Cracked, leaking foundations are more common than you might think. In fact, living in a place like Vancouver, BC, where the annual rainfall is markedly higher than many places in the world, it is only to be expected that foundations – situated as they are below ground, pressed against soggy, water-soaked soil – will take strain. Some more than others.
When saturated soil presses against your foundation, it can put immense pressure on the foundation, creating cracks and other opportunities for water to penetrate the walls. This is commonly referred to as ‘Hydrostatic Pressure’, and is often the major cause of basement water problems. Think of it this way: with water weighing slightly more than 60lbs. per cubic foot, it’s not a stretch to understand that if the soil around your basement becomes saturated with water, there could be tens of thousands of pounds of hydrostatic pressure against your foundation. With this amount of pressure, it’s again not a stretch to understand why and how water will find its way through even the smallest crack or gap in your walls.
It’s worth noting here that even a well-constructed basement foundation can’t provide a perfect barrier against hydrostatic pressure – it is just one of those quirks which mother nature is so fond of throwing at homeowners. Which is why it’s imperative to come up with effective waterproofing and drainage systems and solutions that can relieve that pressure. Solutions which your Urban Water Works team already has years of experience in.