If you are a homeowner, it is highly likely that you have had to contend with basement water problems. One of the terms foundation contractors use when they inspect such issues is hydrostatic pressure. This sounds like an ominous thing and indeed it is. The American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) reckons that over 90% of foundation damage concerns are caused by this problem. It thus behooves on you to understand what this pressure is all about and how it affects your home.
Breaking Down Hydrostatic Pressure
Building a house in modern times requires a lot of excavation, especially in hilly areas. In the course of the project, you will have to interfere with the usual flow of underground water. Once a concrete foundation is poured, the underground water will be forced to pile up below. During rainy seasons when the water table rises, there will be obvious wetness on your basement floor.
In essence, hydrostatic pressure is the increased push by water against your foundation which results in basement flooding. As the water table rises during heavy rains, the concrete floor will eventually cave in as water is pushed through every crack. Eventually, the dampness might not be a big concern, but after months of prolonged precipitation, you will have a flooded basement.
This not only compromises your foundation, but also leads to property damage. Damp surfaces also encourage mold growth and with time the toxic spores travel indoors bringing untold health problems for the family. Put simply, you need to hire a professional contractor to help ease this pressure to avert future problems.
Tackling Hydrostatic Pressure
The fact that your property is already standing means the only effective solution is easing the pressure by ensuring the rising water level does not reach the floor. The idea is to install a basement waterproofing system that ensures prompt draining of the rising water away from the floor.
Some of the techniques used by waterproofing experts include:
- Interior or exterior drains: A drain tile is laid along the entire perimeter of the wall. A section of the floor is removed before installation of the drain system and later filled using porous materials. The drain is extended to draw water outside the basement. Alternatively, an exterior French drain can be installed by digging a trench all the way down to the foundation footers around the house. The tile drains water collected away from the foundation.
- Sump pump system: This is an effective solution installed under the floor. It contains a pit where rising water is collected. In most cases, it is used in combination with a drain tile and collected water is pumped using a discharge pipe away from the property.
It is time to deal conclusively with hydrostatic pressure by hiring a qualified contractor in order to permanently protect your home.