Sunday, October 7, 2018

How To Protect Your New Home Against A High Water Table

Are you planning to build a house in an area that is known for having a high water table?

If you are planning to build a new custom home in an area with a high water table then you will need to try and minimize the amount of water that your house will be exposed too.

There are several things that you can do to accomplish this:

Limit The Depth The House Sits In The Ground

The farther you go into the ground the bigger the risk that you will have water problems. The easiest way to limit this is to not go into the ground very far.

In colder climates you have to put your foundation into the ground to avoid the frost heave. In Canada that is a minimum of 4 feet into the ground.

  • Crawlspaces. Crawlspaces allow you to get into the ground at the proper depth but do not allow you to have any usable space. Crawl spaces are good for small storage and a place to put the mechanical and plumbing for the house.
  • Grade Up. If you want a full basement and don't want to risk water infiltration then you can take the overburden off the building area and build the basement up from there. This requires you to grade up so that the entire foundation isn't exposed, but sometimes grading up is better then digging down.
 Use Proper Waterproofing

The best way to protect your foundation is to protect it with proper waterproofing. This doesn't mean having the foundation tared on top of the concrete and no amount of dimple board will stop water, the only real way is to use monolithic membrane that is a waterproofing (like a pool liner). This membrane is sprayed on or rolled on depending on the material that it is being installed on top of. Then the dimple board is applied on top of the membrane to act as a protection against rocks and roots.

Sump Pumps

Its in the building code that every new home has to have a sump pump so you can't get away from having one. But there are different degree's of sump pumps. If you find that you have excessive water around the home then you might want something more then the normal sump pump;

  • Industrial pump. You can have larger pumps with larger exhausts installed instead of the normal residential sump pump. These pumps move more water easier, the easier they move water and the greater the volume of water that they expel the less work the pump has to do, the less work the pump does the less chance that the pump overheats and burns out.
  • Dual Pumps. You can stack pumps one on top of the other. This gives the primary pump a backup if too much water comes into the sump pit or if the primary actually fails.
  • Battery backups. They make pumps that run on batteries now for the time when the power goes out and you need a pump to keep the basement dry.
  • External sump pump. If you have a lot of water you can install a pump on the outside of the home in a sump well, this pump will move water away from the building before it gets to the internal sump pump.
Gravity Drain

Gravity drains are the simplest form of water removal. They are basically a pipe that is connected to the weepers that run around your foundation, this pipe then leads away from the house to a lower spot of land. The water (with the help of gravity) naturally flows in the weepers and down the pipe away from the house. No power is needed or mechanical pumps.

When you are planning out your home the grade height and the point in which you set the height of the first floor (and the basement floor) is very important. Setting the height properly will allow you to stay high and as far out of the water that is in the ground as possible. Taking the time to set the height first will save time and money down the line.

Rob Abbott
Village Builders Inc. 

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