What would cause certain parts of the basement floor to get puddles of
water, even though a sump pump is installed and working?
I have a sump pump in my crawlspace. It runs during heavy rains (and
for several days thereafter). Most of the time I have no problems with
water in my basement.
When it rains a lot in a short period of time I will get some puddles,
apparently ground water coming up through the floor. One such puddle
is in the crawlspace about 10 feet away from the pump. Another is in
the laundry room, about 20 feet away in the opposite direction. Most
of the time these puddles drain quickly after the storm.
However, during the recent event (which granted is a ridiculous amount
of rain in a short time) I got puddles in many areas of the basement.
In some areas the puddles are still there, even though the sump pump
has been running constantly.
I assume the purpose of the sump pump is to prevent this situation, so
what more do I need? I realize this past storm was a freak of nature
and almost everyone had water problems. Still, it is my understanding
the sump pump should pump out the water before it reaches the floor.
Is it simply a matter of making sure to address the drainage outside?
I have the ground sloping away from the house in all directions and
the leaders extend 6 feet or more.
Well, yes, a sump pump is supposed to drain the water before it rises high
enough to create puddles, however, it cannot remove water that is blocked
from getting to it. To do that you need either a good thickness of washed
gravel (the type without filler between the stones) or a system of drain
pipes to pick up and channel the water to the pump.
How is the water getting on top of the floor and where does it "drain" to,
as you say.
This water could be leaking in from the walls, or the seam between the walls
and the floor. Or it could be soaking through the concrete floor or through
cracks. You need to be observant of what and how it is happening rather than
verbally throwing your hands up and saying "it doesn't work, why?". If you
cannot bother to observe what is happening we cannot see anything from here!
He said the sump pump was running continually. So it's not able to keep up
with the water. In sandy soil water can come up for a long time after the
rain stops. Even if the pump could empty the sump, water can still come up
away from the sump.
He didn't say the sump was overflowing, just commented that water was
appearing on the floor some distance away from the sump which he said was
running constantly -- does this mean continuously without a break or just
running most of the time but not all. This water means either it overflowed
without him noticing, or it is leaking in from somewhere at or by the wall
or up through the floor. Good drainage piping or under floor gravel would
allow the water to find the pump without appearing elsewhere. The lack of
observation and a poor description of what is installed makes it impossible
to diagnose over the internet.
Sorry, I should have been more clear.
The sump pump is in a spot in the crawlspace. During heavy rains and
for several days thereafter it is common for it to run often, that is,
it empties, then fills up in 1-2 minutes and empties again. It does
not run all the time.
The pump keeps up with the water in the pit. The pit itself does not
overflow. However, water seeps up from underneath the floor in
different parts of the basement. A puddle often forms in a spot about
10 feet away from the pit. It is also common for the cement floor to
get wet in the immediate area surrounding the pit.
It does not appear as if the water is coming in through the walls. It
seems to come up from the floor, due to a high water table, which is
common in this area.
The previous owner installed the sump pump. For all I know he did it
himself by simply digging a pit, drilling some holes, and sticking a
pump in there. I do not see any evidence of drain tiles or any other
mechanism that might lead water into the pit.
So, what would be needed to make sure a proper system is in place to
ensure that the sump pump pit gets the groundwater before it rises in
other areas? What kind of contractor should I hire for such a job? I
am very wary of hiring any "waterproofing" specialists since scams
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