Why are basements subject to waterproofing problems?
As the name clearly implies, a basement is the area at the lowest point of a building. As everyone knows, this is an area that is often subject to waterproofing problems. In most homes, the basement is fully, or at least partially below ground level, and the big problem is how to keep exterior damp from getting in.
Ground moisture and the water table
Now, all soil has a certain amount of moisture present in it. If we dig down below ground level and keep going, we will eventually hit earth that is completely saturated with water. We are now at what is commonly referred to as the upper surface of the water table.
The power of hydrostatic pressure
From time to time, geological and weather conditions cause the amount of water present in the water table to increase, so that this level rises up closer and closer to ground surface. Once it actually reaches the level of the basement walls, it starts exerting a positive hydrostatic pressure against the outside of the building structure, and here is where most basement waterproofing problems start.
Why are foundations so hard to seal permanently?
Obviously, the solution would be to permanently seal and waterproof the foundations of the home as it is being built. Experience, however, has shown that this is easier said than done.
Given that the original foundations were well sealed, ground movement, can cause solid structures to shift and crack, and the resulting cracks are no barrier to moisture. This movement may have resulted from the gradual settling of the earth due to a variety of causes, most of which were probably not even present at the time the house was planned.
The signs of damp make themselves known
The hydrostatic pressure of water is now powerful enough to force its way through the hair cracks that may have gradually formed, and the accumulation of this moisture will eventually makes its presence known in a variety of ways.
The most common sign is a musty, damp smell that permeates the air of the basement, and is impossible to eradicate. Eventually mold spores will start growing, with the appearance of mildew and even fungi, and the need to solve the waterproofing problems becomes ever more urgent. Damp spots may make their appearance on the walls with peeling paint, and powdered efflorescence, and ultimately puddles of water may appear on the floor.
People and not only houses are at risk
Respiratory ailments and allergies caused by the musty, dank conditions are all too common, and it is essential that an urgent solution be found, before it gets even worse. Simply closing up the basement is no solution, as the damp will inevitably affect the woodwork and other structural aspects of the entire house. Pests may start appearing and rot can set in. Altogether an unpleasant and unwanted experience.
Fortunately, the solution is not far off!
Fortunately, an expert firm of waterproofing contractors will be able to pinpoint the cause of the problem, and a solution can always be found to alleviate it. The point to bear in mind is that the earlier the problem is tackled the easier and more economical the solution will be.
Should you be experiencing basement waterproofing problems which haven’t responded to simple DIY repair attempts, call in your local professionals for a free consultation. The results will be that you will have the useful space that the basement previously provided available again. Now, when you open the front door after being out of the house for a while you will be greeted by the clean, fresh smell that you used to know. Call us and free yourself of the all the unwanted dampness and its associated waterproofing problems.