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Wet Basement? What’s Really Happening

Georgia's soil and hydrostatic pressure often lead to wet basements. However, with solutions like vapor barriers, dehumidifiers, and professional services from AquaGuard, homeowners can effectively safeguard their basements. It's time to turn damp basements into dry, functional spaces.

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Northern Georgia: home to magnificent scenery, diverse wildlife, and, unfortunately, the ideal conditions for a musty, wet basement. Due to factors such as expansive soil, hydrostatic pressure, and the clay bowl effect, homeowners are often faced with damp basements. Even worse, structural cracks in basement walls are common.  

So, let’s take a closer look at these issues and what you can do to safeguard your home. 

Georgia’s Ground Conditions: A Recipe for a Wet Basement 

Our beautiful Georgia soil may not be so beautiful for your basement. Our region is rich in expansive soil that expands when it’s wet and shrinks when it’s dry. Look at the video for an example of cracked, dry soil. You can see how that might put stress on your foundation, right? This constant cycle of expansion and drying puts pressure on your basement walls, leading to cracks and subsequent water leaks. 

Next, consider hydrostatic pressure. This is the pressure that water in the soil exerts on your basement walls and floor. When it rains, or when there’s a high water table, the water pressure increases, again, leading to potential cracks and water seepage. 

Lastly, we have the “clay bowl effect.” In most home constructions, the house is built in a dug-out hole in the ground, usually surrounded by clay soil. When it rains, water moves towards this “clay bowl” and gets trapped, causing pressure and often leading to a leaky basement. This trapped moisture can also lead to other signs of a wet basement such as a musty smell or even an infestation of bugs

Poor Drainage: Another Cause for Concern 

Leaky pipes and damaged window wells are common causes of basement water issues. Plumbing pipes near or running through the basement may develop leaks due to wear, corrosion, or improper installation. Even small cracks or loose joints in pipes result in water seepage, leading to moisture problems and water damage. 

Similarly, poorly designed or maintained window wells can allow water infiltration. Improper installation, inadequate sealing, or bad drainage systems cause rainwater or melting snow to collect around windows and seep into the basement. This leads to water damage, mold growth, and excess moisture-related issues. 

Faulty gutters also cause basement water issues. Sagging, clogged, or improperly sloped gutters generally lead to water pooling near the foundation instead of being directed away.  

This water eventually seeps into the basement, causing water damage and potential mold growth. Regular maintenance,  like cleaning debris, ensuring proper attachment, and extending downspouts away from the foundation, is essential to prevent basement water problems caused by poor gutters. 

How to Fix a Wet Basement 

While the issues we face may seem overwhelming, the solutions are well within reach. Here’s a snapshot of what can be done to keep your basement dry and your home’s structural integrity intact: 

  • Vapor Barrier: This plastic or foil sheet can prevent moisture from seeping into your basement. Learn more about the vapor barrier solution
  • Dehumidifier: A basement-specific dehumidifier can help control the humidity levels in your basement, reducing the chance of mold and mildew. 
  • Perimeter Drain and Sump Pump: These can help collect and expel water from your basement. Check out our sump pump systems
  • Gutters: They direct rainwater away from your foundation, reducing the chance of water seeping into your basement. 
  • Wall Repair: Methods like wall anchors, pier systems, and carbon fiber reinforcement can help address and prevent structural issues due to the pressure on basement walls. 

Put Water Back in its Place with AquaGuard!

A wet basement might seem like a fact of life here in Northern Georgia, but with AquaGuard Foundation Solutions, it doesn’t have to be. Our team is dedicated to providing homeowners with the most effective solutions for a dry and safe basement. 

Learn more about our services and how you can benefit from basement waterproofing. Having a dry basement allows you to use the space more efficiently and keep your loved ones safe well into the future. Contact us today to schedule a free, no obligation inspection today! 

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