Leak in basement

Page 1 of 2  
I have a leak in the basement. It is located in just one area in a corner. The basement is 28 y/o and dry as a bone until late last year. Over the years, one of the downspout's extensions to the end of the flower bed at almost the exact area of the had become plugged and you could see it backing up and pouring out at heavy rains. I disconnected that from the downspout and ran a new one about 15 feet away from the foundation. Still happening. Any suggestions for other possibilities before I bring out a basement person? It is all at floor level and I can't see any discoloration or other concerns with the drywall in the area.
--
?Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive,
but what they conceal is vital.?
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
| It is all at floor level and I can't see any discoloration or other | concerns with the drywall in the area.
Drywall? If you have drywall over your cellar wall then how do you know the leak is at floor level?
In cases where there's flooding outside coming through the wall I've had good luck with plastic for shedding water. Often the problem is soil or gravel that lets water pass through too quickly. Depending on what's outside, this might be worth a try:
Dig down a foot or two such that you have a dome of soil sloping away from the house. Spread thick plastic or rubbish bags over the dome. Refill. The depth is to make sure plant roots about don't starve later. The overall effect is like putting up a roof extending out from the house. The water starts seeping in 2-3 feet out rather than right next to the house.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

discoloration on dry wall. That would seem to indicate that.

now? It was dry for over 28 years.

--
?Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive,
but what they conceal is vital.?
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Friday, June 19, 2015 at 12:04:48 PM UTC-4, Kurt Ullman wrote:

Have you been outside in a heavy rain to see what's happening? Often what you think is happening and what's actually going on are different. I had some water coming in once, everything looked OK, until I went out in heavy rain and found out the water was coming out the end of the corrugated pipe where it slipped over the downspout. It was pooling right at the foundation. Also, check the gutters if you haven't?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
| > | It is all at floor level and I can't see any discoloration or other | > | concerns with the drywall in the area. | > | > Drywall? If you have drywall over your cellar | > wall then how do you know the leak is at floor | > level? | > | The water is all at floor level and there is no indication of | discoloration on dry wall. That would seem to indicate that. |
I'm still not clear about that. First you said drywall. Now you say dry wall. If there is wallboard (drywall) over the concrete or stone cellar wall then it would seem uncertain where the leak is coming from. On the other hand, maybe I misunderstood and you meant the dry part of the concrete or stone wall looks clean.
| > In cases where there's flooding outside coming | > through the wall I've had good luck with plastic | > for shedding water. Often the problem is soil | > or gravel that lets water pass through too quickly. | > Depending on what's outside, this might be worth | > a try:
| But if that is the problem, shouldn't we have had this long before | now? It was dry for over 28 years. |
Maybe. Maybe not. You have water you didn't have before. Broken pipe? Raised water table from more rain than usual? A gradual washing away of soil from underground at the cellar wall? Animals making burrows? Lots of things could have changed. Some of them can be fixed. I don't know if my suggestion will help. It's just something you could check into and try out without much trouble. But of course if you have a raised water table then plastic won't help.
I've used the plastic cure in 2 cases. One was leakage around a dryer vent going out through soil. The other was a case of soil washing away near the house, so that a kind of sink hole had developed, allowing water to get down to the fieldstone cellar wall during heavy rains.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Typing with two thumbs (grin). There is no pipe in the area and the leaks only occur after rains. BTW: We built the place nearly 30 years ago and can tell you there was about 6 feet of clay and then it was all sand if it tells you anything. I doubt raised water table since only in one small area and none of my crawlspaces are having problems nor are any of my neighbors.

There is no noticable sink hole.
--
?Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive,
but what they conceal is vital.?
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
In typed:

If you have flower beds above the area where the basement leak recently developed, maybe the previous downspout clog problem caused water to fill up in the flower bed and then find a path down into the basement. Those pathways may still exist. And, if you still have a flower bed, maybe ordinary rain water is filling up in the flower bed and not running off away from the foundation. I think you may need to do some regrading of the ground away from the foundation in addition to what you already did with the downspout.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

It isn't a flower bed per se. The area is where I have had rhododendrons and mulch. Ordinary rain doesn't usually cause a problem, but then we haven't had ordinary rain since early April...
--
?Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive,
but what they conceal is vital.?
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
In

Got it. No flower beds. But still, the earlier backups could have caused a pathway to be created in that area down to the bottom of the exterior foundation. Just be sure that the ground is graded away from the house in that area since it appears that surface water is getting down to the bottom of the foundation in that area. You said you doubt that the water table has risen, and there are no pipes in the area, so what else is would or could be left other than surface water in that area going down along the foundation rather than running off away from the house?
Good luck. Let us know if you think you get it figured out and what the solution was.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Saturday, June 20, 2015 at 2:09:03 PM UTC-4, TomR wrote:

think interior french drain......
installed properly it solves water problems completely
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
In

I disagree for this situation. That's an expensive fix (if it works) for a problem for which the true cause is not yet clearly identified or known. And, if it does turn out that the problem is just a minor amount of water or wetness in one corner of the basement, a sump pump in that area would probably fix that completely for far less money than an interior french drain.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Saturday, June 20, 2015 at 2:52:00 PM UTC-4, TomR wrote:

well my mom had a wet basement and after her death I was renting the home a nd decided that once and for all I would fix it and pretty up the place.
had a exterior french drain installed around the permiter, I was the in the hole laborer. regraded the entire yard, new downspouts and lines run all t he way to the street, all new sidewalks and steps. all properly sloped to e lminate water problems. I worked hard for one entire summer. spent a fortun e oon a backhoe guy to do the heavy stuff, waterproffed the exterior walls, painted the interior walls with drylock paint. spent over 9 grand and this was over 10 perhaps 15 years ago.
At completion I smiled with pride till fall came and tenant called, water c oming up thru cracks in basement floor......
at my witts end and with water pooling in the basement i called a interior french drain company, 3600 bucks including a sump pump....
way cheaper than fixing it on the outside.
that ended the water problem for good.........
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

