Common Basement Water Issues

foundation damageSome homeowner dilemmas seem very simple until you have to contend with them. If someone asked you about basement water problems, a few basic ideas may pop to mind: accidental flood, damp concrete or unpleasant odors. Until you suffer with your own basement water challenges in your Atlanta-area home, however, you probably are unaware of the many issues a little water can cause.

Basement Water Issues

You may observe warning signs of basement water issues, but you must come to your basement with fresh eyes—and a fresh nose—to notice them:

  • Damp, musty odor
  • Mold—the air is naturally full of mold spores seeking moist, mineral-rich surfaces
  • Efflorescence—the whitish mineral deposits that remain when mineral-laden water evaporates
  • Water lines on the outside of basement windows—improper drainage may cause water to temporarily rise against your exterior walls during heavy rains
  • Water marks on basement interior walls—signs of past flooding may be evident in one or more “bathtub rings”
  • You may also notice bowed walls, succumbing to hydrostatic pressure from water in the soil surrounding your foundation.

A Regional Problem

Atlanta winters can bring the same wintry mix of snow, sleet and ice our northern friends “enjoy,” with the average low in January a chilly 35 degrees. June, July and August routinely see temperatures averaging 85 degrees. With roughly 50 inches of precipitation a year (on average), our area needs soil that can readily shed this runoff across a wide range of temperatures, without damaging your foundation.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, our area has a lot of “sandy loams (combination of sand and silt),” which you have probably discovered for yourself without the benefit of the USDA’s data.

Think of the last hole you dug, to put in a shrub, for example. You probably found a sand and red clay mix that sheds water, but more slowly than the high sand content you see in, say, Florida or South Carolina.

This means a lot of water can sit against your foundation, susceptible to the fluctuating temperatures of our region. A few freeze and thaw cycles can wreak havoc with your foundation walls.

Finding the Solution

slide-1At Engineered Solutions of Georgia, we have years of experience in addressing every type of basement water issue. Look to us to expertly and quickly provide solutions:

  • Waterproof your basement
  • Seal leaking basement walls
  • Repair basement wall cracks

If your basement leaks when it rains, you have a different issue than a basement that holds standing water, even in dry periods. Cracked walls are not the same as a cracked floor, for example, and would require some different answers. At Engineered Solutions of Georgia, we work with you to diagnose and cure the leaky basement.

Ways to Solve Your Problem

If you are one of the fortunate few in the Atlanta area to own a backhoe, you probably can trench around your home’s foundation and resolve exterior water infiltration yourself. You may even enjoy digging a deep, wide hole directly against your home’s foundation walls, waterproofing them, and then backfilling, all around your home.

If you happen to be a structural engineer, you probably do not need to consult with us to determine how to safely waterproof your basement and preserve the vital structures supporting your house.

On the other hand, if you lack the tools, experience or bravery to do your own exterior waterproofing, or you never quite found time to complete your structural engineering degree, contact us at Engineered Solutions of Georgia. We have staff structural engineers. We have extensive experience with all types of foundation repairs. We have professional technicians and the right equipment to resolve your basement water problem.