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newtownhomeowner 03-19-2012 08:58 AM

Slightly Leaky Basement Questions
Hi :-) I purchase a townhome approximately a year ago. It is 3 levels with the bottom level being a walk out basement (underground in front) walk out in the back.

We had a small earthquake in the area last summer and after that, I noticed during BAD rain storms, the basement would leak. It took me 6 months to finally pin point the location of the leak. My neighbors townhome sits about 1-2 feet further forward than mine. So the back of my house juts out about 1-2 feet further out. The water seems to be coming in where her house meets mine, about 1-2 feet from the back of my house on the wall I share with her. The majority of the water seems to start (come from) the corner that forms where the land is graded TOWARD the house and there appear to be small cracks in my cinder blocks and mortar. ADDITIONALLY, her house (basement) is about 1 foot higher than mine (maybe like 8-10 inches) due to the slope of the hill our houses are on. Therefore, the water sits in the corner slightly higher than my basement. The area by my sliding back door rarely ever gets water... just that section of the wall. If it is ENOUGH rain (like the monsoon the DC area got last fall) then a decent amount of water will come in and create some "streams" and puddles but not a consistent amt and it dries quickly!

I had a basement waterproofing company come out and try to charge me $4K for a sump pump. NONE of the houses in my neighborhood have one (although he tried to tell me my neighbor does, which she confirmed she does NOT).

Do I really need a sump pump? Or is there an easier fix? I already plan to paint my cinder blocks with waterproofing sealant once all work is complete before I close the drywall back up.

nealtw 03-19-2012 09:39 AM

The outside should be dug up so repairs and waterproofing can be done from the outside. Then the landscape needs to be redone so as to move the water away from the house. If the building has perimeter drainage, gravel could be added to allow water to get to it.

Michaelolding1 03-22-2012 05:29 AM

Your problem could be the result of improper foundation flashing especially if the water comes over the top of the foundation. This is a sure sign of problematic flashing

joecaption 03-22-2012 09:15 AM

Just follow neals advice for a real fix.
90% of foundation leaks need to be addressed outside not wait until it gets inside and have to be pumped out.
A real foundation guy would have suggested the same real fix neal did.

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