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How to Relieve Hydrostatic Pressure

Water can infiltrate your basement and cause a lot of damage due to increased hydrostatic pressure. Here is what you can do to avoid this problem.

There are many uses for a basement. Have a crib your kids have outgrown but you cannot get rid of it because of sentimental reasons? Put it in the basement. Have a collection of old magazines you don’t wish to throw out? It goes in the basement! Your home has become too small and you need a new guest room? Turn your basement into a living space. It can also serve as a gym, a media room, or an additional bathroom.   

However, to be able to use your basement for any of these purposes, you need to waterproof it properly. Otherwise, water will end up in it due to hydrostatic pressure. Simply put, hydrostatic pressure is pressure put on your foundation walls and floors by the water pooling around them. The water pushing against the walls is applying pressure, and since concrete is permeable, it eventually passes through the walls.  

A flooded basement is no picnic, and not only will you have to throw out nearly everything the water has touched, but you also have to clean the floor and the walls and hope to avoid mold growth. After all, mold and mildew thrive in dark and moist places, which makes a flooded basement their ideal habitat. What is even worse, mold releases airborne spores that can contaminate your entire home and impact the health of your loved ones, especially those with existing respiratory problems.   

While flooding is an obvious problem since you can easily spot a large volume of water in your basement, moisture is something on another level. It is more subtle and yet causes almost the same level of damage.

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What Can Cause Hydrostatic Pressure Issues? 

Most often, hydrostatic pressure increases during rainy periods. When the rain falls, it saturates the soil, making it expand. The hydrostatic pressure rises causing water intrusion. The same thing can happen when there are floods or large amounts of snow begin to melt in spring. Excess troweling can also cause hydrostatic problems. When the builders trowel the concrete too much or too soon they can pull the water from the mixture to the surface and cause moisture accumulation on it. Also, water resources such as lakes and rivers can cause problems with high hydrostatic pressure.  

Solving Problems with Hydrostatic Pressure   

Luckily, there are several ways you can relieve hydrostatic pressure in your basement and keep your Cleveland, OH, home safe. 

Properly Grading Your Yard  

When the soil becomes saturated, water can infiltrate your basement due to hydrostatic pressure. To prevent the soil around your home’s perimeter from being saturated, you need to make sure that your yard is properly graded. In other words, rainwater should be directed away from your home and foundation, not towards it. If you notice that the water is pooling around your home during heavy rains, you need to regrade your yard. Also, if you have flower beds next to your house that require a lot of water, consider moving them someplace else. 

Cleaning Your Gutters  

Gutters keep the water from the roof from pooling next to your home. However, if they are clogged, water will spill over the edge and soak the soil around your house. Therefore, make sure you clean your gutters from leaves, dirt, and other things that could cause any kind of blockage. 

Consider the Benefits of Weep Holes  

These small holes are drilled into the masonry head joints and let the water out from your foundation walls and lower the hydrostatic pressure. The excess water that leaves your walls will be directed toward the drain system. This is an effective way to prevent hydrostatic pressure from damaging your foundation walls. 

Getting a Sump Pump  

If you are worried that your basement will flood, installing a sump pump can help you be at ease. It can discharge large volumes of water in a short amount of time, so it will dry out your basement before the water gets to cause a lot of damage. The sump pump can also be connected with an interior drainage system, and discharge water collected by the drain away from your home. To make sure that your pump will work at all times, you should invest in a battery backup. This way, the sump pump will function even during a blackout.  

Opt for Interior Drainage  

Unlike standard French drains that are installed outside the foundation, BasementGutter™ is installed along the perimeter of your basement. Therefore, it won’t get clogged by dirt or plant roots. Its main task is to collect excess water so that it doesn’t enter your basement due to hydrostatic pressure. Another great thing about an interior drainage system is that it won’t disrupt the preferred look of your space. It can be easily installed and is highly effective against exterior seepage. The water collected by the BasementGutter™ will end up in the sump pit, which brings us to the next step. 

Is Hydrostatic Pressure Going to Damage Your Foundation? 

As a homeowner, you surely wish to know whether your basement is in danger of becoming impacted by high hydrostatic pressure. Luckily, there are simple ways you can detect increased pressure. You could place a plastic sheet over your walls, securing it with duct tape. Leave the sheet for a while and see whether water droplets form on it. You can also use a device to measure humidity levels in your basement. However, the most recommended way is to simply call your local foundation experts and have them assess the situation.   

Contact Your Local Basement Waterproofing Experts 

If you wish to waterproof your basement, contact experts at Ohio Basement Systems and schedule a free estimate

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