Rising Water Table – What Heavy Rains and Melting Snow Can Do to Your Basement

Melting Snow

Heavy Rains and Melting Snow Can Cause Damage to Your Basement

Flooding and water damage in the basement are the last thing any homeowner wants to deal with. Unfortunately, basements are often easy victims in times of heavy rain or significant amounts of melting snow. The reason that basements so often flood is due much in part to the fact that heavy rains or melting snow saturate the ground causing the water table to rise above the basement floor or crawlspace level. With nowhere else to go, this water seeps into the basement, causing significant issues and potentially damaging the home.

What is the Water Table?

The water table is the surface of the water under the ground where the soil, gravel and sediment are totally saturated with water. This surface is neither constant nor flat, but instead contours to the shape of the land above it. It also fluctuates depending upon the season and the amount of precipitation.

In the top layers of soil, spaces between soil and rock may not be filled with water. Often, these unsaturated top layers contain some pockets of air. This is known as the unsaturated zone or the zone of aeration.

What Happens When the Water Table Rises?

Following a heavy rainfall or when a large amount of snow melts rapidly, the zone of aeration can become completely saturated. Rainwater or melted snow moves downward through the zone and eventually reaches the water table. Once it meets the water table, any subsequent water causes the table to rise. Because the excess water cannot be absorbed into the soil, it will begin to infiltrate small cracks and spaces in the foundation of the home and seep into the basement.

How to Protect Your Home

If you have experienced leaks or flooding in your basement during times of heavy rain or snow melt, the rising water table is likely the culprit. You can protect your basement from future damage through professional basement waterproofing. Advanced Basement Solutions, a Certified Waterproofing Specialist through the Basement Health Association, will take the time to inspect your basement foundation to determine where and how the water is entering your home before deciding upon the best course of action. Whether you need a French drain, a sump pump, or waterproofing panels, the Advanced Basement Solutions team will give you your dry basement back and help protect your home from further water damage. Give us a call today at 412-341-2660.