Drainage and Erosion Inspection Services

All SSC consultations, assessments, and installations are performed by a licensed professional soils engineer or scientist. These professionals have over 35 years of combined design and contracting experience.

Our engineer will perform an assessment of the current situation and provide design solutions for:

Wet Basements & Moist Foundation Walls

Wet basements or crawl spaces are often sources of immediate and long-term problems. Standing water inside and/or seepage into residential crawl spaces and basements can cause frustrating problems for the homeowner. These problems can be both immediate and long term.

Wet basements and crawl spaces are sources of high humidity, which can produce surface condensation, mildew and fungi, musty odors, and an unhealthful environment. Such moisture can cause deterioration of floor joists, beams, sub-flooring, insulation, and electrical-mechanical systems.

Prolonged water around the footer and foundation wall can soften the soil and weaken its bearing capacity, increasing the possibility of foundation wall movement. Serious seepage under the foundation footer may erode soil away and cause the wall to drop or crack.

SSC engineers can assist homeowners with wet basements and moist foundation walls in assessing the source and extent of the problem and in finding a remedy.

Cause of wet basements and crawl spaces

Most wet basements or crawl spaces are caused by surface water that is not adequately drained away from the foundation wall. Sources of this water include the following:

  • Improperly installed window wells.
  • Roof water if no guttering is present or the gutters are clogged.
  • Excessive watering of flower beds and shrubbery around the foundation wall
  • Rainwater runoff from the adjacent lawn, walks, or driveway areas if the landscaping forces water to drain toward the house instead of away (i.e., negative drainage conditions).
  • Nearby creek(s) may overflow during storm runoff and either directly flood basement or crawl space areas, or contribute to the groundwater, which may become sufficiently high to cause seepage into the basement or crawl space area.
  • Improperly installed, clogged, collapsed, or leaky drains may not allow downspout water or foundation wall water to escape.
  • Underground drains leading away from downspouts may not have sufficient slope to carry water away.
  • Damp or wet basements and crawl spaces may be caused by ruptured water or sanitary lines either just outside the wall or under the house.

Soil Erosion

Soil Erosion is the loss of soil from the ground surface. It is a process that is always occurring but it can happen faster if we misuse the land or if the ground surface is not adequately protected with vegetation and drainage swales. The rate of erosion can be increased by removing or limited plant cover, poor grading plans, wind, frost and rain and water runoff. Two of the most common types of soil erosion are water and wind erosion.

Water or splash erosion is the detachment and airborne movement of small soil particles caused by the impact of raindrops on soil. Sheet erosion is the result of heavy rain on bare soil where water flows as a sheet down any gradient carrying soil particles. Where precipitation rates exceed soil infiltration rates, runoff occurs. Gully erosion results where water flows along a linear depression eroding a trench or gully.

Wind erosion is the movement of rock and/or sediment by the wind erosion can be reduced by installing windbreaks near the problem area. This includes the planting of trees, shrubs, or other vegetation, usually perpendicular or nearly so to the principal wind direction. The wind causes dust particles to be lifted and therefore moved to another region. Wind erosion generally occurs in areas with little or no vegetation, often areas where there is not enough rainfall to support vegetation.

An SSC engineer can design a solution to stabilize the ground surface and prevent further surface erosion.

Stream and Shoreline Stabilization

Streambank and Shoreline Stabilization is the process of protecting a stream or other body of water by re-shaping and stabilizing the bank. Where stream banks are eroded, they are re-shaped and seeded, and sometimes protected with rock rip-rap or seeded with bio-engineering materials.

Stabilizing the stream bank or shoreline protects water quality, improves fish habitat, and the vegetation provides habitat for birds and small animals. If animals are a problem, fencing restricts access to the bank or shore and there for prevents soil from eroding.

An SSC engineer can analyze your stream and design a solution for restoration and continued stabilization.