Through a Planet Friendly Pest Control solution home owners in Southern Maryland, Northern Virginia and South West Pennsylvania experience some of the best ground water management solutions available within the industry.
PROBLEM: If the ground around a foundation is level or slopes toward the house, water is directed into the basement. The soil next to the house is often backfilled without proper compaction and later settles. This is especially true under stoops where water can collect next to the basement wall.
SOLUTION: Place earth around the house so that it slopes away from the foundation wall a minimum of one inch per foot for at least six feet.
Improperly Designed Window Wells
PROBLEM: Window wells are like a drain right next to the basement wall. Often they are improperly built so that any water is directed toward, rather than away from the foundation.
SOLUTION: Window wells should be filled from the footing to the window sill with 3/8- to 3/4-inch coarse aggregate. A supplemental drain tile extension should extend from the footing to the base of the window well.
Ineffective Drain Tile and Sump Pit
PROBLEM: Many existing houses simply have no subsurface drainage system. This comes from a time when basements were not used as habitable space. In other cases, the systems do not work for a variety of reasons, such as collapse of the pipe, clogging of the pipe with silt and/or tree roots, or a broken connection to the sump. The sump pit usually contains a pump designed to lift the water to the ground surface outside the foundation wall. This pump can fail.
SOLUTION: See the approaches that follow.
Improper Drainage with Underslab Ducts
PROBLEM: If heating ducts are installed beneath a basement floor slab, the drainage system may be inappropriately left at a level higher than the duct. In effect, the duct becomes the drainage system, and with standing water within the heating duct, there are potentially serious health consequences from mold contamination.
SOLUTION: Heating ducts placed beneath the basement floor must be insulated, watertight, and sloped to collection points for drainage and cleaning. A drain tile and coarse aggregate can be placed under the ductwork.
PROBLEM: Concrete and concrete block foundations usually develop some cracks. They can be severe if floor joists are not properly connected to the foundation wall, thus permitting the wall to move. Also, soil settling causes cracking. Places where walls meet rigid structures like the fireplace often crack as well. Usually, drainage removes the water from cracks, but repair may be necessary.
SOLUTION: Proper footing design and proper connection between the foundation wall and the structure above are required (e.g. anchor bolts or straps at the sill plate and floor joists nailed to the sill plate).