Basement water-control simply means that the water in and around the building foundation is being controlled. Buildings have numerous systems, including gutters and downspouts that are meant to control the water and keep it from entering the building. A basement water-control system is a system that captures the water and routes it out of and away from the building.
Water in soil causes hydrostatic pressure to be exerted underneath basement floors and walls. This hydrostatic pressure can force water in cracks, which can cause major structural damage as well as mold, decay, and other moisture-related problems.
Water seepage in basements and crawl spaces usually occurs over long periods of time and can be caused by numerous factors. A full assessment of the property should be performed prior to considering the installation of a water-control system. An assessment should include:
- A visual walk-through of the basement and/or crawlspace,
- An exterior inspection, including roof, gutter, downspout, landscaping, etc.
- An interior inspection, including plumbing, appliance exhausts, etc.
Typical assessments reveal:
- High humidity levels which could lead to structural damage and mold contamination.
- Pockets of air that have developed in the concrete, causing the concrete to crack, which then allows water to force its way through the wall or floor.
- Movement in foundations or footings caused by the building settling, soil erosion around the foundation, or seismic activity, which allows water to force its way in.
- Damaged or clogged exterior weeping tile, gutters or downspouts that were installed to direct water away from the property that is now allowing the rainwater to be absorbed by the soil at the foundation adding to the hydrostatic pressure.
- Hydrostatic pressure from soil saturation, causing enough pressure to force the water through cracks, gaps, and openings.
- Water build-up in window wells during or after heavy raining or snow, leading to leaks in basement window seams.
All these issues should be addressed prior to considering a basement water-control system.
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