Effects of the high water table in your foundation

Search by keyword or browse all posts

Having a stable house foundation is a dream for all homeowners in Knoxville. But, not many are able to realize this dream. Why?

A home’s foundation and its stability are dependent on several variables.

The concerning factor is some of these variables are not under anyone’s control. Therefore, foundation repair in Knoxville is increasing by the day.

In the same vein, this articulation revolves around one such variable that severely impacts the foundation’s health — The high water table.

What is a water table?

Under the ground, there are several layers of water, soil, etc. And the water table acts as a boundary for the dry topsoil and the saturated ground beneath it. 

Below the ground, water is present but at different depths. The depth at which water can be found is defined by geographical factors. What makes this water table turn into a hindrance for foundation systems is its easy fluctuation. 

Based on weather, irrigation, precipitation, the water table is affected. Likewise, if the house is near a river or a lake, or in a flood-prone region, the water table fluctuates to adversely impact the foundation. And given the extreme nature of this fluctuation, simple basement waterproofing shall not save the foundation.

What is a high water table?

This is a natural occurrence when the groundwater level rises. During rain and snow, huge amounts of water seep into the ground. If the soils drain them efficiently, there is nothing to worry and a low water table is maintained.

However, if there is stagnation or insufficient draining, the groundwater level rises. And a high water table swells the ground around the house. At times, this swelling may encroach on a house’s conventional adjustment repair.

How does this affect your home’s foundation?

As the ground beneath your house saturates, the swelling forces itself against the foundation. Though this may not seem daunting, this upheaval can render the house useless in extreme conditions. 

This is caused due to the hydrostatic pressure of the water. Not only does it cause upheavals, but it also might push water inside the basement. Foundation cracking and shifting are common results of a high water table.

Apart from this, the water gushing into the basement opens up the opportunity for several concerns. The stagnation of water can derail the structural integrity of the wooden foundation. Likewise, constant humidity means a breeding ground for bacteria, mold, mildew, etc. 

Is my house built on a high water table?

This is not an easy question to answer as the answer varies. The level of the water table changes regularly. The water table during the summer is entirely different from the table during the wet winter season. 

High levels of precipitation are also a reason behind the high water table.

This variance in water table levels makes it difficult to find the right solution. This is why foundation repair in Knoxville requires the assistance of experts. Personalized solutions like the ones Guardian Foundation repair provides are the key to solving issues concerned with high water tables.

How to fix high water table concerns?

This is closely dependent on the extent to which the high water table has affected the foundation. If the water is yet to affect the foundation, it is a great time to take preventative measures. A comprehensive basement waterproofing is a must to shield against upheavals. By waterproofing the walls of the basement, the primary layer of the foundation is secured. This inhibits any entry of water into the foundation, thereby reducing the potential for contamination of concrete mixture.

To further mitigate water damage, securing the drainage system is important. For this, french drain installation is the best bet. By installing it, excess water has a way out. Using a sump pump, the excess water can be removed without any hassle. 

This impedes the stagnation of water which causes humidity and its associated issues. 

Foundation failure can adversely affect any type of foundation system. Knowing them will help in deciding the system that is ideal for a house. Nowadays, many houses in Knoxville boast crawl space. Whilst it has its utility, the chances of damage are high. 

To shield the crawl space from a high water table situation, there is an inclusive solution. And that is to invest in crawl space encapsulation. By sealing the entire crawl space, there is no entry point for water or pests. 

This is also beneficial during wiring and plumbing works.

Solving the high water table situation

Using a pier and beam foundation is the best solution for a high water table. Innately, this foundation system works by elevating the house using piers. 

Since the house is elevated off the ground, there is room for crawl space that needs to be encapsulated. Pushpin pier systems are also recommended for houses that are on uneven surfaces.

By removing the contact between the house and the water table, the pier and beams solve the problem. 

The stability of a pier and beam foundation system is unrivaled. Using helical or push piers, the stability can be further enhanced.

Maintenance turns simpler

In a concrete or slab-based foundation, fixing high water table concerns is a headache. Why?

Because it involves excavation. When a layer is dug, the already risen water rushes into that layer. This can destabilize a foundation, whilst also allowing caving in. 

But, with a pier and beam foundation, there is crawl space available. Installing a sump pump and directing the water away is easier before maintenance works take place.


We have understood the effects of a high water table in the house’s foundation. For a problem that has diverse causes, there is no cookie-cutter solution. 

Experts need to visit the house, inspect, and design solutions accordingly. If you don’t know whom to call, here is the answer. 

We at Guardian Foundation repair have years of experience in solving high water table concerns. Contact us and we will ensure your foundation is secure, durable and all these – at an affordable cost.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.