The Power Of Water
Water covers around 70 percent of the surface of our planet. It carved out the Grand Canyon and the Upper Mississippi River Valley. Frozen water flattened the Great Plains, and water vapor can form massive thunderstorms which generate thousands of lightning bolts. Water is the universal solvent, because most every solid can dissolve in it. It’s no wonder, then, that our buildings are designed to keep water as far away as possible.
The roof of nearly every building humans ever built is slanted to one extent or another so that water can’t form puddles. Such puddles will, after all, press down on the roof, causing it to deform and eventually buckle under the weight. Even modern buildings made of steel and concrete aren’t immune, and although modern skyscrapers and other tall buildings appear to have flat roofs, they are actually very slightly slanted so that rainwater will run off and down the drain.
Foundations and basements are also carefully constructed to minimize the effects of water. Many (but unfortunately not all) contractors will backfill a foundation wall with sand and gravel, which means that they fill the part of the hole that sits outside the foundation with rocks and stones which allow water to sift through and settle in a layer beneath the foundation’s base.
However, other contractors backfill with clay, a material that swells when it’s wet and shrinks when it’s dry. This puts pressure on the foundation walls, causing them to crack, and in the north the situation gets even worse since frozen wet clay takes up even more space.
If you’re worried about how waterproof your house is, you should consider bringing in professionals like AA Action Waterproofing. There could be any of a dozen issues with your home’s construction or with its current state, and you owe it to yourself and to your property’s value to have someone with the knowhow and the experience take a look and decide what’s in good shape and what needs to change. If you live in or near the state of Maryland, let us know what you need and we’ll send back a free estimate. And don’t forget: an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.