Tuesday, May 10th, 2016
Why do basements leak? Your basement is a hole in the ground lined with an imperfect concrete structure– a porous material with cracks, holes, and joints in it. That’s why basements leak.
After heavy or prolonged rainstorms, basements can leak because of hydrostatic pressure along the exterior foundation wall. Hydrostatic pressure is pressure from a body of water at rest. The weight of the water itself is what causes the pressure. The higher the water is in a vertical column, the more the pressure. So if the void space in the soil or clay outside of your foundation is filled with water (temporarily during a rain) it will cause hydrostatic pressure to push the water into your basement. The higher the soil is filled along with your foundation wall, the more the pressure. Simply put, as water saturates the backfill soil around your foundation, the water exerts pressure against the wall. When you think about it, there is nothing on the inside of the basement walls pushing back.
Waterproof paint cannot protect your basement against hydrostatic pressure pushing moisture in while exterior drainage systems will only fail over time. The water WILL get into your basement.
At the first sign of cracks in the basement walls or moisture intrusion after rainstorms (even if it’s small), homeowners should have an evaluation on fixing their basement to prevent prolonged effects that can result in catastrophic damage to the home and a very expensive repair. Ignoring the problem will not fix anything.
Tar Heel Basement Systems works diligently to help homeowners create a dry and stable home, even during inclement weather! To schedule your free evaluation, don’t hesitate– call our office today.