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tangentzero 07-17-2013 02:23 PM

Foundation problem or is it simpler than that?
Hello everyone, I'm looking for some advice...
We've recently noticed a leak in our house in a basement room that is hardly used. This leak appears to be months old and ongoing due to the amount of mold that we found behind the drywall. We pinpointed the source of the water to the outside, where there is a hole between the concrete stairs at the front entrance and the soil on one side. What I am unsure about is whether this is a foundation problem ( I've asked a couple foundation repair people to come for estimates on waterproofing), or if this is simply a matter of filling in the hole with dirt. The difference is thousands of dollars so we want to be sure.
Any advice at all would be appreciated, thanks.
The hole:

The area inside, where the water is entering:

mudmixer 07-17-2013 02:39 PM

You are just looking at the place when it shows up inside and you be sure there is more moisture in the general area. Since it is near the front stairs and entry, there may be a problem with the local drainage, gutters and downspout extensions.

Correct the drainage in that area and have a place for it to go.

Using "dirt" is a waste of time since it loves to absorb and hold moisture.


tangentzero 07-17-2013 04:10 PM

How about waterproofing the foundation? Even if drainage is an issue, it still shouldn't enter the house, correct? There must be a crack or opening somewhere in the foundation that needs to be closed. Or is improving drainage enough to prevent this from happening again?
Also, you mention that filling with dirt is a waste of time since all it does is absorb and hold moisture....I think that's what I need. Currently there is a hole allowing water to go down to the foundation and enter the house. If it is filled with dirt maybe it would absorb and hold any water before entering the house?
I don't mean to dismiss your ideas, I'm just trying to think it all the way through.

nealtw 07-17-2013 06:49 PM

Both you and Dick are right. Both drainage and waterproofing is what is needed. I think what Dick was saying to try getting water away from the house first. If you have an outside perimeter drain, try to see of it is clear, check that the landscaping slopes away from the house and devert the down spouts so water isn't going down by the foundation.
To waterproof the foundation properly you would have to dig down the bottom of the foundation and while you are there you would run new perimeter dain as well as one for the downspouts.
The problem with that is if the leak is under the stairs and your stairs are just sitting on the dirt they would have to come out. the other option would be the inside drain, but that a whole other story.

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