water in basement (continued)

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Hi all.
So, I am about to give up :(
I've been pumping water out of my basement every evening for two weeks now (following NE two weeks ago). The water is still comming back. Every rainy day sets me about 5 days back (in my basement water condition). It looks water table is not going anywhere any time soon.
So I am almost about to pay big bucks for something to be done in my basement.
My basment is unfinished and consists of crawl space and another space 6 feet high, deeper in the ground. The floor is concrete, and it is not even (I have to pump out of three different spots now).
One of contractors suggests 2 separate systems -- one for the crawl space and one for the another space -- each one with sump pump and french drain. He is saying that two systems are nesessary because the different floor level, and the french drain is especially necessary since the floor is not even. He is asking $7000 for this work.
I am in NJ.
Do you think what he suggested to be done is reasonable?
Do you think the price is reasonable? How is it affected with the fact that the work seems urgent?
Thanks for any advice.
Arkadiy
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Hi all.
So, I am about to give up :(
I've been pumping water out of my basement every evening for two weeks now (following NE two weeks ago). The water is still comming back. Every rainy day sets me about 5 days back (in my basement water condition). It looks water table is not going anywhere any time soon.
So I am almost about to pay big bucks for something to be done in my basement.
My basment is unfinished and consists of crawl space and another space 6 feet high, deeper in the ground. The floor is concrete, and it is not even (I have to pump out of three different spots now).
One of contractors suggests 2 separate systems -- one for the crawl space and one for the another space -- each one with sump pump and french drain. He is saying that two systems are nesessary because the different floor level, and the french drain is especially necessary since the floor is not even. He is asking $7000 for this work.
I am in NJ.
Do you think what he suggested to be done is reasonable?
Do you think the price is reasonable? How is it affected with the fact that the work seems urgent?
Thanks for any advice.
Arkadiy
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You're doing treatment without diagnosis. Where is the water coming from, and where is it going? Where would you like it to go instead?
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Goedjn wrote:

I agree :(
But who is going to provide such diagnostics (except the people interested in doing the work)?
The water seems to be comming from below, because the ground is saturated and the water table is high... But this is only a guess.
There are some bad areas outside the house, with the concreet pavement sloped in the wrong directions, where the water is gathering during the rain. Can be the problem, but again, I am not sure, and I can't fix it easily to try...
If the water is pumped out, I would like it to go to the street, where I am pumping it out now.
Thanks, Arkadiy
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That certanly sounds like A problem. When my cement trough at the bottom of a downspout fell backwards so it sloped towards the house, I had a wet piece of sheetrock for a couple years.
Didn't do it any good. And I have to cut off the ruined 6 or 8 inches and replace it. It's in a corner of the room behind the fireplace and below a chair so no one sees it, but I know it's there.
When I put rocks under the trough, the area inside dried up (I think). And the trough is only ?? 16 or 18 inches long.
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mm wrote:

Well it definitely not 18 inches :(
A large area of my backyard is covered with concrete slobs. Now all this concrete is sloped toward the house. It always made me nervous, but didn't cause visible problems until recent noreaster. I will definitely have to deal with this, but I don't know if this should be my first priority right now.
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Does the cement run right up against the house, or is there someplace you can intercept the water with a drainage trench before it gets to you? Is there any low spot to dump the water using gravity, or are you going to have to pump it whatever you do. If you dump the water into the street, where does it go after that?
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Goedjn wrote:

yes
The street would be the low spot (but not lower than the basement floor). I would have to brake the concrete and some asphalt next to the house, and then run the drains around the house and onto the street. Looks doable, but porobably expensive too. But I am starting to think this needs to be done before anything inside is done, since it looks more logical to reduce amount of water comming into the basement than to pump it out when it's already there...

