How Hydrostatic Pressure Works Against a Home’s Basement Walls


Concrete basement walls resist water but are by no means impermeable. Hydrostatic pressure is the force that continually pushes outside water through your basement walls, leading to what is known as weeping. If standing water around your home is a regular issue, then you will need to call your local structural systems professional to take additional measures to waterproof your foundation and basement.

Concrete Strength

The rate at which hydrostatic pressure successfully weeps water into your basement walls is directly related to the concrete strength. Concrete strength speaks to the substance's density, as low-strength concrete is more permeable than high-strength. Provided you get enough standing water around your home that hydrostatic pressure is a concern, you want high-strength concrete basement walls.

Pressure Relief

The only way to relieve hydrostatic pressure around your foundation is to divert water away. You will need to restructure your drainage system or add supplemental drains to direct water in a way that it does not seep into the ground surrounding your basement walls, regardless of their concrete strength. It may not be possible to keep the area around your home's foundation completely dry at all times, but a concentrated drainage improvement effort will go a long way.


After you've installed the concrete walls and drainage system, you would benefit from additional waterproofing measures. United Structural Systems can, and often will, apply a waterproofing sealant to the basement walls and the concrete surrounding your home. This fights weeping by slowing the rate of absorption or adding to the concrete’s strength. The decreased permeability combined with effective drainage should solve your weeping problem. Contact a structural system professional for regular inspection to ensure that these measures are effective.

At United Structural Systems, we waterproof foundations, basement walls, and surrounding concrete to keep your home safe. Call us at (615) 307-9510 to get a free estimate on our waterproofing, floor support, masonry, and other specialty structural services in Middle Tennessee.

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