Every homeowner who has a basement knows how useful this space is. It makes heating and cooling a home much easier and more comfortable since both of those systems can be hidden away in a basement. It also provides additional space that can be used for storage, or converted into a living area. That’s why many homeowners are willing to pay more for a home with a basement.
Unfortunately, when moisture infiltrates the walls, the humidity levels in the basement rise and this space becomes useless. Over time moisture will lead to mold growth and the wooden structures will begin to rot. Even the home’s structural integrity can be compromised, which is why you should address this problem as soon as possible.
Many homeowners fail to deal with this problem, believing that basement concrete walls are sturdy enough and nothing can get in. Concrete is indeed sturdy but it’s also highly permeable since water can get through the pores in the material. When hydrostatic pressure increases, water from the soil enters the walls, and eventually, the basement. Once you notice a problem with moisture and humidity it’s best to start dealing with it right away. That way the issue will be reduced to a minor nuisance, and won’t escalate to a bigger problem. It is safe to say that fixing a damaged foundation would be a much more expensive and complicated repair.
What’s the Cause of Hydrostatic Pressure Problems?
There are a few simple signs of hydrostatic pressure problems. The basement starts smelling musty and the basement walls become damp. This happens because the water table is elevated.
The term water table refers to the upper level of the underground surface that is always saturated with water. When the water level rises, hydrostatic pressure increases and causes humidity in the basement. This usually happens when there’s a lot of rainfall or when the snow starts to melt. Those who live near a lake or a river, experience this problem more often.
Unfortunately, a lot of homes in Cincinnati, OH have a problem with increased hydrostatic pressure. If you want to determine whether there is increased hydrostatic pressure around your foundation, you can measure humidity levels in your basement. If they are increased, it is possible that you will need to invest in durable waterproofing solutions. However, in order to be sure, call your local foundation expert and have them inspect your basement.
Four Ways to Relieve Hydrostatic Pressure
There are a few things you could do about hydrostatic pressure. It is much easier to keep it under control than to deal with problems caused by increased moisture levels over and over again.
Once you’ve relieved the hydrostatic pressure around the foundation, you can dehumidify the basement and make it functional again.
Installing an Interior Drain – An interior drain is installed alongside the basement. It’s used to collect water that comes in through the walls and direct it away from the house. Installation is rather quick and it can be done without any excavation. The BasementGutter™ French Drain System is almost invisible once installed and features a clog-free design.
Installing a Weep Hole – Weep holes are drilled into the lowest part of the wall. When the water exits through the weep holes, the hydrostatic pressure is relieved. The water is then collected in the drainage system and removed from the home.
Regrading the Yard – Hydrostatic pressure problems often start in the yard since that’s where the water tends to pool. A simple way to determine whether your yard has a negative grade is to pay attention to the perimeter of your home. Is there standing water around it every time it rains? If so, you will need to regrade your yard. It’s a tricky problem to fix and it’s best to hire experts to do it for you. Regrading a yard should be done as soon as possible, otherwise, rainwater will quickly ruin your foundation.
Gutter Maintenance – Gutters are used to collect the water from the rooftops and move it away from a structure. For them to serve their purpose, you’ll need to maintain the gutters and clean them from debris and leaves that may fall in. It’s also useful to seal any cracks as soon as they appear. Gutters can deteriorate over time, so pay attention to holes that may appear. If you notice them, it is time to invest in new gutters.
If you have noticed a problem related to hydrostatic pressure it’s best to call the local professionals at Ohio Basement Authority and schedule a free inspection.