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In simple terms, hydrostatic pressure is when a liquid, such as water, is forced downward. The pressure is more substantial as the liquid is lower. Meaning, the lower the water is, the more stress that builds.

Water that is under your home can consequently cause significant problems to your basement and foundation.

Example of Hydrostatic Pressure

Imagine a tall water tower. To fill the tower with water, there have to be pumped to push that water inside. But because the water is stacked on top of itself, it gains pressure and weight that is driving the water downwards. As the water is pushed downwards, there is enough pressure that it can flow into the designated piping without the use of another pump.

How to Determine if You Have a Hydrostatic Pressure Problem

If your home is on a slope or at the base of a hill, you are at a much higher risk of seeing the effects of a hydrostatic water problem than a home at the top of a hill.

Some of the warning signs that you may have a problem with include:

  • Water is entering your basement
  • Water is pooling in your lawn
  • If you dig a hole in your yard, you see a lot of water
  • Other homes in your neighborhood are having the same water problem as you
  • You ruled out other water problems such as cracked walls and foundation problems

Common Problems that Hydrostatic Pressure Causes

Concrete foundations are at a high risk of being damaged by hydrostatic pressure. After heavy rainfall or as the snow melts in the spring, the water buildup causes thousands of pounds of force that is pushing into your foundation. More likely than not, cracks will occur.

If there are cracks in your basement’s foundation, you can see a wide range of problems occurring over time, such as:

  • Mold growth
  • High humidity
  • Flooding
  • Cracked walls
  • Bowed walls
  • Bad smells
What To Do

Luckily, hydrostatic pressure can be easily fixed. If the water is pooling around your home because of a poor or non-existing gutter system, you may be able to install gutters and have your problem solved. However, if you are the base of a hill, this will most likely not be enough.

The best way to fix it is to install a French drain. French drains divert the water away from your home and to a safe place, such as a sewer system. If you are located in Erie or Pittsburgh, PA, ARK Basement Services can install a French drain to fix your hydrostatic water problem. Contact our today for a free estimate.

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