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dmeloche1 01-02-2012 02:46 PM

Relieving Hydrostatic Pressure in Basement Walls
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In the two years that I've owned my house, I've had two issues where heavy rain has resulted in water entering the the unfinished basement via the slatted jalousie windows. The windows are below ground-level and when the surrounding soil becomes saturated, the exterior window well (even with a cover) fills with water which seeps through the closed glass panes of the window and flows into the basement. The attached picture shows the arrangement of the basement.

I want to prevent the hydrostatic pressure from building to the point where it pushed its way into the window well and I've had a couple people recommend drilling relief holes into the base of the poured concrete walls near the floor of the basement. This would obviously let the water in the soil drain straight into the French drain but I've seen some articles online claim that these holes can work 'too well' and create a situation where the water pours through the wall in heavy rain, completely overwhelming the capabilities of the French drain and sump pump.

Does anyone have any experience with this particular problem? I don't plan on finishing the basement; I just want to be able to put things on the floor of the basement with confidence that they won't be floating around the next time a heavy storm rolls through.


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