It can rain a lot in Kansas City! To put things in perspective, local data from the National Weather Service shows that from March through May of this year, the area had 25 days of reported rainfall.
Moisture Issues Affecting Kansas City Homes
Residences in Kansas City commonly feature basement, crawl space or slab on grade foundation designs. There are several moisture problems associated with each:
Slab on Grade Foundations: Excessive moisture can come from ambient relative humidity, especially if the air space over the floor isn’t controlled when the area is under construction. Moisture seeps into the concrete on hot, humid days, and leaves it during cooler weather.
Furthermore, some experts consider sub-slab vapor to be the top cause of moisture issues. This type of moisture comes up from the soil and goes into the slab. In some cases, water even gets into the slab during construction, such as during spills, or when water is used to help the concrete cure.
Basements: Flooding from heavy rains and improper drainage systems are two factors that commonly contribute to excessive basement moisture. Sometimes, problems can occur because surface water in the area outside of your basement isn’t draining away quickly enough.
Some problems can be exacerbated by gutters that are clogged with leaves and other debris. If your gutters have downspouts that aren’t at least 10 feet away from your home and positioned so moisture runs away from the basement, you may also face water accumulation issues. Some could be so severe that they cause soil erosion.
Crawl Spaces: These are more likely than other structures to have problems with mold growth and termites.
Look for areas of standing water in your crawl space, as these may indicate a plumbing leak or drainage problem. Olshan offers a four-stage process to support and restore dangerous crawl spaces. This process addresses water intrusion as well as structural deterioration and air quality problems – like musty smells or indoor humidity coming from the crawl space.
Like slab on grade designs, crawl spaces can also be affected by vapor from the ground. A vapor barrier made from polyethylene or visqueen can help minimize that issue.
Potential Problems Caused by Excessive Moisture
When moisture problems aren’t tackled quickly, they can create long-term issues and structural weaknesses that adversely affect your home’s value. You may notice cracks in walls, ceilings, and floors, or you may find that doors in your home are starting to stick.
Excessive soil moisture can also lead to a problem called hydrostatic pressure. This happens when the soil gets filled with moisture and naturally expands. If this problem is not quickly addressed, it can put strain on your home’s foundation, leading to aesthetic and structural damage.
Popular Drainage Solutions in Kansas City:
French Drain Systems: These work well if you have persistent basement flooding, a soggy yard, or flooding after heavy rains. A French drain system captures the moisture and diverts it away from the property. It contains a trench that’s filled with gravel and a perforated pipe. Olshan specialists use a four-inch perforated pipe in most cases.
Sump Pumps and Sump Pits: Sump pumps are small pumps installed in the lowest part of a basement or crawl space. Water flows into the sump pit via drains, or as a result of natural water migration in the soil. Then, the pump removes the water and prevents flooding. This system is a great example of interior water management. Some sump pumps include battery backup features, allowing them to continue working during power outages. Sump pumps can be lifesavers during heavy floods.
The Olshan Pipe and Rock Solution: This system uses pre-washed, crushed gravel to aid in soil filtration. Although similar to the French drainage system, it uses a three-inch corrugated pipe instead of conventional four-inch pipes. The pipe is wrapped in high-strength netting, which prevents vapor-related moisture problems.
Gravity Discharge Systems: As an alternative to a sump pump and sump pit, a gravity discharge system uses gravity to expel water. It may be suggested as a solution if you have an adequate slope leading away from your home.
Exterior Wall Waterproofing or Crawl Space Encapsulation: These methods are designed to help stop moisture before it can ever enter your basement or crawl space, creating a barrier that resists both water and water vapor. It’s appropriate for masonry block or poured concrete walls.
In addition, an exterior footer drain may be used to direct water away from the home’s foundation. A dimple board (basements) or vapor liner (crawl spaces) may protect walls from moisture by sending water into a drainage system and away from the crawl space.
The EZ Drain Plus System: This is a lightweight and easy-to-use alternative to pipe and rock systems. It features pre-assembled sections that easily join with internal couplings for an exact fit. The geosynthetic rock aggregate has “flow channels” that increase the amount of void space.
The Olshan Drainage System: This option uses a low-profile basin to eliminate standing water while minimizing damage to the foundation and reducing soil movement. This solution promotes maximum water flow, flushing out dirt and sediment that can cause mold and insect infestations. It’s also a clog-free system that allows for maximum functionality over time.
Why Choose Olshan?
Since 1933, Olshan has been repairing foundations to the highest standards of quality. We don’t just tackle the symptoms of the problems—we focus on comprehensive solutions. All of our solutions are backed by worry-free warranties and maintenance programs that are among the best in the industry.
When you depend on Olshan, you get access to a highly qualified team that’s dedicated getting your foundation project done right. Contact us today for your free inspection in our around Kansas City.