Just bought house and now basement is flooding

I live in Canada and about a month ago, we moved into a new house. It house is 7 years old. When we did the walk through, everything looked good. But when you really look close at the carpet, we knew that there was previous water damage. And the first time we used the vacuflow, there was water in it. They have 4 kids, so these signs did not trigger anything for us.
Well it has rained here for 2 days straight. Yesterday when we sent down stairs, we realized that water was seeping in. It seemed strange because the window above was reasonably dry on the inside, but the well on the outside was filled with water.
We got out the shampooer and vacummed it up, but it kept returning. We could not see where the water was coming from.
Later in the evening on the other side of the basement, everytime we would take a step, water would soak up to the carpet. We had wet foot prints everywhere. So we started stomping around and then the other areas became saturated.
So we took off the baseboards and lifted up the carpet. We assumed we would find a crack or something. But we did not.
The water is coming in on 2 walls, one has a window and the other does not. I know this sounds strange, but it seems like the water is coming in through the walls. They are drywalled so we could not actually see. The wall without the window is has a large deck on it.
So where do we start looking for the source. My husband thinks it is just the lack of grading of the dirt. Is this possible????
Should the old homeowners have told us of the problem and is there anything we can do now because they did not?
Thanks in advance Just Me
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Absolutely possible. Five days after we closed on this place we had a huge boomer roll through (I'm in Saskatoon) and I hadn't cleaned the gutters (it was on my todo list). I ended up digging a trench down the middle of the back yard during a violent thunderstorm (no bloody way was I going up a metal ladder to get at the clogged eavestrough) to get the water away from the house. I hauled in 10 yards of dirt the next week to get the grade sloped away from the house at the foundation, and check the gutters three times a year.

They probably should have, but whether they had a legal *obligation* to and if you have any recourse because they didn't is a question for your lawyer and possibly your insurance company (if you're making a claim).
djb
--
Go read this. Now.
<http://www.ejectejecteject.com/archives/000129.html
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I had to take 3 steps, thankfully paid for by the seller once we had the inspection:
1. Regrade the outside. 2. New gutter along that side of the house, a big large gutter, and make sure the exit pipes go right out away from the house, mine go out 15 feet under a deck. There was standing water under the deck once. 3. Dehumidifier in the basement, run it all the time if necessary when its damp. I have a high velocity fan (on low) blowing there 24/7 also, to circulate the air and help the dehumidifier.
I also put tight heavy plastic canvas under the deck, once the grading was done, to bring any water right away from the house.
Now the flooding is gone, if anything there is a small leak once or twice, nothing much. One more thing, make sure the sump pump works fine.
Also, sounds like you could lose the carpet and have something else, such as bare concrete (like me).
Good luck, don't worry, these problems are common and you will get them fixed!
Dean
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
In the US there are real estate disclosure laws which require the seller to notify you of such problems. You should contact any broker except the one who sold you the property and find out what the Canadian laws are. If your window wells are filling up, you can get covers for them, but it sounds like you may have footing drain issues

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
JustMe wrote:

First I would check with the local authorities and see if you have any legal recourse.
Next your husband is right. Most of the time when there is problems with water coming in, a quick look at the grading around the home will show where the problem is. Trying to work from the inside to prevent water from coming in is not the best idea. Start with where it is coming in and keep the water away from there.
I don't know what your local regulations may be, but it sounds like you may not have a sump pump to get rid of any water that does get in. Check locally and see if that would be a good idea where you are. I'll bet it would.
--
Joseph Meehan

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

Does the soil have high clay content? The well should drain ... away from the house. Water may be coming in around the window. That may be one source. It may also indicate water is pooling around the "envelope" of your basement.

Sounds like hydrostatic pressure on the building envelope ... water will enter at the easiest point which can be a wall crack. If this is so, one quick relief ... which your city will not like ... is to break the mortar seal around your floor drain .. just a little . If water pours up (and then down the drain)... you will know what the problem is ... and allowing this relief may help. Essentially what you're doing is providing an easier entry.

Yes, even likely. It could also be that the eavestroughing is not carry water far enough away from the house.

Depends on where you are in Canada. Did they sign a disclosure statement. In BC, sellers are required to sign a disclosure statemnt ... if they've lied and water in the vacuflow and the filling of the window well suggest they have, you can seek relief. In BC as well, the listing realtor is liable not only for what he/she know but for what he/she ought to have known. In Alberta, a much less consumer friendly province, sellers are requested but not required to disclose known defects.
Did you not have a home inspection?? Not that you'll be able to pin much on them. Their contracts ensure they are responsible for nothing.
Ken
Talk to your lawyer. It also depends on just how much you've been damaged. A couple of thousand dollars in remedies might justify a harsh letter from your lawyer, but not much beyond. A six or eight thousand dollars remedy might warrant a small claims court action. But basically, the only winners in law suits are the lawyers.
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.