down the street and into the sewer
Arkadiy
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It sounds like you posted all the details earlier. For those of us who don't remember it, can you repost?
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2 weeks ago, during the noreaster, my basement got flooded (about a foot of water). I don't have a sump pump, and during previous five years (I bought the house 5 years ago) everything was mostly allright, although once I saw a small pool of water sipping through the floor. I wiped it off then, and that was it. Apparently everything was more or less OK during the previous 40 years since the house was built.
I use a utility pump to get rid of water, but the water keeps comming back through the floor (apparently because of the raised water table). The first five days since the main event were dry and hot, so I almost got rid of water, but then there was one more rainy day, and again I had about 3 in of water... Now, three days later, I am down to half an inch, but tomorrow, according to the forcast, is gonna rain again :(
Also I have a separate crawl space, and even though it's floor level is higher, there is more water in the lowest part of it...
Thanks for any advice, Arkadiy
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Here is the link to the original discussion:
http://groups.google.com/group/alt.home.repair/browse_thread/thread/c3abb45c28b2f511/9a8400879e0bf943#9a8400879e0bf943
Thanks, Arkadiy
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wrote:

Do you have close neighbors? What is going on with them? Do you have a storm sewer to pump into? If not, do you have anywhere to pump to?
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Most people do have sump pumps. But they have not worked in years, so some of them happen to be out of order, and those basements also got flooded...

I can't answer this question -- got to figure out the answer yet...
Thanks, Arkadiy
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wrote:

Knowing what you can do with the water is obviously very important. Find that out before talking to contractors. Pumping water up 2' is very different than pumping it up 10'.
I would be real reluctant to spend $7,000 to fix a problem that happens every 15 years, especially with an unfinished basement. If you can wait a while, the price ought to come down.
A sump pump (maybe two) might solve your problem. They should be under $1,000 each, depending on where the water has to go. They might not handle the floods you had this year, but it is possible that the $7000 fix wouldn't have handled it either. Talk to your neighbors to find out what was, and what wasn't, adequate.
I find it real hard to believe that drains are necessary in the crawl space. If you are pumping water out of the basement the crawl space shouldn't see much water. But there might be a good reason for it; we can't see your house...
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Toller wrote:

It's definitely closer to 2' than to 10' :)

Here is my concern -- I am afraid for the floor which is currently exposed to wery high humidity. I can't provide appropriate ventilation -- I have only one tiny window in the whole basement area. I don't know how dangerous it is. If not, I would wait untill things dry out, and then decide what to do.

Here is the question: if there is a sump pump, how does the water get to it? Through the floor serfice or under it, before reaching the floor level? I got the impression that it goes through the floor serfice (or french drain on this surface).
Thanks, Arkadiy
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Hi,
The french drain I previously posted about replaced a sump pump. A sump pump by itself can work, but there are all kinds of "work".
I was only getting water every 3rd year or so with the sump pump.
Now that I have the french drain, I haven't had a flood for 20+ years. I'm sure there is some amount of rain that would cause of flood though.
My drain goes out thru the basement wall thru a long pipe under the lawn and thru the curb (belgian block) into the street.
If you can get far enough from the house to flow over the lawn that would probably be OK, but I'd expect to see some canals form that you might have to fill periodically.
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The water should get to the pump, under the slab, before anything is wet above. Make the sump as deep as possible. In my case, in previous house, I then hand-formed mortar into sump-liner, with multiple entry holes.
Not knowing how permeable the material is under your slab, which I'd hope is gravel, deep is the solution with the sump. Just as deep as is practical.
Depending on your local aquifers, more than one sump may be the ticket.
J
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snipped-for-privacy@sme-online.com wrote:

Does this mean a french drain inside the basement doesn't make sense? Or is it a backup thing (if the water does reach the floor)?
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It doesn't mean that at all. Water won't flow freely under all edges of the floor to the sump. That's what the french drain does.
The pressure of the water against the cement causes the water to come right thru the cement. My basement used to form a puddle right in the middle of the floor without running in from the sides.
Also you don't want to go too deep with the sump pump. You'll end up trying to pump out the water table, wasting electricity.
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Dan Espen wrote:

FWIW, I think my problem right now _is_ with the elevated water table... otherwise where would water come from when there is no rain?
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