You've picked out the perfect spot for your home or workshop. It has a beautiful view nestled in a valley or on the side of the hill. You're ready to build, right?
If your plan is to build on the side of a hill or in a valley, it is important you have a contractor with engineering experience to help navigate any pitfalls these beautiful locations may have. Your first potential pitfall could be hydrostatic pressure.
Unfortunately, many homes have not been built with hydrostatic pressure in mind and not all contractors are aware of correct building methods to prevent hydrostatic pressure from becoming a life-long irritation.
Hydrostatic pressure builds a lake of water that pushes against the footing and basement walls and homes that have not been given proper drainage will most likely have wet basements. In worst-case scenerios, homes affected by hydrostatic pressure may have cracks in their foundations, basement walls and other walls throughout the home.
In order to avoid this issue, homes need to have curtain drains filled with gravel installed at the time when the basement or foundation is poured. In some cases, homes need to have trenches dug around the foundation perimeter and filled with gravel, putting the home up on a island where it will be safe from incoming water.
Water can come from above and from deep undergound. Even if a house seems to be in a potentially safe area, underground water can still affect a home's foundation or basement.
The good news is that even if you have a home with a wet basement or your home has otherwise been affected by hydrostatic pressure, it might not be too late to dig around the foundation, install proper drains and fix problems that have been caused by underground water.
Beautiful building sites can be wonderful assets, if they are managed correctly. To ensure your home stays a dry and healthy structure, make sure your contractor is aware of issues related to hydrostatic pressure and is familiar with correct building methods to mitigate such issues.
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