Cellar/Basement Concrete Steps Leaking

Discussion in 'Framing and Foundation' started by MilkMan, Apr 22, 2019.

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  1. Apr 22, 2019 #1

    MilkMan

    MilkMan

    MilkMan

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    Hi Everyone,

    I got this house last year and I have been trying to focus on fixing it up, been focusing more on the inside taking it a little slow because of work and school. With the spring thaw and the recent heavy rains, the sump pump threw a fit a couple of days ago and the basement flooded. I had a cheap spare pump that I have a hose for and just pumped it out into the yard. I noticed the stairs going down into the cellar was leaking water back into the basement very rapidly even with the hose strung out past the patio a little bit where the ground slopes towards the field/shed not the house. I was very surprised at how fast the water was leaking past the bottom step and a small hole/crack in the second step.

    I plan on tearing up the patio and seeing how the water is coming back in towards the house, I'm sure it has created a channel under the patio. I was just going to buy some Quikrete Water Stop Cement and patch the steps, but I'm certain that will just mask the issue and I'll do that after figuring out where and why the water is coming in there.

    How should I go about digging out the ground by the cellar door and under the patio (once I remove the patio) and then what should I do about backfilling? Is there a certain kind of backfill I should use? Rock? Etc.

    Thanks in advance!

    You can see in the pictures how far the concrete patio has sunk down (1-3")
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  2. Apr 22, 2019 #2

    nealtw

    nealtw

    nealtw

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    Concrete will not seal from the insides, if you have high water table all you can do is pump it, You should have had a perimeter drain around the outside of the footing that also picked up the drain at the bottom of the stairs. We want the walls damp proof or water proof but we still don't want water sitting against the walls applying pressure. we would like a sandy fill near the house that would transport water down to the drain.
    We will have to learn more about the pump and system you have to make any suggestions about drainage.
    The patio might be sitting on expansive soil or just been effected by freeze thaw cycles or both, you can have the soil tested.
     
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  3. Apr 23, 2019 #3

    MilkMan

    MilkMan

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    I don't think there is a perimeter drain around the house, to be honest. There are no pipes leading to the sump pump coming from outside, and I do not see any day-light drains. The only way I am going to know I guess is if I take the patio up and dig down at the beginning of the stairs? Usually how far down is the drain located, if there is not one what type of material would I need and how should I go about installing it? The basement walls are perfectly dry and do not leak, even though it is old limestone that needs repointed, literally, the only place that leaks water in is the stairs.

    Thank you for the reply by the way! You guys came through for me on my shed issues and are always so willing to help, I do appreciate it.
     
  4. Apr 24, 2019 #4

    nealtw

    nealtw

    nealtw

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    A perimeter drain is usually beside the footing .
    You would like to have a drain in the floor of the stairs just outside the door , you might be able to run that to you sump pump or you would need one for this drain outside.
     
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  5. Apr 28, 2019 #5

    MilkMan

    MilkMan

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    Since it is basically the only place where water comes in, and you can see on the floor where it is tapered towards the sump I wonder if back in the day they didn't make that the drain? There's a lot of weird things with this house (original house was built in 1863). Eventually, I am going to pull up the patio, if there is a perimeter drain there would it be 8' deep or? And if I wanted to install a perimeter drain how deep would I need to dig and could I just take it to daylight or would I need to take it down to the sump?

    Thank you for your input!
     
  6. Apr 28, 2019 #6

    nealtw

    nealtw

    nealtw

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    Well if you want to stop the water from leaking into the stairs you have to below the stairs, sound like full depth to me.
     
  7. May 2, 2019 #7

    slownsteady

    slownsteady

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    I would not want to take any water from outside the house and bring it indoors to the sump pump. The exterior drainage needs to be totally separate from the interior. If you have some slope on your property, daylight it down in that direction.
     

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