Soaked, broke and fed up

I've been fighting the same battle for more years than I care to think about...water leaking into my basement during rainstorms and spring runoff.
I have an otherwise nice little home in the country, but every time a heavy rain hits, I have to dig out the shop vac and start sucking and dumping gallons of water off the back deck. Needless to say, I haven't finished off my basement, which would allow me to utilize some much-needed extra space. And I'm also very concerned about the long-term negative impact on the foundation.
I've tried most everything within my means; gutters, digging down several feet and applying asphalt coating to the outer walls, using concrete patch and UGL on the inner walls, etc., but nothing has worked. In fact, it seems to have gotten worse.
I'm aware that you can hire a "basement waterproofing" contractor who might be able to solve the problem if you happen to have several thousand dollars lying around, but I don't. And given my current debt load, a home equity loan isn't feasible either.
What's most frustrating is that I haven't been able to pinpoint where the water comes in, so I'm left with the feeling that I'm putting band-aids on a broken leg.
This is admittedly just a cry for help; I'm aware there may be no solution short of a major project such as digging up the entire foundation. However, if anyone has had similar problems (and I'm sure there must be many of you), and there are any possible solutions I've overlooked, your input would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks in advance...
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Do you have a dirt or comcrete floor, could you have a high water table. I know areas where houses were built near underground rivers or springs That can be a constant fight. When I dug out my basement I dug 2 ft deeper and it was dust dry to see conditions. Often a perimeter french drain and pump are necessary. You said you dug down several feet, was that to the footer , does it leak through the tar area. Water moves around on its way down , one missed crack can divert water. No easy answer. But maybe the patio you mention should be redone for drainage. Get pros out to help with ideas and give bids, it may be easier than you thought.
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yup, you cant fight the water table. some houses in an area in my town have springs shooting up under them. you cant win this battle. dig next to the house about 2' down below the lowest point in the basement. if you hit standing water, there isnt much you can do yourself to just fix what you got. you cant turn a sailboat into a submarine <g>
randy
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Dale Randall wrote:

Is this "back deck" on the outside? If so I am guessing this is the problem. It sounds like you have the ground at the back of your home slopping towards the house. You will never solve your problem until you get the ground (including paved areas) slopping away from your home for 10-20 feet in all directions.

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runoff.
heavy
off
seems
might
dollars
a
However,
you),
First, it is really, really helpful to know where the water is coming in from. Is it coming under the foundation? From cracks in the poured or block basement walls? If you can localize the water source, your task will be much easier.
Start with the drainage around the home. Do you have gutters and downspouts? Are they working properly? If not, make repairs. Does the water flow away from the house, particularly for the first 4-6"? If not, re-grade. Are there any holes adjacent to the foundation? Fill 'em. Is there an uphill and downhill side of your home? Try creating a swale or french drain to intercept any water that is flowing towards your home.
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space.
several
patch
equity
the
on
solution
be
water
CORRECTION: I shoulda typed 4-6'

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wrote:

What do you mean 'off the back deck', Dale? What does that have to do with your basement problem?

Do you have a sump hole in the basement?...with a pump? Do you know if you have any drain tile goin' around the house?

I don't understand what yer sayin' here? You can't tell where the water is coming into the basement? Why would that be? It should at least be obvious which walls are causing the problem...or the floor.

It depends on whether you want to prevent the water from coming into the basement...or if you simply want to divert the water after it comes into the basement so that it can't cause you any problems.

