Hydrostatic pressure describes the outward and downward pressure caused by standing water pushing against an object or surface that blocks it, which in this case, would be your basement walls. It is the most common cause of basement water penetration. Central Ohio soils are known to be thick clay that easily retain moisture. During the wet months, these soils can put hydrostatic pressure on the walls causing a shift of inward movement.
Typically, you will see a horizontal crack two or three courses down from the top cinder block. This happens when the underground sections of your home are blocking the natural movement of groundwater. When the soils become heavily saturated, your basement walls will start to show these signs of stress.
A few things you should check first if you are noticing signs of hydrostatic pressure are the functionality of your downspout laterals and the grading around your home. All of your gutters and downspout laterals should be in clear and working condition to optimize the opportunity of water running away from the home. The downspout laterals should be connected underground and exit curbside. Proper grading will allow the water to travel away from the structure. Blocked or non-function downspouts and improper grading can cause the soils surrounding your home to become excessively wet which will lead to unwanted hydrostatic pressure on the walls.
If you have checked these items and still have water getting into your basement, B-Level can help. We can install an interior or exterior waterproofing system that can save your wet basement.
Leaving moisture issues in your basement unaddressed for too long can cause structural damage. If you notice your basement walls are bowing inward or outward and/or cracks in the walls, B-Level can reinforce them with steel beams, carbon fiber straps or wall anchors.
Hydrostatic pressure is a seemingly common issue, but still should be taken seriously. Contact B-Level today if you are noticing any of these issues and we can provide a remedy to fix.
Written by: Project Manager, Butch Storts