Most basement water problems can be solved during the construction of your home. Since such problems are usually caused by the type of soil, the water beneath it, and the choices builders made during the construction, it’s best to tackle them early on.
One such consideration needs to be the issue of hydrostatic pressure and drainage that will be used to prevent it. If not treated right away it can turn into a severe problem. Hydrostatic pressure could damage the foundation and cause cracks in the walls and water leakage in the basement.
What’s Hydrostatic Pressure?
Hydrostatic pressure is a technical term used for the pressure that the water causes to the foundation and basement walls of a home. It’s one of the major sources of basement and water problems. Especially so in the areas such as St. Louis, MO where there’s a lot of rainfall and the soil is soft and tends to absorb it.
Water leaks are a less important concern when it comes to hydrostatic pressure. Overall, hydrostatic pressure can cause the walls to bow and crack and both issues are much more expensive to fix than leakage.
The most used tool to deal with water pressure is a drainage board or sheet that’s used to move the water quickly, allowing it to get to the footing or a footing tile. The tile (usually made from clay) then collects the water and channels it to a pump.
The building and landscaping teams should make sure that the ground is sloped in a way that will move the water away from the basement. The construction is the only time to do so since it’s impossible to create a slope with the building erected on top of it.
Another way to deal with hydrostatic pressure is to set up a system of drainage that includes sump pumps, drainage canals, and possibly a well outside the property and far away from the basement and the foundation. It may also be useful to have a few freeze guards so that ice doesn’t clog the drain during the cold season. Our FreezeGuard discharge line is quite easy to maintain and can prevent many headaches in the future.
The soil around the foundation also plays an essential role in the drainage system since it needs to be made to easily absorb and move the water. As the soil is backfilled around the foundation once it is built, it is often very loose and can contribute to hydrostatic pressure.
It’s essential that you take into account the soil you’re building on when thinking about hydrostatic pressure. Some soil can hold a lot of water, putting hydrostatic pressure on the foundation, while water goes right through others.
There’s little that a contractor can do in terms of what the construction site looks like and what kind of soil they are dealt with. However, the soil on the site should drive their decision when it comes to how the home will be constructed.
Other factors, such as the location of the property, affect hydrostatic pressure as well. For instance, if a home is on a hill, it will have a different slope than one that’s based in a small hollow. Climate and the overall amount of rainfall are also important and should be considered.
The lowest point of the structure should have a sump pump. It will collect any water pooling on the property and divert it away from the foundation, where it can’t cause any damage.
One sump pump should be big enough to deal with the volume of water delivered during a 15-minute-long peak flow event such as heavy rain or snowfall. However, homeowners may decide that they need an additional pump as a backup. A good idea is to have this sump pump be battery powered.
It’s an additional expense for a homeowner but it can end up being a savings measure as well since the cost of the pump is always less than the cost of foundation repair.
Remediation and Planning for the Life of the Structure
The draining mechanism we’ve mentioned needs to take into account the life of the structure. Homes are built to last a long time and the drainage mechanism usually can’t match that lifespan. Drainage boundaries always last less than the home itself and after a while, they need to be replaced.
Hydrostatic pressure is a critical concern for homeowners and it can cause a lot of damage to your home. It’s important to address it during the construction of the property since that’s when it’s the easiest. Schedule a free inspection from a foundation repair expert to consult you about the matter during the construction work and planning.