Junior S Fudge                                                                                                                                                                        Alberta Home Inspector Licence # 342230
Certified Professional Inspector                                                                                                                                                                                Alberta Home Inspection Business Licence # 342226                                                                                                                                                                                                    
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HYDROSTATIC PRESSURE

What is hydrostatic pressure?

Hydrostatic pressure in simple terms, just means water pressure.  It is one of the major causes of basement leaks and/or flooding.  Hydrostatic pressure is the force that the weight of ground water places against the basement walls.  The force pushes the water through the cove joints, chinks, cracks and holes of the walls and floors, when the water table is higher than the foundation floor itself, and causes flooding.  
When there is so much rainfall and/or snow melt soaking into the ground, adding to the water table, this creates a tremendous pressure.  More than often, drain systems are clogged and fail to work properly.  As the water works its way downwards through the ground, it carries sediment, soil, sand and mud with it, and it usually covers and eventually blocks the drain system.  Thus, this causes the water table to rise and pressure its way through the foundation walls and floor.

What can be done to help prevent hydrostatic pressure?

Installing a new drainage system outside or inside your foundation is the best solution.  A good drainage system can handle the excess water, and carry it away from the foundation.  The goal is to relieve the hydrostatic pressure, and keep the foundation dry. 

Installing An Outside Drainage System

Installing an outside drainage system involves digging around the perimeter of the homes foundation.  Once down to the footer, applying a good foundation coating is recommended.   A new drainage tile system is then placed along by the footers, and trenched away from the home, usually by gravity flow. The trench will then be filled with loose gravel, and covered with a material capable of filtering the water.  Then soil is added to the remaining space, and the grounds can be landscaped again.

Installing An Inside Drainage System

Installing an inside drainage system involves cutting and removing about 12 inches of the concrete floor around the perimeter of the basement.  Then a trench is dug to install the new drainage tile system.  The new drainage tile system is usually then connected to a sump and pump.  After the new drainage tile system is installed, the concrete floor is then repaired.  The system then allows for water to flow through to the sump and pump, and be pumped to the outside and away from the homes foundation, keeping the inside dry.
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