We need more info...per the above.
Have a nice week...
Trent
What do you call a smart blonde? A golden retriever.
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runoff.
heavy
Nothing...I think. I'm simply referring to the constant trips up the stairs and out the back door to the deck so I can dump the shop-vac. I see one other poster refers to the deck as possibly contributing to the problem, however.

space.
patch
seems
No, no and I don't know. Frankly, I'm not even sure what drain tile is or what it does.

might
dollars
on a

The water is coming in from the north and south walls. Again, I'm unable to pinpoint the location(s). 25 feet of wall on each side of the house covers a lot of ground. And, while I can see the streams coming across the floor from the bottom of the foundation, I've been unable to determine the exact source of the leaks. I have patched everything that even looks like a crack in the wall.

solution
Either one would be a vast improvement over the status quo.

you),
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wrote:

Oh...okay. You kinda threw me for a loop there. lol

I could easily tell you, Dale...but this might be where you really need to start. Get to the library and get some books on house construction...or browse on the Internet. Once you understand what those tiles are for, apply that information to your particular situation.
Basically, the tiles are for carrying water away from your house. But do some reading...if you plan on trying to solve this problem yourself.
Contact your county seat offices...see if they pulled a permit when they built your house. They may have a set of plans on file...that will tell you more about the perimeter of the house.
But, offhand, it doesn't sound like you have any drain tile there.

Try harder!! lol
Seriously, it should be pretty easy to see where its coming from...either the wall, the seam where the wall meets the floor, or from the floor itself.
As important as WHERE the water is coming in is at what HEIGHT the water is coming in.
You need to determine where the access points are in order to solve the problem.
But...you've now already cut your problem in half! Its only TWO walls...not four! lol

