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dotcotton 05-26-2009 07:57 AM

Wet basement & foundation problems
First post here....I am going to try and provide as much info as I can so please bear with me.

Basically, I have a pretty bad water issue in my basement. We have an inside perminter wall drain system with 2 sump pumps that can handle a lot of the water problem, but for especially torrential rains this just does not cut it and I want to do more to fix the issue. This AM I found a few new cracks/holes in the foundation wall, water streaming out. This is along the wall where the drain system is not up against the wall itself because of part of the footer is exposed and they could not jackhammer into that of course. We also have what looks to be a double-wall foundation along a couple sides of basement, and there was water gushing through the slot created between these 2 wall structures...never saw this nearly so bad before. There are other random spots in the basement where there are leaky walls or wet spots on the floor seemingly from water coming up thru cracks in the concrete floor.

I am dealing with an almost 100 year old bungalow located at what is mostly the lowpoint on the street-- the backyard and next door neighbors are on higher ground. We get a LOT of rushing water (like a stream actually) through the yard that then goes along the property line with the other neighbor and then out to the street. I should mention another part of our fix will be to create a channel in the yard to help make the water flow more uniformly out of our yard and into the street.

We have downspouts that go away from the house and there does not appear to be an issue with the slope of the land next to the house. It seems the next step is to do something to the exterior of the house to address the water issues. Since this water issue deals with the foundation, it got me thinking about other issues we have.

I want to try and do everything that may be wrong at the same time, meaning figuring out whether our not-level areas of the house (also seems to be worse on this side of the house where almost all of the water action happens) can be fixed at the same time we are digging around the house to prevent the water from getting into the basement. Is this possible and what could/should we do? Thanks for taking the time to read!

slownsteady 06-05-2009 10:50 PM

Wow, sounds like a lot of water. I'm a big fan of tackling the whole problem at once, but that is often impossible because of expense etc. I think I would start by channeling as much water away as possible. By now you've seen all the reminders about gutters, downspouts and sloping ground away from your house. Besides that, you may have water welling up under your foundation - hydrostatic pressure will force it up into any cracks in your floor or walls. You have to relieve that pressure by giving the water someplace else to go.

We had a problem with one wall of our basement. We decided that we would excavate and waterproof the exterior side of the wall. When we dug it out, (we hired a guy with a machine) the excavator pointed out a place where the footing met the cinderblock that had a small chunk missing. he instructed us to fill all holes and cracks and then we applied a coating to the wall. We also chose to install a sheet drain against the wall. So far, everything is good. We're about ready to finish the basement now.

GBR 06-06-2009 09:13 PM

An outside perimeter drain is needed. Stop the water before it enters your basement. Sounds like a wetland. Hopefully there are not any springs, only capillary and gravity water. Hope these help:

Foundation Drainage

Drainage pipe, drain tile, and fittings for a French drain installation Be safe, G

handyguys 06-08-2009 08:38 AM

all good advice ^^^^

The biggest challenge is you seem to be at the low spot in your neighborhood.

What I did -
1) french drain at footer piped to dry-well at low spot of yard - drywell overflows to daylight and drains away from house.
2) underground piping for downspouts directed to same drywell.
3) exterior waterproofing membrane from grade level to footer.
4) all ground slopes away from the house.

1) french drain below slab near footer directed to a sump pump
2) sump pump pumps out to same dry well.

My sump pump never runs as everything has been stopped before coming inside.

Good luck

slownsteady 07-24-2009 01:12 PM


Any progress on your situation??

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