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High Water Table

Since a high water table affects your foundation and any construction projects, it’s important for you as a homeowner to learn more about it.

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A high water table is not uncommon in Denver, CO. This geologic formation mostly lies above the crawl space or the basement floor. While it can sit quietly for months, it can become problematic if the soil surrounding your foundation is dense and not well-drained. 

Over time, a high water table allows groundwater to permeate your foundation, causing water damage and structural issues. Let’s take a closer look at this phenomenon so you can learn how best to deal with it. 

What Is a High Water Table? 

A water table marks the boundary between the water-saturated ground and unsaturated soil. The layer of saturated soil can be anywhere from a couple of feet to several feet down a particular zone. This water can come from excess moisture from elevated grounds or too much rainwater. 

This geological formation is common in low-lying areas with poorly drained soils. However, zones with standard water tables may experience seasonal changes, which can push their levels up, and this might lead to flooding.  

The best way to determine the water table’s depth near your house is by evaluating the water level in a shallow well using tape. If there is no well nearby, you can use surface geophysical systems such as acoustic or electric probes to measure the water table.   

Types of Water Tables 

Water tables vary depending on the season or geological formations. Homeowners need to understand what they are dealing with to know how to handle it.  

Perched water tables: This is a pocket of water that occurs above the normal water table in an area. They’re likely to occur if there is an impermeable layer of rock or sediment that lies above the main water table.  

Seasonal high water tables: During late winter and early spring, the groundwater rises due to snow melting and increased spring rainfall. This excessive water infiltrates the ground pushing up the water table temporarily. If the water does not drain away after a few days, you will likely have a high water table. 

How a High Water Table Affects You 

A high water table can impact your home in two main ways. 

Foundation shift: A high water table increases hydrostatic pressure on your basement floor and walls, making them prone to leaks. If the pressure is left to build up, it can shift your foundation walls and structures like decks.  

Humidity issues: A high water table has the potential to increase humidity levels in your home. This can lead to a host of problems, including wood rot, mold growth, and rust. The rising humidity levels will also degrade your wooden structures.  

Factors That Affect the Water Table 

The water table level varies greatly depending on the amount of rainfall, time of year, and soil type that surface water drains through. Whenever there is a heavy downpour, the water table may rise. This water penetrates downwards into the unsaturated zone. When plants can still access the water, it is known as soil water.  

With further infiltration, however, this water will eventually reach the water table. The more rainfall there is, the higher the water table will be. Since high water tables are often above the basement floors or crawl space, they always cause flooding in these areas. During the summer, the water table falls since the soil loses most of its water to evaporation. 

Dealing with a High Water Table 

Dealing with a high water table can be frustrating. Here are a few tips to help you mitigate its effect on your home: 

Basement waterproofing: While there are so many ways to do this, the approach should be in line with your space’s needs. Basement waterproofing solutions like interior drains and sump pumps can help prevent water damage, prevalent in areas with high water tables. Regardless of the method, basement waterproofing is vital in keeping water out. 

Yard drainage: Surface and subsurface drainage help to channel water runoffs away from your home. Yard drains relieve the hydrostatic pressure building up in the soil around your foundation. It also helps prevent the water from infiltrating the foundation or weakening the structure. 

Swales: These are shallow depressions that collect stormwater and drain them into the municipal drainage system. Depending on your grading, swales can carry the water towards the front or rear of your property. 

Underground pipes: These perforated or weeping tiles lie on a gravel bed or trench dug below the soil grade. These pipes help to drain away from the water that tries to infiltrate the soil. 

Does Your Home Sit Close to a High Water Table?  

The professional experts at Complete Basement Systems will perform the necessary foundation repairs and basement waterproofing to mitigate water damage. Contact us today to schedule a free waterproofing inspection and get an obligation-free quote with solid recommendations that’ll address the problem. 

Serving Greater Denver area, Colorado Springs, Eastern Colorado, and parts of Nebraska and Wyoming

Complete Basement Systems, Colorado Springs, CO

5695 Parachute Cir
Colorado Springs, CO 80916

Complete Basement Systems, Denver, CO

11795 E. 45th Avenue
Denver, CO 80239