One solution...you can often drill weep holes into the bottom blocks that meet the floor. That will often allow the water build-up in the blocks to drain out. Then you enclose...channel...that water to a central location in the basement...and void it from there.
Its called 'interior channel'. Its not really 'waterproofing' the basement. But it may be the solution you want.
You can probably Google for some sites that'll give a complete explanation.
When you get those books, pay attention to the construction aspects of the block themselves....type of material, etc.
Good luck, Dale...keep us posted.
Have a nice week...
Trent
What do you call a smart blonde? A golden retriever.
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Dale:
DR> I've been fighting the same battle for more years than I care to think DR> about...water leaking into my basement during rainstorms and spring runoffDR> DR> I have an otherwise nice little home in the country, but every time a heavy DR> rain hits, I have to dig out the shop vac and start sucking and dumping DR> gallons of water off the back deck. Needless to say, I haven't finished ofDR> my basement, which would allow me to utilize some much-needed extra space. DR> And I'm also very concerned about the long-term negative impact on the DR> foundation.
As the others indicated, you probably have a water table problem. We have a similar problem here, and this house sits on hill! We've learned to anticipate water in the basement when one of the creeks on the way to work runs near it's banks.
The shop vac we use here has a built-in pump: connect a hose and the other end into ther floor drain ==> no need to manually empty the tank as done automatically.
How much water do you get? If it's 'seepage' (enough to cover the floor) you might do what we do and "live with it". Half of the basement is finished. The carpet gets soaked but otherwise survives without shrinkage or discolouration (a previous owner installed it). The furniture is on casters, wheels, furniture coasters, or otherwise not in direct contact with the flooring. When there's a chance of water coming in we "put stuff up" ==> the bar stools get flipped on to the bar, etc. Sure it's a nuisance for a month or so out of the twelve.
When there is water in the basement we run the dehumidifiers and ceiling fans to dry out and keep the air moving.
As for the foundation question, the water running in here is essentially clear and we have no cracks in the cement block walls we can see. If your water is muddy I'd be a little concerned as that dirt is coming for some place. I wouldn't get panicky but I'd keep an eye on any cracks, possibly making notations on crack width and length.
DR> I've tried most everything within my means; gutters, digging down several DR> feet and applying asphalt coating to the outer walls, using concrete patch DR> and UGL on the inner walls, etc., but nothing has worked. In fact, it seemDR> to have gotten worse.
The "worsening' could be just paranoia from constantly fighting the water, or could be something is different. Do you have gutter extensions? Use a length of downspout to move the gutter water further from the house. When you dug along the outer walls and filled it back in did you also install a French Drain? Water will take the easiest path and the removed and replaced dirt may now be that path (may verify your "seems to have gotten worse" comment).
Are there any low spots near the house? Raise these: you don't want water soaking in, eventually finding it's way into your basement.
As far as the basement waterproofing contractors, we've investigated over the years and none could guarantee a dry basement. One idea I'm toying with is to chisel/router out/jackhammer/whatever a (roughly) 1x1" trough near the perimeter of the basement floor to channel the water that comes in to the drain rather than allowing it to spread where it wants.
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There are several good ideas here. Especially checking grade around the house, to insure no water "flows" back towards the house, during rains.
Assuming the grade is OK, there's only one real solution and it's expensive. Digging to the bottom of the foundation (footings in our area) and installing tile around the foundation, into a sump pit, where the water is pumped out when the level in the pit rises. Generally, these tile are placed on the OUTSIDE of the foundation, but they can be placed inside as well. If you have the time and back strength, you can cut the concrete on the INSIDE of the house, dig in the tile and fill the concrete back in. It's not easy, but if you do it yourself, it's not particularly expensive.
Remember that water seeks it's own level. One thig you could try, that won't be quite as exensive, is to install the sump pit in a area of your basement, preferably the area that tends to get wet first (if you can tell), without the tile. Cut the concrete, dig the hole and install the receptacle (pit). Pits can be purchased at most DIY stores. Make sure the pit has several small holes (drill with a drill if necessary) and wrap the pit in landscape fabric, to help screen out dirt and larger objects. Place the pit in the hole and backfill with gravel. Install the sump pump and pipe it outside your home, preferabbly as far away from the house as possible.
You can always install tile into the pit later, if you get the opportunity.
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Couple of suggestions/comments. 1) We have used one or two of those milk crates as a basket of a sump dug through the floor of both our and my daughter's house. An AC operated sump pump then starts when water rises in the sump and is expelled a short distance from the house on a downward slope. Or into a drain if you've got one? However see item 2. With such a sump pump, one is taking a chance that there will not be the mother of all rainstorms during a power failure! Fortunately we have a generator also. Our pump rarely runs anyway because there is still the remnants of drainage away from the basement footing even though it was disrupted when municipal water and sewer were installed approx. 20+ years ago. 2) There ought to be some kind of 'Weeping Tile' around the periphery of the basement footing; normally outside. This allows water to 'level out' around the footings, without reaching the level of the basement floor and coming into the house, and instead it flows to a sump such as in item 1. In the case of my daughters house they installed weeping tile but did not connect the weeping tile to a French drain that slopes away from the house. Even though her house footings are only 4.5 feet down and I told the builders the drain was there and how to connect! So we installed a submersible sump pump in the manner described in item 1, for her. 3) In this house, built some 34 years ago I installed weeping tile around outside of footing and also around inside of footings also I placed at least 8 to 10 inches of crushed stone all over before placing he concrete basement floor. Did this because the area behind house had a reputation for being wet (these days much less so because of improved road ditching). The result has been only some water that built up in below ground level window wells and a couple of times a few gallons has flowed in around one window onto the workshop floor. Sounds like OP has a groundwater problem and or lacking weeping tile or proper drainage of that tile away from the house basement footings? Just another comment that it is a bit of self-work but not impossible to cut down through a concrete floor (4 to 6 inches) place some drainage to a sump pump point, concrete it over (after it's been checked out for effectiveness). We had to do this cut floor, dig, install pipe, refill and concrete over, for about 20 feet, of our basement floor when municipal services became available. A meaty electric impact drill was rented and equipped with a couple of different 'heads' took less than a day to open up the basement floor trench. IIRC also using a steel headed mall and eye protection to smash some lumps. Good luck. My 25 year old son says he can 'just' remember helping me do it!
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Thanks to all for the suggestions...there are several I had never heard before or am not familiar with.
It helps to know there are some options out there that might do the trick...and, after all that's what this forum is for.
Thanks again...
Dale

that
even
the
around
the
pump
least
basement
wet
has
a
cut
sump
up
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If you have to move water every time, h ow about invest in a sump pump? Then y our sump pump could move the water on its own, instead of you having to shop vac it and haul buckets.
--

Christopher A. Young
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