Thursday, May 24, 2018

Under Pressure

Our house is on a slab, through which run the heating/air conditioning ducts. Several years ago, we experienced several days with substantial rainfall, and the ground became saturated. We were awakened one night to a series of horrific 'thumps,' which seemed to coincide with the cycling of the furnace. After groggily getting out of bed to determine the source, we determined that the groundwater had penetrated micro-cracks in the foundation and seeped into the ducts, almost filling them.

As the furnace cycled, it sent waves through the built-up water, which was the cause of the thumping. Eventually, we were able to bail out the ducts (thanks, Shopvac!) and return to normal.

Turns out, we had experienced the phenomenon known as "hydrostatic pressure." Thanks to our friends at the Cincinnati Insurance Company, here's a video explaining what that is, and its effects:

What is hydrostatic water pressure? from The Cincinnati Insurance Company on Vimeo.
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