Window Wells & Top Soil
Waters Basement Services Correct Negative Pitch
Around Basement Foundation with Top Soil and Window Wells
One common problem that must be corrected around your foundation is negative pitch (soil sloping toward your home). Allowing water to collect near the foundation will saturate the soil and can create pressure that pushes on your foundation.
Hydrostatic pressure occurs by (negative pitch) soil sloping toward your home and saturated soil presses against the basement walls; causing the weight against the walls to exceed their capacity. Bowing walls occur most often due to the force of hydrostatic pressure. During the winter months the ground freezes, and the expanding water in the soil will press the soil against basement walls. In the spring and summer months, soil will lose water and shrink. This freezing and thawing causes inward and outward movement on basement walls. With snow melt and rain of spring, groundwater enters through the walls and floor by wicking action or by hydrostatic pressure when the surrounding soil is saturated or the water table is high.
Among other issues soil under a deck will compact overtime. This may allow water to saturate top soil, which can allow water to enter your basement or crawlspace. Also, concrete pads or concrete steps can compress the soil under them allowing them to drop and have a negative pitch.
The majority of homes that I visit have trees, bushes, or shrubs planted right next to the foundation. Overtime as the plants become larger with root base and the need for water, can affect the top soil grading and compaction more and more causing negative pitch. Simply adding mulch or rock will not correct the condition as water will collect under these materials. If drain tile becomes clogged with silt or tree roots, it may not allow water to flow into a sump basin and then be pumped out of your basement. Drain tile must be free of debris.
Most basement or crawlspaces have windows. In some cases basement window wells maybe required to re-grade top soil properly. Window wells can be decorative and can be installed with or without a window well cover.
The first line of defense to keep your basement dry is to clean and repair roof gutters. Make sure gutter water dumps away from your foundation. Fix the negative pitch (when soil tilts toward your foundation) or low spots around your basement with top soil so the water sheds away from your foundation. Add window wells to maintain proper drainage and grade. Add window well covers to help keep water and debris out of window wells.