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What Loose Soil Means For Your Home

Tuesday, September 20th, 2016 by Katerina Hladikova


Did you know that the older your home is, the more likely it is that water will leak into your basement?  One of the main reasons for this is soil settlement.  When your home was built, dirt was excavated to make a hole in the ground for your basement.  After your home’s construction was completed, the area around your foundation was filled with dirt.   

This dirt is looser than the dirt that has been sitting on the ground for dozens of years.  Which is why it makes it easier for water to travel through it and find ways into your basement. A common way water enters basements is through cracks and joints in the concrete. For example, after the concrete foundation for your home was poured and walls were poured on top, there was a joint that was left in between the twothrough which water can enter your basement.   

When the loose soil is pushed back against the new foundation, it will settle within the first few years. Therefore, dirt should be added within the first few years of your home being built, so that water does not flow towards the foundation. It is important that dirt is used for this and not mulch, as water passes through mulch much easier than it passes through dirt.   

When it rains, the void space beneath the soil outside of your foundation is filled with water temporarily. This causes hydrostatic pressure, that is pressure from a void of water at rest.  This means that the weight of the water itself imposes pressure that pushes water into your basement.

However, wet weather is not the only thing you have to worry about.  Dry weather is part of the problem too.  During periods of droughts, soil shrinks away from the foundation.  This leaves voids for future rains to easily flow down into your basement before they close up.   

So if both wet and dry weather cause your basement to leak, what can you do to keep your basement dry?  There are a few different things you can do to waterproof your basement.  We recommend our Waterguard System. It is an internal drainage system that goes around the perimeter of your basement, and leads to a sump pump which pumps the water outside. Call Midwest Basement Systems for your free estimate today at 1-800-731-0869.

our service area

We serve the following areas

  • Agency
  • Albia
  • Barnes City
  • Beacon
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  • What Cheer
Our Locations:

Midwest Basement Systems
5153 Northeast 17th St
Des Moines, IA 50313
1-515-992-7046
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