Cellar flood

• posted on December 17, 2003, 9:31 am
We have lived in our Victorian farmhouse for 2 years and the cellar has always been bone dry.
In the last two weeks it has suddenly started flooding - groundwater flows into an external sump which then backs up into the cellar. We have blocked all the major sources of water ingress, but we are now finding water seeping through joints in the floor which is made of brick sized blocks.
We don't know why this problem has arisen, but is there an effective way to seal the floor? At present water is pooling on the floor.
The cellar walls are in good condition and water does not seep through them.
In case anybody asks, the sump is not deep enough to permit the installation of a pump and float switch.
Harry
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• posted on December 17, 2003, 11:11 am
"Harry Ziman" wrote on 17/12/2003 :-

I saw a self build on TV, where there was a problem with water filling an underground habitable room. They solved it by building a sump at the lowest point and fitting a sump pump to pump it out. The interesting part was that they laid a new floor on top of the old one. The new floor comprised a layer of what I can best describe as a plastic roll material, a little like egg boxes in shape.
The egg boxes raised the floor up away from the water and allowed the water to freely drain into the sump. The new floor was then laid on top of the plastic.
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Regards,
Harry (M1BYT)...
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• posted on December 17, 2003, 11:27 am
Harry Bloomfield wrote

You're probably referring to Newton System 500 or Newlath 2000 http://www.newton-membranes.co.uk/System500.htm
Peter
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• posted on December 17, 2003, 11:42 am
On 17/12/2003 "Peter Taylor" opined:-

That is the material I had in mind, thanks ;-)
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Regards,
Harry (M1BYT)...
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• posted on December 17, 2003, 12:26 pm

Or Delta Membranes http://www.deltamembranes.co.uk which is the one I`ve used Steve
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• posted on December 17, 2003, 4:36 pm
Steve wrote

That's a new one for me Steve, thanks. Interesting they both use the name "System 500"
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• posted on December 17, 2003, 11:59 am

We had a similar problem about 15 years ago. No cellar, but suddenly the two old cottages started to be wet around the walls. The cottages were on mildly sloping ground, with a ditch uphill, about 200 yards away.
Turned out that the ditch was overflowing, and a clever system of land drains that were there to channel any overflow away from the cottages was in a state of disrepair.
So could it be worth investigating why the water has suddenly appeared.... something blocked up on the exterior land somewhere, and/or why that sump isn't draining away?
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Tony Williams.

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• posted on December 17, 2003, 4:59 pm

That's the first thing to do. Check ditches and gutters and any recent work some neighbour or fly tipper has done. Have you lost water pressure lately? Does your chewing-gum lose it's flavour on the bed post overnight?
Always take the nails out of the pipes before repairing the leaks; ditto for nails in wires before replacing blown fuses.
Then you can start thinking about hitting yourself over the head with a damp bank manager for the next few decades.
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Posted via Mailgate.ORG Server - http://www.Mailgate.ORG

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• posted on December 17, 2003, 8:01 pm
Thanks everyone - I'll look into the suggested systems - did they work?
Regarding why, I've already checked the mains water supply - no problems there. We do live in a clay area and the water table can be high - well above the cellar floor.
The sump itself, which is outside, has a deep drain running from it into the landdrain system. The latter is OK - I've checked it and it works fine. The drain from the sump is a bit odd as it is a few inches above the level of the drain from the cellar to the sump - there is no way that the drain can remove all the water from the cellar. Anyway, I have reason to believe is it totally blocked and I know there is no backflow from the drain into the sump.
When we bailed out the sump - it is about 7 feet deep! we could see water welling up into it from the centre of its floor really quite vigorously - after heavy rain it keeps our pump going quite steadily!
Anyway, there are two possibilities.
1. The crack is old but for some reason the ground water has risen recently. I don't believe this personally but I suppose the clay sub-soil may have cracked allowing a new water path into sump.
2. The sump floor has recently cracked, again perhaps triggered by the dry summer.
I suppose I could try cleaning out the bottom of the sump and putting a new concrete base in, but I would have thought that the incoming water would prevent a seal from being formed.
All thoughts are welcome.
Harry
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