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Technical Papers

Basement Waterproofing - Why Are There So Many Wet Basements in Pittsburgh

Saturday, January 28th, 2023 by Aaron Stull

Why Are There So Many Wet Basements in Pittsburgh - Image 1Wet basements are a common problem in Pittsburgh, and there are several reasons why this is the case. One of the main reasons is that the average age of homes in Pittsburgh is older than in many other areas. Many of the homes in Pittsburgh were built in the early to mid-20th century, and these homes often have foundations that are not as well-built or well-sealed as newer homes. This means that water can more easily seep into these homes through cracks or gaps in the foundation.

Why Are There So Many Wet Basements in Pittsburgh - Image 2Another reason why there are so many wet basements in Pittsburgh is the terrain features of the area. Pittsburgh is located in a valley, and as such, it is surrounded by hills and mountains. This means that water often runs down the hills and into the valley, where it can collect and pool around homes. The soil in the area is also known to be clay-like and heavy, which can retain water and make it more difficult for it to drain away from homes.

The city of Pittsburgh is known for its heavy rainfall and snowfall, which can contribute to the problem of wet basements. The heavy precipitation can cause water to build up around homes, making it more likely that water will seep into the basement through cracks or gaps in the foundation. Additionally, when the snow melts or the rain stops, this water can also cause the soil to expand, which can put pressure on the foundation and cause it to crack or shift.

Another factor that contributes to the problem of wet basements in Pittsburgh is the city's aging infrastructure. Many of the city's stormwater and sewage systems are old and in need of repair, which can cause water to back up and flood basements. Additionally, the city's streets and sidewalks are often in poor condition, which can cause water to pool around homes and make it more likely that water will seep into the basement.

The city of Pittsburgh is also known for its high water table, which can make it more difficult for water to drain away from homes. The water table is the level at which the ground is saturated with water, and in Pittsburgh, it is often close to the surface. This means that water can more easily seep into the basement through cracks or gaps in the foundation.

Another factor that contributes to the problem of wet basements in Pittsburgh is the city's many older homes that have dirt-floor basements. Many of these homes were built with basements that were not meant to be finished or used as living space. They often have exposed dirt floors, and no proper drainage or sump pumps installed. This can make it more likely that water will seep into the basement through the walls, floor or windows.

The city of Pittsburgh is also known for its high humidity, which can contribute to the problem of wet basements. High humidity can cause condensation to form on the walls, floor, and other surfaces in the basement, which can lead to mold and mildew growth. Additionally, high humidity can make it more difficult for water to evaporate, which can make it more likely that water will seep into the basement through cracks or gaps in the foundation.

Another factor that contributes to the problem of wet basements in Pittsburgh is the city's many older homes that have inadequate drainage systems. Many of these homes were built with drainage systems that are not as effective as modern systems, which can make it more likely that water will seep into the basement through cracks or gaps in the foundation. Additionally, many older homes in Pittsburgh have outdated sump pumps that are not as effective as newer models, which can make it more difficult to remove water from the basement.

In conclusion, there are many reasons why there are so many wet basements in Pittsburgh. But luckily, there are companies who can help.

About the author
Aaron Stull is a second generation foundation repair specialist from the greater Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania area.

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