"Ways Water Affects a Basement"
"Whats the Difference?"
"Cracked, Bowed, and Bulging Walls"
"Do It Right The First Time"
"Is Your Wet Basement Making You Sick?"
"Want the Basement you Dream?"
"How Do I Get My Basement Looked at Fast?"
Watch Our Movie:
SUPER DRY BASEMENTSTM
(We Wrote The Book On Basement Waterproofing)
"Ways Water Affects a Basement"
The 3 Ways Water Can Affect A Basement
And Why Most Companies Will NOT Honestly Explain Them!
1. Surface Water
This is the way most homeowners, home inspectors, landscapers and builders understand water as it
affects a basement. Surface water is just water traveling across the surface topography of the land.
It is important to deal with if you have significant grade change and is covered in my book The Super
Dry Basement in chapter 4 Channeling Water Away From Your House. As we all know, rainwater does not
remain on the surface for long (when it does its called a puddle) ; it soaks into the earth where
2. Capillary Water:
Capillary water is water that has penetrated the earth and refers to the way it moves underground.
Underground water travels through veins and through and into underground rivers and streams or into
the surface water table. Have you ever been traveling down the highway in the winter and seen where
the road engineers blasted through a hill or mountain? In the winter time you can see icicles forming
on both side of the road, down the cut face. This is a result of a capillary veins in the earth getting
bisected or cut in half when they made the road. Prior to the basement being dug, water used to flow
from one side to the other. When a basement is dug for example capillary veins are cut in half and
then a dam (basement walls) is built in the way of the normal movement of underground water. Since
these veins are severed they now follow the path of least resistance and accumulate in the lowest
point of the excavation. Capillary water is the MOST important to understand because correcting
surface water runoff alone will not cure a basement water problem. In fact it is due to severing
these veins that we must add drainage piping around the base of the wall at all. Lastly if you have
the surface water and the capillary water under control this does NOT men the basement will remain
dry. The reason is there is still one final way for water to affect a basement that is:
3. Water table / Hydrostatic Pressure
The water table itself rises and falls like a yo-yo. There are two water tables, the deep water
table which our ancestors used for water and the surface water table which rises after and falls
after days of no precipitation. It is after prolonged periods of rain that the water table can
become a factor. If the seasonal high of the water table rises higher than the level of your floor
slab water is able to force its way into the basement where the floor meets the wall. Evidence of
this type of water problem manifests itself as three or more pronged cracks across the basement floor.
These cracks will usually cause some slight or sometimes major heaving upwards. This cracking of the
floor is caused by the pressure of the water table pushing upwards and exerting pressure on the bottom
of the floor slab. The only way to solve this problem is to install a drain pipe system under the
basement floor in order to relieve the pressure.
The best way to fix your home Depends on the type and nature of problems it is experiencing.
There is NO magic Patented System which solves ALL problems.
Most of what causes foundation problems could have been easily corrected prior to the house construction being finished.
In the old days the farmers were much smarter and more PRACTICAL than today’s modern builders.
In the old days farmers would look for high drained land. In the above diagram the farmers
started building at grade level and then they dug a pond in the side yard and used the
earth to grade up around the foundation. In this way they could eliminate all three water factors.