Do You Have A Wet Basement?
What causes a wet basement?
Typically, when a house is built, a hole is dug into the earth. If it were to rain, you would expect the hole to fill with water. When you put the house in the hole, the same thing happens - water fills the hole in the looser backfill around the foundation. In areas where the soil has clay in it, you get what is called the "Clay Bowl" effect.
- When your home was built, a hole was dug bigger than the foundation.
- The footing was installed first. It is the "foot" of your foundation and prevents it from sinking into the ground.
- Then the walls were built (they can be made of poured concrete, block, stone, even - rarely - treated wood). Then the footings were backfilled, and the floor was poured between the walls.
Then a footing drain is installed. It is a perforated pipe in a bed of 3/4" stone. When these stones lay on top of each other, they make 1/2" spaces in between. These spacers are to filter out the dirt from the water.
- Finally, the foundation is backfilled with the soil that was dug out of the hole. This soil is looser than the virgin earth since it was just disturbed. It will be looser for the life of the house and absorb water quicker than the virgin earth.
- The water then builds up in the backfill and causes hydrostatic pressure which pushes the water into the basement through cracks and joints, most commonly the floor-wall joint.
In areas like Kansas City, where the soil has clay in it, you especially get this effect. If you dug a hole in the ground and then rain follows, you could expect the hole to fill up with water, right? Well, when you put a house in this hole, the same thing happens - the water builds up in the looser backfill around the foundation!
When it comes to solving a wet basement problem, there are many possible solutions, including:
- Exterior Excavation
- Interior Subfloor
- Interior Baseboard System
- Negative-side Sealant
Among the best of these methods is the installation of either an interior subfloor drainage system or a baseboard drainage system along the perimeter of the floor. There are a few challenges to this method, however. One is to keep the drain from being clogged by mud over the years. Many homeowners go years without a water problem and then develop one due to the existing sub-floor and sub-surface drains clogging with mud.
Another challenge for subfloor systems is to set up the system to accept water from the walls without leaving a large unsightly gap at the edge of the floor which can collect dirt and debris from the floor - another potential for clogging the drain.
Dry Basement® Foundation Repair installs the No Water System®. The No Water System® is designed to meet these challenges and keep your basement dry permanently. Contact Dry Basement® Foundation Repair to further discuss the No Water System® system.