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What Is a High Water Table?

flooding outside a home with a high water table

A water table may be a fun summertime toy for the little ones, but in terms of construction, it is a phenomenon that can cause many issues for North Carolina homeowners.

From regular basement floods to sewer system backups and structural damage, the impact of a high water table is often far-reaching. Learn more about water tables, what you can do to manage the challenges that come with having a high water table, and how local basement waterproofing professionals can help. 

What Is a Water Table? 

A water table is an underground boundary between the soil surface and the area where groundwater is saturating soil and gravel. A water table can fluctuate with the seasons as climate variations affect it.   

What Causes a High Water Table? 

A water table rises when it receives more water than it can drain off. This can be from unusually high amounts of rain, melting snow, or excess water from higher elevations.  

Soil porosity also contributes to a high water table. If the soil under your home drains efficiently, a high water table may not be a problem. But if the soil is dense and absorbent, the chances of a high water table developing is pretty high.

Other factors that cause a high water table include: 

  • Drainage patterns 
  • Geological formations  
  • Proximity to surface water bodies 

How a High Water Table Could Affect You 

When the soil surrounding your home gets wet, it swells and exerts hydrostatic pressure against your foundation walls. This forces water to infiltrate your concrete floor and walls, and it may result in foundation cracks, shifting, and high humidity. Left unchecked, these issues may compromise your home’s structural integrity.  

A high water table can also instigate mold growth, which can lead to serious respiratory health issues. Mold growth can also contaminate your indoor air, leaving you with musty odors. To protect your household from these issues, contact a professional foundation repair and basement waterproofing expert. 

Signs of a High Water Table 

Additionally, keep an eye out for these signs: 

standing water in a yard due to a high water table
  • Watermarks on Walls and Timbers: A water table pushing up under a suspended floor hydrates the subfloor area, causing your timber flooring and skirting to absorb moisture. 
  • Flooding: A high water table often rises above the basement floor, which almost always causes flooding in these areas.  
  • Standing Water: Pooling water is common with high water tables, especially after it rains. The excess water can pool in your yard, creating a breeding ground for mosquitoes.  
  • Septic System Failure: An elevated water table interferes with septic systems. Septic tanks in such areas easily waterlog and flood. This may result in flooding in your house and toilets failing to drain water properly. 

How to Fix High Water Table Problems 

There are many things you can do to mitigate the effects of a high water table. Start with these three methods: 

1. Seal Existing Cracks 

This step involves filling cracks to stop water from entering your home. If the cracking is extensive, you may need to have professional foundation repair solutions installed. 

2. Maintain Gutters and Downspouts 

Exterior drainage components need to be in good, working order. Clean and clog-free gutters and downspouts can prevent overflows in a downpour. More importantly, make sure your downspouts extend 10 feet away from your foundation’s footing. If necessary, consider running extensions and placing these lines in the ground. 

3. Install Interior Waterproofing Solutions 

crew installing a basement sump pump

An interior drainage system is ideal for situations where water enters the basement through a cove joint. A cove joint is the juncture where the basement wall meets the floor. Install the drain tile along the perimeter of your basement, just underneath the basement floor. The perforated pipes help to alleviate hydrostatic pressure and carry the excess water off to a sump pump for discharge from the foundation. 

The sump pump removes large amounts of water from your basement quickly, preventing flooding. A reliable sump pump system will always have a battery backup. 

Contact Tar Heel Basement Systems for Reliable Waterproofing Solutions

At Tar Heel Basement Systems, we understand how elevations in the water table can damage your foundation and cause basement floods. You can experience peace of mind, healthier living conditions, and a dry basement once again once we install customized basement waterproofing solutions.

To keep your basement dry and foundation stable, contact us to schedule a free basement waterproofing inspection today! Homeowners throughout North Carolina trust our exceptional customer service and lasting solutions, and you can too!

High Water Table FAQs

If you discover water under your house, identify the source, address leaks, improve drainage, and consider professional assistance from Tar Heel Basement Systems for comprehensive waterproofing solutions. 

Water intrusion can be due to wall or floor cracks, seepage, internal leaks, inadequate landscaping, and gutters. Reach out to Tar Heel Basement Systems for a free inspection to determine the cause and the best repair solutions. 

Waterproofing a basement doesn’t have a one-size-fits-all solution. Common applications include interior drainage, sump pumps, and dehumidifiers. In more severe cases, addressing bowing walls and sinking floors may require replacing joists and beams.

Holly Richards-Purpura

Holly Richards-Purpura

Content Writer

Holly is a Content Writer for Groundworks who has written and edited web content for the foundation services industry for almost 10 years. With a background in journalism, her passion for the written word runs deep. Holly lives in Columbus, OH, with her husband. Along with educating homeowners, she also has a big heart for the Big Apple.

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