your foundation is increased, there are several simple experiments you can conduct. For example, you can drill a hole and see if it becomes darker due to moisture in the walls. You can also hand a plastic sheet, secure it with tape and wait to see whether water drops will form on it. Or you can simply use a device for measuring humidity levels.
Preventing Hydrostatic Pressure Problems
So, how can you keep water away from your home and prevent it from causing hydrostatic pressure problems? Let’s take a look.
Maintain your gutters – Unfortunately, gutters have a bad reputation among homeowners because cleaning them is not the easiest task. It is a dirty job that involves climbing a high ladder, so it is safe to say that it isn’t anyone’s favorite chore. However, gutters are incredibly useful because without them all the water from the roof would end up around your home. Keeping them in good shape is essential. You need to clean them several times a year to make sure they don’t clog. Also, pay attention to signs of leakage. If gutters develop cracks or holes, rainwater will begin to drip onto the ground. In addition, fasteners that are keeping them attached to the house can get loose and create an opening on the side of the gutter. Inspecting these fixtures a few times a year and maintaining them regularly can ensure that roof water will not soak the soil around your home and increase hydrostatic pressure.
Regrade your yard – If water pools around your home after it rains, those puddles are a sign that your yard has a negative grade. This is a big problem since it means that every time there is a rainstorm or a flood, water will flow toward your home and soak the soil around it, causing the hydrostatic pressure to increase. Although re-grading your yard is not complicated, it’s best to have a professional do it. Keep in mind that this process can destroy landscaping around your house.
Install a sump pump – When rainwater accumulates below your foundation, it threatens to enter your basement through the floor and cause a flood. Luckily, with a sump pit and a sump pump, you can avert this problem. A sump pit is located in the floor and its purpose is to collect the mentioned water from the soil. When enough water is collected, the pump will activate and send it away from your home.
If you wish to prevent hydrostatic pressure problems contact Foundation Recovery Systems and schedule a free inspection and quote. Our expert will inspect your foundation and recommend suitable solutions that will keep your basement dry.