Basement Still Leaks AFTER Weeping Tile Repair
We recently had three sides of our detached bungalow dug up, and a new weeping tile system installed. Foundation (concrete block) was parged, and a brown membrane was drilled/bolted on, then caulked all around. The company that did it seemed to do a good job, from what we could tell. Our basement had to be completely gutted due to mold, so we decided to check and make sure there were no leaks after the weeping tile was put in. Heavy wetting of the foundation with the garden hose revealed two leaks in two spots on the same side of the house: by the porch and by the gas meter. My question is, how could this happen? Could there possibly be residual water that was stored in the concrete blocks? Could there be other residual water sitting somewhere that's making its way in? I'm so baffled. I guess we'll have to call them back and have it dug up again.
Do the "weeping tiles", what ever they are lead to a sump/sump pump or drain to daylight? I assume these tiles are exterior and at the level of the bottom of the footing.
You can check the effectiveness of the tile installation by observing the discharge.
A water proof barrier is really just a band-aid and there always weak points, especially at joints or edges.
Where does the water show up inside? - At a crack or intrusion in the wall or at the floor/wall joint? This may not be the source of the real leak.
Doing 3 exterior walls is always a walls a questionable solution considering that water can follow footing, etc. horizontally to a point of entry.
The quickie hose waterproofing test is usually gimmick used to sell a short term solution.
What should I look for when observing discharge?
The water shows up just above the floor joint, on the cement block. In one spot, we even noticed some dampness on the floor near the wall under a layer of old leveling concrete that we pryed up.
As for doing the three walls, we were very confident that the back wall didn't need to be done, because there have not been any leaks, and the property slopes nicely downward towards the street. All of the leaks were towards the front of the house, and on the sides near the front.
How come the hose test is a gimmick? Doesn't it naturally mimic heavy rainfall?
The problem with the drain tile configuration you have is that it will rely on gravity to discharge the collected water into the storm sewer system, if the pitch isn't just right towards storm drain, water accumulates in the pipe and finds it is way into the basement all over again.
I also agree with mudmixer on that the weeping tile should run all around the perimeter of the foundation, not only the 3 walls. As it turns out, water is a pretty tricky element. If not properly dealt with it will find or dig its way back into your basement.
In addition, because the tile does not drain into the day light or a sump pump in a way that you can measure its effectiveness, probably the only way to check it would be digging out a part of the discharge line.
The truth here is: the system is faulty. Period. Otherwise the water wouldn't be in your basement. And you have two options to fix it:
- Dig the whole thing out, again, and fix the pitch (or whatever it is that is wrong with it). And I sure hope that the contractor who installed this system gave you a decent warranty on it, otherwise count on spending just about the same amount you spent the first time.
- Install an interior drain tile system, along the internal perimeter of your basement walls, with a sump pump system.
I would strongly suggest you go for the second option for a number of reasons:
- It works just as well as, or better than, weeping tiles when properly installed. Interior drainage systems have been used successfully for over 20 years to control basement leakages.
- It costs 50% less than digging out your weeping tiles.
- The installation is much quicker and less disruptive. (it usually consists in jack hammering a few inches of the slab, close to the wall, laying drain tiles over a bed of gravel, link it to a sump pump, and patching the slab.
- These systems, unlike conventional weeping tiles, are serviceable throughout the years, which is why reputable companies back them up with a Transferable Lifetime Warranty.
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