WHY DO BASEMENTS LEAK?
Every basement will eventually leak. Let’s take a look at some of the most common reasons.
Cove Joint Seepage
This diagram illustrates how water most commonly enters a basement through the wall and floor joint (this is called the cove joint, and it’s present in all cinder block and poured concrete foundations). Poured concrete walls tend to leak near crack points vs block which is more absorbent and tends to leak in a radiant pattern.
Exterior drainage will eventually become clogged with sediment and dirt. Even if the pipe is clear, the small holes or slits that allow water to enter the pipe will clog. This allows the water table to rise around the house creating hydrostatic pressure.
Once the water is at a level above your basement’s lowest point, hydrostatic pressure is constantly applied to your foundation walls and floor. Water will follow the path of least resistance (through your walls and seams) in order to find its level.
Loose Dirt and the Clay Bowl Effect
The fill dirt around your house is less dense than the original soils that have not been disturbed. Settlement of the fill dirt can continue for 7 to 10 years. Combined with seasonal expansion and contraction, it will put much pressure on your foundation walls.
Water that flows and settles around your house in the fill dirt decomposes the lime in your concrete or concrete block and mortar joints. Concrete and concrete blocks are made of sand, stone and lime (lime is the bonding agent in the formula).
Exterior waterproofing treatments deteriorate over time as they are subjected to hydrostatic pressure and freeze/thaw cycles. Once this occurs, the water starts seeping through the porous concrete walls creating leaks and possible structural damage.
THERE ARE FIVE MAJOR COMPONENTS OF A WATERPROOFING SYSTEM
Drainage products are placed under the floor in the basement to collect and discharge all storm water from the basement. It is very important that the drain system can accommodate a high volume of water. An undersized drain system won’t be able to handle the demand during heavy rainfall and flooding will occur.
Wall Moisture / Vapor Barriers
Moisture barriers are nonporous products applied to the interior of the foundation. All moisture and vapor is prevented from entering the interior of the basement. A basement that is waterproofed without moisture barriers will continue to have moisture and dampness on the interior walls.
All water must be properly discharged from the drain system. A pumping system is installed to remove all collected water from the structure. It is important to have a pump that is capable of removing the volume of water collected by the system. If a sump pump cannot meet the demands of the system, basement flooding occurs.
How do our sump pumps work?
- As water accumulates around the foundation, it is collected by the drainage system.
- The water is then dumped into the sealed sump pump basin, which stores the water until it reaches a certain level.
- Once the water level in the basin is high enough to engage the float switch, the sump pump removes the excess water, discharging it away from the foundation and away from causing more problems in your home.
The primary sump pump will operate as long as it is receiving power. You will want to consider a battery backup system (as described below) if power goes out often in your area.
A backup system takes over pumping duties whenever power service is disrupted. Without a backup system, flooding will occur when power to the home is disrupted. A proper backup system will maintain the required pumping capacity of the system until power is restored.
The foundation walls must be inspected for any damage caused by hydrostatic pressure. Bowing walls, broken mortar, stair stepping, are just a few of the issues we see every day. If there is damage, the integrity of the entire foundation could be at risk. Schedule your Free Inspection and Estimate Today!
Call Aladdin Home Solutions For A Free Basement Waterproofing Estimates.