My Next DIY Project to Solve Water in Basement

Discussion in 'Home Improvement' started by Von Jones, Mar 29, 2015.

  1. Von Jones

    Von Jones Very Well-Known Member
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    When it rains there are two areas where water leaks into our basement. I can only guess two causes (1)when the house shifts for whatever reasons or (2) may be the waterproofing has met it lifespan.

    I've viewed a lot of videos on YouTube that were not done by individuals but professionals. Not very helpful to me.

    The rainy seasons has begun and I'd like to limit mopping. Any suggestions?
     
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  2. Joe Riley

    Joe Riley Veteran Member
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    Check your gutters to make sure they are not filled with debris. Try going outside in a hard rain, and observing them, to see where they might be overflowing.
     
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  3. Von Jones

    Von Jones Very Well-Known Member
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    The gutters were recently cleaned by the roofers but I will see on the next hard rainfall what happens. Thank you.
     
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  4. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Veteran Member
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    I am not an expert, but I think that one of the more effective ways of keeping water from seeping into your basement is to try to handle it on the outside, making sure that you have good drainage around the house, particularly on the part of the house where it seeps through. The objective would be to encourage as much of the water as possible to flow away from your house rather than to seep into the ground.

    I know that here, in snow country, we tend to pack snow around the house during the winter, as that helps to keep the basement or -- in my case -- crawlspace warm, lessening the chances of pipes freezing. However, when the snow is beginning to melt, such as this part of the year for us, I have to shovel snow away from the house so that I don't have water seeping into the crawlspace.

    This is particularly important with a basement, since it is very hard to prevent water from getting through otherwise. Last winter, we rented a place up north that had a basement. Our landlord was a contractor, and he owned a hardware store, but still he had to make sure the snow was moved away from the house in the spring or water would seep into the full basement. He said that water can actually move through concrete, like a wick, if conditions are wet enough.
     
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  5. Von Jones

    Von Jones Very Well-Known Member
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    I was watching a renovation project on HGTV where water actually flooded the basement. The contractor placed some kind of flat drain outside that captured the water and lead it away from the house into the yard. I think it was called flashing.
     
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  6. Joe Riley

    Joe Riley Veteran Member
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    In some cases, where the roof collects more water than the downspouts can handle, installing commercial grade, 4 Inch diameter downspouts may be a solution.
     
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  7. Jenn Windey

    Jenn Windey Active Member
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    Check around the perimeter of the house, sometimes as the years go on what happens is people put in flower beds and landscaping. After awhile the level of dirt or mulch gets up over the foundation, then when it rains hard the water actually goes over the bottom of the outside wall. This is actually very common in many older homes and condominiums. All you need to do to fix this is rake the beds back so they drop below the foundation again. Check all the surrounding walls for evidence of rot and do any repairs.

    Another thing I have seen is occasionally the walls inside will crack and leak. If your basement is finished you will need to remove the drywall to see. just fill the crack, but try to determine what is causing the water in the first place. I had one at work where the downspout ran into a underground drain, it was moved years ago and the top of the old portion at ground level was sealed off. What no one did was disconnect the old portion that connected to the drain so it would backup if the drain clogged. Which it did and eventually seeped into the surrounding foundation area causing the wall crack and then the leak.
     
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  8. Pat Baker

    Pat Baker Well-Known Member
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    This is a problem for inground basements, we do not have a completely in the ground basement, but one year a storm came through that was more than the sump pump could handle causing a flood in the lower. We do have to make sure the gutters are clean when the rainy season arrives or the water will leak through the windows. Always have to be aware of maintenance on the house. Rainy season is here, I think we should do a check up on the sump pump.
     
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  9. Von Jones

    Von Jones Very Well-Known Member
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    Well there has been two days of hard rain and water is in the basement. I believe the water must be directed away from the house as well as sealing the inside. I dread mopping.:(
     
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  10. Joe Riley

    Joe Riley Veteran Member
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    Maybe you need a french drain.;)

    http://www.concordma.com/magazine/janfeb00/frenchdrains.html

    "Henry French, a judge and a farmer in Concord, Massachusetts, wrote a book called, Farm Drainage, The Principles, Processes, and Effects of Draining Land with Stones, Wood, Plows, and Open Ditches and Especially with Tiles Including Tables of Rain-Fall, Evaporation, Filtration, Evacuation, Capacity of Pipes; Cost and Number to the Acre, of Tiles, Etc, Etc. Published in 1859, his book with the really long title was quite successful and he was well known in the area for designing drainage systems. People started to call the drains he designed French drains.
    This article goes so far as to say that Judge French invented the French drain, and even if we use his name to describe the drainage system, we know he didn't invent it. Unless, maybe he was a Roman road engineer in one of his former lives. Hmm..."
     
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  11. Yvonne Smith

    Yvonne Smith Very Well-Known Member
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    When I lived in Missouri, the house was on a slope downhill from the road to the house and then further down to the pond out behind the house. When it rained, it rained really hard, and the water ran in little (or not so little) creeks through the yard and then down into the catfish pond.
    The people who had owned the house before had used railroad ties to direct the rainwater away from the house and down towards the pond; so it went where they wanted it to go, and not into the basement.
    It seemed to work pretty well. I remember the basement would get damp; but the bedroom was down there and it never got actually wet in the basement, just dampish. I had a de-humidifier that I used in the summer when it was the most humid, and that helped to keep the bedroom air more breathable.
    It might be that you could use the railroad ties, or something similar, and not have to French drain the property.

    If it is coming down the roof and overflowing the raingutters, then the wider downspouts like Joe mentioned would help, and you can put runways out from those to direct the water away from the house, too.
    PS If you don't have one, get a shop vac to suck up all of that water and stop wearing yourself out from mopping, Von.
     
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