Problems with basement and crawl space moisture are, unfortunately, very common in our region. Aging and poorly constructed basement walls, along with clay soils common in the region and slightly acidic underground water combine to wreak havoc on foundations.
Causes: the first step in solving this frustrating problem is to identify where the water is coming from.
Surface Water: sometimes basement water issues are directly related to what is happening on the surface, just outside of the home. Inspecting the exterior of the home should always be the first priority as surface water issues can often be improved, or possibly even eliminated using less costly solutions, and may even prevent the need for any interior work.
Subsurface Water: when groundwater levels accumulate in the soils surrounding a foundation, water is pushed into the basement or crawl spaces by hydrostatic pressure. This pressure will push water through any hairline cracks in the walls, and even up through the basement floor.
Storm Sewer Water: some homes have perimeter foundation drain systems that are tied directly into their city’s storm water system. If the basement is below street level and the home does not have a sump pump, city storm water can potentially be pushed into the home’s perimeter foundation drain system, saturating the surrounding soil and causing hydrostatic pressure to bear down on the foundation.
Solutions: After a comprehensive evaluation, one or more of the following techniques will be used to resolve the issue.
Above-Slab Gutter System: this would be installed at the base of the exterior foundation walls, on top of the floor slab.
Below Slab Perimeter Drain System: this is considered to be the most effective solution. This requires the partial removal of the concrete floor slab and installation of drainage pipes.
Installing a Sump Pump: to help transport the water away from the foundation.