The Pitch and Grade Elevation of the Soil Can Make Basement Waterproofing Essential

The Pitch and Grade Elevation of the Soil Can Make Basement Waterproofing EssentialIt’s no secret that water runs downhill.  It’s a matter of gravity, and you see it happening every day.  Water runs down your kitchen drain.  A stream that has its headwaters in the mountains always flows toward a lower elevation.  Water runs down the slope of your driveway whenever it rains.

That’s why the pitch and elevation of the grade surrounding the exterior of your home plays such an important part in whether your basement stays dry after a heavy rain or a sudden snowmelt.   In an ideal world, the ground would always slope away from your home’s foundation walls (this slope is referred to as the “pitch” of the ground).  A pitch away from the home like this will direct rain and melted snow out toward the yard and away from the foundation.  It will also allow wet concrete block, poured concrete, limestone or brick foundations to dry much more quickly, making water seepage into the basement less likely. 

Also in an ideal world, the soil adjacent to the foundation would rise no higher than slightly below the top of its walls (this is the elevation of the grade).  The pitch and elevation of the grade surrounding your home both affect how well your foundation will resist water infiltration into your basement.  Remember, water runs downhill.  You’ll be less likely to need basement waterproofing if the soil around your home has the right pitch and elevation.

The proper pitch and elevation of the grade will help water run away from your home because it will be running downhill.  But the opposite is true too.  If the soil is pitched so that it slopes toward the foundation, rainwater and snowmelt will run down that “hill” toward the foundation, where it will then accumulate.  If the elevation of the ground is too high (above the top of the foundation wall), the water will be trapped in the ground and it won’t have any way to evaporate or escape.  If there are any cracks in the foundation wall, you’ll soon have water seeping into your basement.

If you have one or both of these problems (improper ground pitch or elevation), you need to take a few steps to correct them.  Basement waterproofing can go a long way toward keeping your basement dry, but you should also address the pitch and elevation of the grade surrounding your foundation.

It’s important to hire a reputable company to waterproof your foundation and do any necessary re-grading of the ground around your home.  For example, you don’t want to make the mistake of raising the soil level so that it pitches away from your home but in doing so bury the top of the foundation wall.  The experts at our flood and seepage control company know the best way to waterproof your basement and create the right pitch and elevation of the grade surrounding the exterior of your home.

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