It is easy to get the impression that there is no such thing a dry basement. All of us are familiar with wet basement horror stories – mold damage, destroyed sheet rock, ruined carpets and furniture, losses of stored items, and so on. Sometimes, minor basement dampness can be solved by the purchase of a good humidifier. However, damp or leaky basements and persistently wet ground outside the house often are indications of exterior drainage conditions that, if not properly dealt with, could lead to foundation settlement and cracked concrete slabs and walls, requiring costly foundation and structural repairs. Often the problems seem to “disappear” during dry spells, or even during periods of “normal” rainfall, only to resurface with a vengeance after an unusually intense rainy season, such as Atlanta experienced during the Fall of 2009.
In this three-part series of articles on controlling water and dealing with foundation and water intrusion problems, I will discuss processes for controlling water flow, and for dealing with foundation settlement and crack development, drawing on over fifteen years of experience working with home owners, business owners, general contractors, landscape contractors, structural engineers and specialty water proofing contractors.
Copyright 2011 Daniel A. Freiberg, PE, PG