Fluid Dynamics Are Causing You Home Foundation Problems
To understand why basement waterproofing is a good idea for any building with a subterranean basement, you need to know a little bit about fluid dynamics. Hydrostatic pressure is the main culprit when it comes to a leaky basement. In fact, hydrostatic pressure may result in rotting floorboards, mold, bacteria, a cracked foundation or flooded basement. There are a lot more causes to home foundation problems, but first, it is a good idea to understand what, exactly, the home is built on.
The ground around the house isn’t just dirt, which holds a ton of moisture. Dirt and rocks are at the whim of the water that it is suspended in. The water that suspends the ground around the home is called the water table. The water table is the line at which the water ends, much like where the water ends in your glass. In this case, the ice comes up above the water in your glass, creating a solid top. But the foundation of your home is like the walls of a glass. It holds back both the ice and water.
The submerged basement walls are in direct contact with the water table and the dirt. The builders of your home constructed your basement walls powerful enough to hold back the earth and ground water. But over time, the hydrostatic pressure may change. This can break through the walls of your basement.
Hydrostatic pressure is the pressure of a standing body of water. The water table is a standing body of water with dirt and rocks suspended in it. If the water table rises, the hydrostatic pressure rises. This is because there is more force being pushed down upon the water at the bottom of the water table from the water resting at the top.
The easiest way to understand this is the pressure that you feel when you swim down to the bottom of pool. You feel the hydrostatic pressure building as you get deeper. So when the water table rises, the pressure of the water pressing up against the basement walls rises as well. The added stress can then crack the integrity of your basement walls.
This pressure becomes exponential with a changing of the seasons. As the ground freezes, the water expands, putting more pressure on the building. After years of pounding, it may be a good idea to revisit waterproofing the basement.