Basement Drying >> How Do I Clean Up After The Finished Basement Floo

Basement and Yard Water Problems
 Each year, the Water Resources Center receives dozens of phone calls and emails from people experiencing problems with unwanted water. Many of the calls start How Do I Clean Up After The Finished Basement Floo with "I think my house is built on a spring”. The symptoms may include water leaking into the basement, the sump pump operating frequently, a perpetually wet area in the yard or a similar complaint.
 
Some of these people live where springs are fairly common, but others are in parts of the state where springs are How Do I Clean Up After The Finished Basement Floo very rare. In talking with them, we find that many people do not understand what a spring actually is and how it functions. A spring is a natural geologic feature. It is a place on the Earth’s surface where groundwater naturally discharges from the subsurface.
 
Most springs in Missouri are associated with limestone and dolomite bedrock units that have been partly dissolved, leaving behind conduits or cave-like openings, large or small, which transport water through the subsurface from recharge sources to springs. How Do I Clean Up After The Finished Basement Floo These types of springs are also commonly associated with sinkholes and losing streams and occur in karst areas. Karst is a term used to denote areas where the dissolution of soluble rock has created features such as caves, springs, sinkholes, and losing streams.
 
Springs in karst areas vary greatly in size, from flows of a few gallons per minute to several hundred million gallons per day. How Do I Clean Up After The Finished Basement Floo The flows generally vary with local precipitation conditions, and are highest during the spring and early summer and lowest in late summer and fall. Some of the springs, especially ones with small flows, can cease discharging during prolonged dry weather. Others, termed karst resurgences, function only briefly following heavy precipitation, and remain dry other times.
 
 Springs can also occur in areas not characterized by karst conditions such as most of northern Missouri where glacial materials have been deposited on top of the bedrock, or in west-central Missouri How Do I Clean Up After The Finished Basement Floo where the bedrock is Pennsylvanian age strata. In these areas, springs are fewer in number and smaller in size than in the Ozarks. Many, in dry weather, are little more than a damp area with little or no flow discharging from them.
 
 In areas where shale units are present, water tends to move downward through the shallow subsurface, then moves laterally when it encounters a low-permeability unit such as shale. Seeps How Do I Clean Up After The Finished Basement Floo and small springs are common on hillsides where shale units crop out. Sand lenses in glacial drift also account for seeps and small springs in the glaciated regions. There is usually a much simpler explanation for wet basement problems than a spring or cavern beneath the house.
 
Realistically, the possibility of a contractor building a house where water is naturally discharging from the ground on a frequent or continuous basis is poor. The problem How Do I Clean Up After The Finished Basement Floo typically has nothing to do with natural groundwater flow, but rather is related to surface drainage and basement construction. Few, if any, basements are truly waterproof, at least not in the sense that they can remain dry while surrounded with water-saturated soil materials.
 
 To remain dry, basements need a properly designed and constructed drainage system to intercept water moving through the soil How Do I Clean Up After The Finished Basement Floo and drain it away from the structure, preventing the water from ever reaching the basement walls or floor. During wet weather, the soil materials around a house can become saturated to a depth of several feet, especially in places where the soils have been disturbed and then replaced, such as in the excavation made for a basement.
 
 Undisturbed soils generally are much less permeable than soils that have been excavated and then replaced. During and after rainfall, some of the water flows laterally across the surface of the ground How Do I Clean Up After The Finished Basement Floo away from a house, but some of the water moves vertically downward through the soil materials. Whether water is moving across the land surface or through the subsurface, it moves due to gravity. Water moves from an area of high head (or elevation) potential toward an area of low head (or elevation) potential.
 
If the water accumulates around a basement and saturates the soil materials around and beneath it, leakage commonly results. Water accumulating around the walls of a basement will exert a pressure of 0.43 pounds per square inch for each foot of water depth. If it rains How Do I Clean Up After The Finished Basement Floo very hard for an extended period and the soil materials are saturated from land surface to the floor of the basement, the water pressure against the basement floor would be about 3 pounds per square inch, more than enough to cause water to leak through cracks in concrete, around the perimeter of the basement floor, and any other openings.
 
 Most basements are constructed in three separate steps. The footings that the basement walls rest upon are poured first. The forms for the walls are set on the footings and then the walls are poured. Finally, How Do I Clean Up After The Finished Basement Floo the basement floor is poured after the forms are removed from the walls. Concrete shrinks slightly as it cures. Even though the concrete floor completely filled the space between the basement walls, a small opening generally appears between the basement floor and the walls, at least in places.
 
Since the floor is not sealed against the walls, if water under any pressure is present beneath the floor it will commonly leak upward through the joint between the walls and floor. If there How Do I Clean Up After The Finished Basement Floo are cracks in the basement walls, a common occurrence in older homes or houses built upon swelling-clay type soils, they can also be an entry point for leakage. To remain dry, a basement needs to have footing drains completely around the house. There should also be drains beneath the basement floor.
 
The drains are perforated pipe, usually PVC or some other type of thermoplastic. The drain pipes are laid on several inches of gravel at the base of the footings, and covered by gravel. The space above the drain pipe between the concrete basement walls and the dirt should be filled with several feet of gravel. The gravel should be covered with some type of filter fabric that allows water to drain How Do I Clean Up After The Finished Basement Floo through it but holds back soil particles, preventing the fine-grained materials from plugging the pore spaces in the gravel.
 
Also, the outside wall of the basement should be coated with a waterproofing material and a vapor barrier to help prevent moisture from seeping through. The gravel, being much more permeable than the soils, will allow water to rapidly drain into the How Do I Clean Up After The Finished Basement Floo perforated pipes. The water is channeled away before it can ever contact the basement wall.

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