Minor non-standard basement leak



I helped my neighbor put in a concrete driveway on one side of my house and suddenly we noticed that we were getting leakage in the basement. He had the same problem on his side as well. My theory, since we we never had a problem before, is that we covered up enough ground surface area with concrete that the only remaining ground near each of the houses was getting saturated with water ;-)
My house is well over 100 years old and has a poured basement wall (narrower on top and wider on the bottom). On top of the poured floor starts several rows of concrete blocks. The leakage is occuring at the seam between the blocks and the poured wall.
My neighbor filled the ground area up to his wall with bags of blacktop to fix his problem (have to check with him to see how this worked out) and I notice that we have a greater problem since he sealed his end (not too surprising). I have had several suggestions from friends. One was to dig down on my side and seal the outside at and around the seam with tar. My neighbor mentioned filling with "pea gravel?" as my side sits in something of a slight depression. I really dont want to do this several times so I thought that I would ask the question here ;-)
Any ideas?
Thanks in advance.
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endoking wrote:

French drain should resolve your problem.
dig a trench insert a preforated pipe with the holes down make sure the pipe is sloped towards the discharge point fill trench with gravel cover with dirt
most instructions say to place landscaping fabric at the top of the gravel, some say to cover the pipe with it. I agree with covering the gravel and having the holes of the pipe facing down.
http://tinyurl.com/zcnkc
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I thought a French drain was only inside the house. I don't want to nitpick but I don't want him to have miscommunication problems with others if he uses the wrong word.

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dig trench sloped away from home install landscape fabric or tar paper then put corrigated pipe over that and cover with gravel.
tar paper helps collect more water but eventually rots.
yeah paving caused the problem his asphalt job probably wouldnt last things will crack and water will get in again.....
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http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=french+drain+definition
Bob
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mm wrote:

technically it is only a french drain if it is installed in france or installed by a frenchman.
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Where is this water comming from? Drainage off the roof dripping into this area or from rain water flowing off the slab?
endoking wrote:

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The rain seems to be coming from the new slab in concert with less surface area of moisture absorbing ground that is now covered by slab.
Thanks
Italian wrote:

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Drainage, Drainage, Drainage is what I tell people when we do jobs like this but they do not seem to understand the importance of having all that surface area (driveway, slab, ect) head in some direction for when it rains, this is classic example. If I were you I would (now that it is summer) take the time to first dig down in a couple of spots to inspect the block portion of your foundation. Since your house is so old Im assuming you are on the east coast somewhere. Water and older block donot mix very well heck water and new block don mix well. Anyway check to see if you have any visable damage cracks, loose morter, holes ect. if you can do this from the inside remember that the block is probably 12" wide and could look perfect from the inside and be damaged on the out. After establishing if you have damage or not REPAIR IT FIRST because you will allways have moisture in the ground regardless of fixing the driveway problem. After that there are a coulpe of things I would recomend. First and probably the most Ideal would be to fill this area in with concrete and put what is called a POOL drain the length of the driveway draining to a safe area. To illustrate you would place this drain next to the existing slab and then pour the new slab up to the house making sure that the area from the house to the drain has a slight enough slope towards the drain that you do not create the same problem. The second option is simply putting in a french drain (not with holes down, this is incorect) down the entie length of the house area. Another option I suppose could be that if the slab is draining to a specific area more than another and then just flowing over the rest of the ground you could put a single drain there and agin send it to a safe area. Idealy If you are not concerned about landscaping this area (which you shouldnt anyway) I would do the first option and try to convince your neighbor to do the same. endoking wrote:

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Thanks so much for your very complete response. I was thinking of simply filling in the area, after digging down sufficiently, with concrete but my neighbor mentioned something about ice expansion, heaving, and pressure against my foundation wall. I dont really see it. If I should pour concrete that is to butt against his concrete driveway then where is this ice going to push against? ;-)
I like everything that you mention and will follow this course of action. I need to research the "pool" drain notion though. I was thinking of a drain pipe cut in half lenghtwise and using this as the form for my small concrete "ditch-like" drain that would run against his concrete driveway pitching from front to back of house (or visa versa) to encourage water flow.
BTW, I am in upstate NY.
A question about these "french drains"... These would be buried under the ground and, much like the above would move water away from the house. What happens to the water at the end of this drain under ground?
Many Thanks again.
Italian wrote:

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If I should pour concrete that is to butt against his concrete

slab up or down. If you were to go up to the foundation edge you would put in something called an exspansion joint that allows for just that exspansion and contraction. But you may not need to go all the way up to the house if there is enough room to essentially create a gutter for the water to collect in and still be away from the house this is fine as well. You know I failed to ask measumernts how long is it from the driveway to house? How long is the driveway running along the house?
What happens to the water at the end of this drain under ground? It should be routed to either the curb and gutter or a low area of the yard where the water will not be a problem.
endoking wrote:

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