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Technical Papers

Basement Waterproofing - What is Hydrostatic Pressure

Wednesday, February 1st, 2023 by Aaron Stull

What is Hydrostatic Pressure - Image 1Hydrostatic pressure refers to the pressure exerted by a fluid (usually water) at rest, such as in a static state in a container or in the ground. This pressure is caused by the weight of the fluid above the point in question and is proportional to the height of the fluid and the density of the fluid.

When it comes to basement waterproofing, hydrostatic pressure can be a major concern. When the ground around a building becomes saturated with water, it increases the hydrostatic pressure against the foundation walls. Over time, this increased pressure can cause water to seep into the basement through cracks, porous concrete, or other openings.

Have you ever heard the term “hydrostatic pressure?” If so, this article should help give additional understanding to what it is.

Water intrusion in basements due to hydrostatic pressure can cause significant damage to the structure, including the growth of mold, corrosion of steel reinforcements, and the destabilization of the foundation. In addition, basement flooding can be a major inconvenience and cause costly damage to personal belongings and equipment stored in the basement.

To prevent water intrusion due to hydrostatic pressure, there are a number of waterproofing methods that can be used. Some of these methods include interior and exterior waterproofing, interior waterproofing, installing a sump pump, and installing an exterior drainage system.

Hydrostatic pressure is a significant force. Most basement waterproofing system are designed (when done correctly) to address this issue. Understanding how it works and how it can cause water intrusion can help homeowners and builders to take the necessary steps to prevent it. With the right measures in place, basement flooding due to hydrostatic pressure can be prevented, protecting both the building and its contents.

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

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