Sounds like you didn't get the external drain low enough.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I casn;t figure out why anyone would put in an interior french drain - fix the external drainage to keep the water out, instead of trying to get rid of what has already gotten in.
what i didnt know at the time when these homes were built in 1950 a small s tream ran thru the area.
in heavy rains the pressure of the water below increases, raises the water table, and i had a wet basement again:(
the interior french drain was far less expensive than digging along the ext erior foundation, we unearthed a perforated pipe totally packed with silt from whoever had tried to fix it earlier, waterproofing wall, repairing som e small cracks, regrading entire yard, re landscaping, removing one mature tree so the backhoe could access the back yard, , replacing lots of sidewal k that ran around 2 sides of the home, had to use all gravel where the side walk was going or dirt settling over time would allow the sidewals to sett le.
people who talk about the interior french drain have obviously never done what i did.
i had to water the replacement grass all summer, the water bill was enmorou s.
the curb appeal was much improved
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
In typed:

Makes sense, and I see why you were suggesting an interior French drain.
In your case, it appears that the problem turned out to be a high water table and any French drain system on the outside probably would not work.
What I was suggesting is that, for the OP, he may not actually need an interior French drain with the sump pump. The interior French drain is to direct the rising water table through the French drain and into the sump pump to be pumped out. But, if the water problem is very minor (as it appears to be with the OP), and if it is only in one corner of the basement -- I would try just a sump pump in that area first before also doing a French drain around the perimeter. I have two basements with just a sump pump and no French drain and that fixed the problem completely in both basements -- and yes, my issue in those two basements is a rising water table.
I do understand, however, that in your situation and in other situations, an interior French drain along with the sump pump is the correct solution. But, in the OP's case, if an interior French drain is needed in addition to the sump pump, it can be added after the sump pump is in place.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

fix the external drainage to keep the water out, instead of trying to get rid of what has alkready gotten in.
I was seriously looking at buying a different house - a real nice bungalow with a double garage and full basem,ent shop under the garage - the cat's meow for a guy like me - but water had come in, aparently behind the fireplace in the recreation room, so the basement carpet had been removed. It seamed strange that all of the basement windows had plastic window-well covers on them. The lot slopes back to front, and had a retaining wall across the back, with a footing weeper - and another drainage tile between it and the house in a low spot that seemed to hold water. These drained into a little "manhole" which drained to a tile that appeared to be either completely or very close to completely filled with silt, which I was concerned may have plugged the foundation perimeter drain tile. Upon further investigation before putting an offer on the house we found no cracks in the foundation, but the water level was about 3 - 5 inches below the basement floor slab. - ODD -there was water over half way up the sewer cleanout in the pit in the cold room. I asked the meighbours on both sides if they had any water problems and how often their sump pumps ran. Neither could remember their sump pump EVER running --- ODD . Ends up this house was the only one that didn't have the foundation tiles draining to "daylight " - in this case the municipal storm sewer. The guy had built the house 8 inches to a foot too low on the lot to be able to gravity drain the tile - so the tile all drained into a "mickey mouse" sump pit. The tile didn't actually go into the pit - it dumped the water into the gravel filled hole the plastic pit liner (looked like an old water softener brine tank) fit into - but the water level had to reach the level of the tile outlet before it flowed into the sump liner (which was not perforated), so the sump pump could not lower the water level below that point - which was inches below the basement floor slab. I could have bought the house, taking a chance that installing a "proper" sump setup would solve the problem - but I won't own a home that depends entirely on a sump pump to keep the basement from becoming an indoor swimming pool.
Let someone else have those headaches!!! But the house was EXACTLY what I'd been looking for for over 10 years, otherwise.. Oh well ------
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Saturday, June 20, 2015 at 10:22:12 PM UTC-4, snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

what you could of done was get a interior french drain, since the lot sloped back to front, get 2 or 3 estimates and deduct estimates from asking price......
hey to fix the water problem will cost 7 grand, heres my offerfor 7 grand less, deducted to pay to fix the water problem.
most of those companies offer a liifetime of home dry basement warranty that transferes to later owners.
in the case of my home i did get some water in the garage, coming up thru crack in garage floor, they added about 16 feet of additional drain connected to their system at no charge, which conveniently fixed the crack
your passing on a home you liked after looking for 10 years only hurt yourself
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

The interior french drain would have still required the sump to be redone properly, and would still have required the sump pump to run extensively to get and keep the water out - would have been a no-gain situation at significant cost since it was a fully finished basement (except for under the garage)- There was nothing wrong with the exterior drain other than the fact it was too low to drain - the interior french drain could not be any higher - so was not even the beginning of a solution.. The property slope was virtually all BEHIND the house - so all the water from the back of the property had to flow past or under the house.

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

28 years so why now? There was the screwed up downspout for awhile, but that has been replaced and the older one removed. The newer one was run even further away from the foundation. I didn't see any sink holes or anything suggesting that there is run off nearby. I guess I'll just sit back and see what happens in July in August when the monsoon season ends. See if maybe the ground just got saturated before I moved the downspout and hasn't had more than a week or so since to dry out. Thanks to all.
--
?Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive,
but what they conceal is vital.?
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Nope

--
"Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive,
but what they conceal is vital."
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Related Threads

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.