WHERE THE HECK DID THIS WHITE POWDER COME FROM???
No, I am not talking about snow! Or dandruff! The white powder I am talking about is the one on the walls in the basement. If you don't remember seeing this before, there is a good chance it wasn't there before. Maybe you have be noticing it for years and really didn't know what it was and what it could mean. Maybe you had a gut feeling it was not something you wanted to find in your home and convinced yourself it really was 'no big deal'.
That seemingly innocent white stuff is called efflorescence and its a sign of water in that area; or rather what is left once the water has evaporated. Efflorescence is a white chalk like powder that is made up of the minerals found in concrete, soil and water. Think of salt on our boots in the winter once the moisture left after the snow has dried. Efflorescence itself isn't toxic but it's a sign there is water leaking into your basement through the foundation that could allow toxins to grow in your home if it is not addressed. Standing water isn't the only sign that moisture has been there. Water is sneaky but usually leaves us some signs that it has been lurking around. This powder tells us that water is moving through your masonry in ways that are not intended. Before you just wipe this way and consider it a 'one off' situation further investigation is warranted. The presence of uncontrolled water can lead to more serious, very costly issues to mitigate such as mold and structural problems. Any water outside the plumbing system in our home requires further investigation before it becomes a much bigger problem. Waterproofing is the way to keep that water out of your home for good.
OH THE PRESSURE!!!
Just like most of us, our homes are under pressure every day. Pressure affects us even if we are in perfect health as it is a force that causes deterioration and wears us down. Our homes are no different and they are subject to the pressures of nature: wind, extreme cold, extreme heat and water to name just a few. When pressure increases, the potential for damage increases. When water pressure increases, the potential for basement leaks increases. Water always follows the path of least resistance and ALWAYS finds an opening no matter how small and inconsequential it seems on the surface. Hydrostatic pressure can easily drive groundwater into the basement through gaps and cracks in the foundation. High water pressure can also cause seepage through solid poured concrete. "Hydrostatic Pressure” simply refers to a water pressure. All homes have water around the foundation to some degree. The engineering and construction that goes into building our homes takes this factor into account during the design and building process by building our homes "to Code". Even the most well designed and well-constructed basement foundation can’t guarantee a watertight barrier against hydrostatic pressure as this is an ever changing condition. Homes are built "to Code" and not to withstand those ever increasing "100 year storms". Additional waterproofing is a great investment and the best way of protecting your most valuable asset. This asset protects the people that matter the most to us - our families!
This hydrostatic pressure is a major cause of basement water problems. With fluctuation weather patterns and water levels come varying pressures on our homes. Water weighs about 60 lbs per cubic foot. Soil, like all materials eventually reaches a level of saturation where it can no longer absorb any more water. Once the soil around your basement reaches this point, there could be tens of thousands of pounds of hydrostatic pressure against your foundation walls and floor slab. With pressure this significant it's highly likely that water will find its way through even the smallest crack or gap in your basement foundation.
WHAT IS THE BEST WAY TO REMOVE THE PRESSURE?
The traditional approach of waterproofing from the outside can be used to combat the hydrostatic pressure. With proper drainage installation and the application of the two layer of waterproofing membranes, the affect of the water pressure can be altered.
An integrated interior waterproofing system that relieves pressure is another tried and true approach. Interior drainage systems collect water where the basement floor meets the basement wall. By not relying solely on outside drains that can clog with silt or roots, interior systems work continuously to funnel water to a connected sump pump that automatically channels any water to the outside.
We want homeowners to know that having a dry basement is possible. You don't have to live with this damp, musty and moldy space in your home. Our basements don't have to be the place we hate going into. We can help you make the most out of this potential living space in your home. We solve all kinds of basement water problems and will help you determine the approach that is right for you and your home.
We've got your solution! Just give us a call so we can make your home work for you.