Why Do I Have Water In My Basement?
Most people believe water problems are caused by poor grading or down spouts that outlet water too close to the home. While it’s true either of these can exacerbate a water issue this is typically only a small part of the problem.
As it rains, water sinks through the area around the foundation. As it builds up your foundation walls and floor come under stress from what’s called hydrostatic pressure. Remember when you were a kid and you tried to push a ball into the pool? The deeper you got the harder it was to keep that ball submerged. For all intents and purposes your basement or any below grade structure is the ball and the area around the foundation is the pool.
The heavier the rain the more pressure on the walls and floor making it more likely water will enter your home. That’s why grading and downspouts will help in moving water away from the foundation, but in a heavy rain there is too much water to make a difference. A pressure relief system or exterior waterproofing is typically necessary to relieve or handle this pressure.
I Don’t See Any Cracks Or Holes – How Is The Water Getting In?
In leaky basements you will typically first notice water entering where the wall meets the floor or the floor/wall joint. In actuality the water is initially entering where the wall meets the footing of the home, which typically sits two to five inches below the existing floor level. This is where the hydrostatic pressure is the greatest since it’s the lowest point of entry.
Do Sealers And Other Do-It-Yourself Sealers Work?
Even if you only see a small amount of water it is typically not possible to waterproof your basement with sealers from the interior. This is due to the fact that when you see even a small amount of water it is usually just the tip of the iceberg.
As you can imagine, it takes a tremendous amount of water pressure to force its way through ten to twenty inches of stone or concrete. So a painted-on sealer without the aid of a Pressure Relief System will not be able to handle the pressure and will fail.
Is This Covered By Home Owner’s Insurance?
Most, if not all, homeowner’s insurance policies will cover only water damage from interior water problems and do not cover the infiltration of groundwater.
That’s why we try to work with all our customers using a number of options to make these systems affordable to everyone. Call or email us about financing options. We’re happy to answer any questions and design a customized program to fit your needs.
Will An Interior French Drain Or Pressure Relief System Undermine The Structural Integrity Of My Home?
Not if the system is installed correctly. Homes are built on footings and the foundation walls are built on top of the footings. Basement floors have little or no structural support. We do not disturb the walls or footings when our system is installed. Be wary of companies who think bigger and deeper is better. All piping should be kept at least two inches above the base of the footing and it’s important to use shallower sump pump basins installed away from the footing. This is to prevent what is called wash out.
When inexperienced waterproofers dig too deep and enter what’s called the zone of influence (the zone of influence is the compacted earth that sits beneath the footing at a 45 degree angle) you can literally wash the earth away and undermine the homes foundation leading to structural damages.
Use your new knowledge to test potential waterproofing contractors.