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Can Hydrostatic Pressure Damage My Home?

When rainwater saturates the soil around your home’s perimeter, water pressure in the soil rises and so does the potential for basement damage.

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As a homeowner, you probably know that water can damage your foundation in so many ways. If you have ever had a flooded basement, you know how stressful it is to restore this area to its previous state. Not only do you have to dry everything, but you need to throw out most of your possessions that were stored down there since they were destroyed. What is even worse, having water or moisture in your basement leads to mold growth. Mold releases spores that are then transferred through the air and spread all over your home, impacting your health and the health of your loved ones.  

Moisture in your basement can even compromise your home’s structural stability, and concrete walls will not prevent it from infiltrating this area. All of these primary and secondary issues can occur due to increased hydrostatic pressure around your home.  

bowing basement wall

What Is Hydrostatic Pressure? 

Concrete is porous, which means it can absorb water. But how does water manage to infiltrate your walls? Because of the hydrostatic pressure, of course. During rainy days, a large volume of water gets into the soil, where it builds up. It pressures the soil around your foundation and pushes the walls of your basement. This type of force is called hydrostatic pressure and unless it is kept under control, it can become very destructive and lead to cracks and bowing walls.  

Cause of Hydrostatic Problems  

As mentioned, when the soil gets overly saturated, hydrostatic pressure increases and leads to water intrusion. However, this doesn’t mean that this force can jeopardize your Manassas home only when it is raining or flooding or the snow begins to melt. Other events can cause hydrostatic pressure and one of them is excess troweling. If builders have troweled the concrete too soon or too much, they might have pulled the water from the concrete to the surface and caused moisture to accumulate on it. In addition, natural water sources in your area can cause increased hydrostatic pressure and impact your foundation. Installing vapor barriers with low permeability can also become an issue.  

Is Hydrostatic Pressure Threatening My Basement?   

Since you are aware of the problems hydrostatic pressure can cause, you are probably wondering how you can tell whether this force is jeopardizing your foundation.  The only way to establish the presence of hydrostatic pressure around your basement is to call a professional. An expert can provide a thorough inspection of your foundation and determine whether your home is in need of urgent waterproofing measures. 

Fixing the Problem  

There are several methods you can employ to protect your basement against the damage caused by hydrostatic pressure.  

Weep Hole Installation  

These holes allow water to drain from within your foundation walls. They are drilled into the masonry head joints above flashing courses and should be installed anywhere the cavity is interrupted. When they are drilled, they will remove water from the retaining walls and direct it toward the drain system. With weep holes, you will be able to alleviate hydrostatic pressure and prevent damage from occurring.  

Regrading Your Yard  

When the water has saturated the soil around your foundation, hydrostatic pressure rises and causes damage. Therefore, you need to make sure that water doesn’t pool around your home’s perimeter. To do this, ensure that your yard is properly graded. If rainwater rushes towards your home, you need to regrade your yard. Also, if you have any flower beds that need regular watering right next to your home, consider moving them someplace else.  

Maintaining Your Gutters  

To channel rainwater away from your home and prevent it from pooling, your gutters need to be free of any clogs. Since leaves, dirt, and other things can easily clog your gutters, make sure you clean them several times a year.  

Installing an Interior Drainage System   

An interior drainage system such as BasementGutter™ will keep your basement protected from water damage. It is installed along the perimeter of your basement and catches water before it can damage the interior due to hydrostatic pressure. An interior drainage system is placed below the ground and will not disrupt the visual aesthetics of your space. It is easily installed and its shape and water-capturing features make the BasementGutter™ highly effective against exterior seepage. The water collected by the interior drainage will be directed toward the sump pump system and from there will leave your home.  

Installing a Sump Pump  

A sump pump on its own can quickly discharge large volumes of water from your basement.  Our experts can install and connect it to your interior drainage system, so it also directs water collected by the drain away from your home. Keep in mind that you want a sump pump that has a battery backup. During stormy nights, you could be easily left without power. With a backup, you will be at ease knowing that the sump pump is working despite the blackout.  

Reach Out to Experts at JES Foundation Repair 

Hydrostatic pressure can harm your foundation in so many ways, so keeping it under control should be high on your list. Investing in quality waterproofing solutions can help you keep your basement dry, so you can even turn it into an additional living space. However, keep in mind that installing waterproofing solutions is not something you should do by yourself. To make sure that everything is done by the book and that your home is protected from water damage, contact professional foundation experts at JES Foundation Repair and schedule a free inspection

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