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Hydrostatic Pressure

If your basement waterproofing is not as it should be or if you are having trouble with wet basement walls, one of the main reasons for this could be a phenomenon called hydrostatic pressure. The simplest way to explain hydrostatic pressure is that it is the force that water or any liquid exerts on its surroundings when it is at rest.

Hydro means water and static means’ ‘at rest’ or ‘not moving’. While you may be aware of the problems flowing water gives out, and you may have even seen the level of erosion it can be responsible for, but water at rest is also an issue.

Concrete and bricks are solid. There is no doubt about it but it is also not solid in the same way a glass bottle or an aluminum can is, in the way it interacts with water. When concrete walls come into contact with water, they can go through them. Technically speaking, concrete isn’t water tight and that is why you need to have additional basement waterproofing done to make it that way.

The main reason for concrete not being water tight is that concrete is poured into molds and slabs or walls are created after which the mixture dries out, all the moisture in it is drawn out, leaving minute pockets of air inside the material. In this case, there will be clear cut capillary pathways in the solid walls. So when water touches the wall and if it is in the right place, it will take the path of least resistance and simply pass through.

What to Do?

Concrete, brick and mortar will never truly be water tight unless they are sealed off, and all those little capillaries are closed with an external covering. The first thing to do, is prevent water from entering or making your walls wet. Basement waterproofing is the key so call in an expert, survey your house, get it done.

The next step is to make sure water doesn’t pool up around your walls. Downspouts and gutters tend to leave water stagnating around the walls, so make sure they are directed away from the immediate vicinity. Use sprinklers as much as they are needed and nothing more. The land around your home should slant away from the house at all times, never let your house sit at the bottom of a crater.

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