Basement seeping, no rain for two weeks

Apologies in advance - I'm sure this has been asked & asked, but 2800+ hits on basement and roof is a bit overwhelming.
Old house, roof needs replacement - tabs coming off during high winds, hope to do this this fall after refi.
Wet spring (2nd wettest on record for area) and first time for water in basement. Gutters kinda clogged with roof material, so cleaned out. No rain since, unfortunately.
Possible that gutters drain into cistern next to house - brick and mortar walls, lid caved in during rainy spring. Have replaced one downspout (3 total on house) with a pvc tube that directs gutter output well away from house, 20ft or so into yard. 2nd has drain pipe on it, again directing well away from house, maybe 12 ft. 3rd might drain to cistern, I don't know for sure.
Water in basement seeping in from odd corners, flowing across floor to drain. Has to go through whole basement to get to drain. 2 areas definately coming from below. Basement is poured cement, several cracks around perimeter that could go through or not (never had water in basement except what came in through windows via high winds).
Been here ~9+ years. So about the cistern. I am pumping it dry (well away from house) then in the evening, I can pump again for 1.5-2 hours. I've checked, and it seems to NOT be a leak from our well - the pump doesn't run constantly, have turned water off and pressure tank stayed pressurized. Ground around house slopes ok, except gaping hole where cistern is.
What are the chances the roof is causing this problem?? I see dampness on the exterior basement wall just under (beneath, lower than) the siding but not from siding to ground, just up on the wall a bit - I have no idea what this is, where it is coming from. There is some efflorescence on one wall in basement, that has been there a while.
I need to get this sorted out because I think I'm gonna start to have problems if it doesn't dry out down there. Am running a dehumidifier to drain. It has dried out once (constant pumping cistern AM and PM until dry) but after our last rain a couple weeks ago, it's been wet again.
Water is seepage, less than 1/4 inch deep, but it is wet enough to splash in.
Need some guidance please! Sorry for long post, trying to get all nec. info included.
Thanks.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

buffalo ny: you simply need an old experienced plumber from your area. nice post. other factors to dscuss with your plumber: who are you in regard to skills, what type of water and sewer connections arrive at your home, where are you geographically/climate/legally, when does this need to be fixed is yesterday, why not invest in some good advice to reveal the underground mysteries of your home, and how will you pay the plumber is use the money saved on buying and running pumps and a dehumidifier (which is an expensive air conditioner with a bucket or hose drain).
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

more at: http://www.buildingscienceconsulting.com/resources /
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

2nd wettest spring, clogged gutters, that will do it, be sure gutters actualy are pitched to drain and downspouts drain far from your home, when my gutters are full of junk I flood.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Sat, 17 May 2008 04:44:04 -0700 (PDT), ransley

I've got the same problem. 60 year old house, poured cement basement. Always dry. This year snow up to the eaves, which then melted in three days so one corner of the basement is wet.
The ground is just saturated with water so there isn't anything I can do. That I know of. I don't have a sump pump and there aren't any channels to the drain in the middle of the floor.
I've had the dehumidifier on for three weeks and the corner is just now starting to dry a bit. This winter sucked.
Keri
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

The roof is very unlikely to be the culprit. If there was a point source of water in one spot, then there is some chance the water could somehow be making it's way from a roof leak to the basement without showing up inside the house first. But if it's coming from multiple areas and continues for days after a rain, that you can rule that out.
Pumping the cistern and having it fill up again in a matter of hours with no rain is one clue. This being the 2nd wettest Spring on record is a major one. That means there is likely enough water to temporarily raise the normal level of water in the ground and it can stay that way for weeks.
In addition to making sure the gutters work and take the water 10ft+ away from the house, which you've already done, make sure the ground around the foundation is properly graded. Next heavy rain, go outside and verify what is really going on. For example, I've seen cases where you have a nice corrugated pipe attached to the gutter downspout and all looks well. But because it's not secured high enough on the downspout, during a heavy rain the water pours out right there at the foot of the foundation.
In a month or so, it will very likely return to normal. Then you have to evaluate if it's worth taking additional and more difficult steps to preven it in the future, or to live with the probability of it happening again during another period of extreme rain.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
It is just a combination of high ground water level and the lack or malfunction of a good drainage system OUTSIDE the basement wall. You need to get the water away from your home. Ideally the ground should slope away from the basement walls on all sides of your home for a distance of at least 12 feet and I would want at least 20 feet. Next you want to have a perimeter drain all around the outside of your foundation (below the basement floor level.) A lot of contractors try to use an interior version of this drain and it often works, but it is not nearly as effective as exterior. You are far better off keeping the water away from the home than removing it after it gets in.
The work you did on the down spouts is good and should be a part of the job. Of course any roof leaks also need to be fixed before more damage is done there.

--
Joseph Meehan

Dia \'s Muire duit
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.