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Basement Leaks – Understanding Hydrostatic Pressure

basement leaksWhen you first purchased your home, you knew certain pressures like paying your monthly mortgage and utilities were part of the package. However, dealing with hydrostatic pressure and basement leaks probably wasn’t on your list of expected items.

Basement Leaks and Hydrostatic Pressure

Hydrostatic pressure is the weight of water when it’s 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 empty space in the soil outside of your foundation is filled with water, as it would be temporarily during a period of rain, it will cause hydrostatic pressure to push the water into your basement.

Basement Leaks – The Breakdown

Understanding hydrostatic pressure may seem confusing, however let’s start with the basics.

hydrostatic pressure bowed basement walls

Most foundation walls aren’t built to withstand the added pressure caused by hydrostatic movement. This hydrostastic pressure will force your basement wall to push inward, resulting in a bowed wall.

Any true discussion of hydrostatic pressure must begin with a conversation about the water table. Your home is actually built on top of a layer of ground water called a water table. If you have ever seen old fashioned water wells, then you may be familiar with the concept of the water table. The amount of water located in your water table depends on your proximity to large bodies of water. For example, if you live in cities such as Dumfries or Woodbridge, Virginia the water table under your home will be much higher because you are closer to the Potomac River than someone living in Rappahannock, VA.

Your proximity is not the only factor that affects the height of your home’s water table. How much rain your area receives is also a major factor. On average, the state of Virginia gets about 44.4 inches of rain annually, which is a significant amount compared to the rest of the United States.

On average, the state of Virginia gets about 44.4 inches of rain annually, which is a significant amount compared to the rest of the United States.

Just think about it, as rain seeps into the ground, your water table will continue to rise because the ground is unable to soak up all the water. This rising water will then place added pressure on your basement walls causing all of the pressurized water to find its way into cracks in your foundation walls and floor, resulting in a leaky basement. And nobody wants to live with basement leaks.

Basement Leaks – How To Control the Water

As a homeowner, there are many basement waterproofing solutions available to keep your basement dry. You don’t have to live with basement leaks. At JES Foundation Repair our team of in-house basement waterproofing experts have warrantied solutions for basements and foundations of all types. Whether you need to install a sump pump or add an egress window, window well or surface drainage system, JES will get rid of your basement leaks.

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