When you stroll around your yard on a sunny day, the ground around your house seems firm and dry, but if you dig down far enough you will eventually hit water. This is what is known as the ground water table. Heavy rains saturating the soil, and other natural climatic or geologic conditions tend to cause the water table to rise and fall with the seasons. So why is this important for my Baltimore Basement Waterproofing requirements?
Your Swimming Pool in Reverse
Should the ground water table it rise up close to ground level, your basement will virtually be acting as a swimming pool in reverse, keeping all that water out of your home, while it keeps it nice and dry for you, inside.
Now, what is important to know is that the ground water will be exerting what is known as hydrostatic pressure against the structure of your house. Ideally, therefore, it would be best if your basement foundations could always be above the water table, but that is really not within your control.
The Solution to Hydrostatic Pressure
The ability of water to find its way though tiny cracks and fissures can result in a multitude of damp related problems that can be a real headache to solve. So what really matters is that the foundation structure is in a good condition, and able to block the water pressure against the basement floor and walls.
The Effect of Gravity
After a heavy rain is over the saturated surface soil dries out as gravity causes the water to percolate downwards into the ground, but once it meets the water table, it builds back up, and this is what you have to solve. So how do you stop that water getting in? Waterproofing a basement below ground level requires a careful assessment of the conditions specific to your home, through a combination of different approaches. Here is where an expert contractor can assist you in finding the right way to go about it.
Sealants, Drains & Sump Pumps
Let’s briefly look at 3 of the main techniques and methods used to solve Baltimore basement waterproofing problems.
Interior Sealants & Coatings
With poured concrete foundations, and basement walls, expansion and contraction cracks and fissures that develop around pipes, are a very common source of water seepage entering the house. Various types of waterproofing compounds and epoxies are available which can be injected into openings, effectively sealing the seepage, provided one can identify and then reach the exact areas affected. For minor problems, other than real leaks, where the problem is moisture condensing on the walls, surface coatings are available, which if correctly applied and regularly maintained, can help.
Interior Drainage Systems
An interior French drain, incorporating a suitably filled covered drainage channel leading to a sump pump, is another widely used solution for serious leakage problems. The sump pump then discharges the water into an area far enough from the house to effectively prevent the water from seeping back.
This technique is recognized as being the most effective, but it requires excavating the area adjacent to the walls of the house down to the bottom of the foundation footings. The walls are then sealed externally with special flexible waterproofing membranes. A drainage system is then put in place to lead water away from the footings as an additional measure.
The advantage of this method, which makes it so effective, is that the hydrostatic pressure is now a positive pressure against the membrane, which in fact gives it an even better seal, as opposed to the negative pressure that results when internal coatings are used to try and prevent ingress of the water.
Prevention is Better Than Cure
While it is not possible to stop ground water rising, it is certainly possible to ensure that the down pipes and drainage from the roof and gutters of your home, discharge the rain water an effective distance away from your walls.
In addition grading the surface soil away from your walls, and not planting or watering up to your walls is another important step you can take to keep your basement dry and damp free.
Let us inspect your property and determine what solution is the most economical and efficient to solve your Baltimore basement waterproofing problem. We can definitely help you maintain a dry and comfortable basement for your home.