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Old 10-10-2013, 10:02 AM   #1
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Water leaking into basement over foundation wall?


During heavy rains and when the ground is saturated water leaks into my basement - under a side door. Itís been a problem since Iíve owned the house and it appears to have been for years before that. The driveway was replaced along that side of the house shortly before I bought it.

The side door opens to a stair landing - 3 steps up to the main level and stairs down to the basement. The water flows down the foundation wall under this landing. Seeing where/how the water enters is obstructed by the driveway on the outside and the landing floor structure on the inside.

On the exterior, I have caulked the seam between the driveway and the house, and around the side door. My water tests suggest that itís not these caulked areas.

Putting water on the driveway outside the side door so the water seeps down the contraction joint in the middle of the driveway, for hours, causes the leak. From this I conclude that the soil outside the foundation wall is saturated to a point where water flows over it at its lowest point - at the opening for the side door.

After dealing with this problem for years I cut the rim joist for the landing thatís adjacent to the foundation wall. The pictures show how the side door threshold is set into the foundation wall - I think this is my problem and Iím not sure how to fix it. Any thoughts or suggestions?
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Old 10-10-2013, 11:02 AM   #2
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Water leaking into basement over foundation wall?


Little late now but that wall needed to be water proofed before the drive went in, and a French drain installed.
No way should that driveway have been pored that close to the doors threshold, it also should have been sloped away from the house.
Looks like you may be stuck with having to add drain tiles like this on the inside.

http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=...ectedIndex=303

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Old 10-11-2013, 08:01 AM   #3
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Water leaking into basement over foundation wall?


Yes, why the previous owners didn't fix all of this when they replaced the driveway is beyond me. At least it slopes away from the house a little.

I'd like to try plugging the gaps from the inside first - maybe with hydraulic cement? I've had some companies try to sell me indoor drainage systems. Since the water comes in at this 4' wide section only, it's a big fix I'd like to use as a last resort.

Thanks for your help.
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Old 10-11-2013, 12:09 PM   #4
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Water leaking into basement over foundation wall?


There is a risk you run when plugging it from the inside. The only thing that would be worse than water making it all the way into the house would be water making it part of the way into the wall and getting trapped there. This is how walls start rotting away from the inside without you ever knowing it.

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Old 10-12-2013, 09:37 PM   #5
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Water leaking into basement over foundation wall?


Can you provide a pic of the areas where you caulked? I suspect it's not the soil. If the water table were that high, there should be water seeping in on a constant basis. Concrete is porous, so water can permeate right through the walls if they are not waterproofed. What kind of caulk did you use and how was it applied? Did you thoroughly clean the areas first to give the caulk a good clean surface to bond to?
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Old 10-14-2013, 11:12 AM   #6
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Water leaking into basement over foundation wall?


I used silicone caulk and cleaned the area well...used a backer rod, applied the caulk and used my finger to push and smooth the caulk in the gap. Doing the entire side of the house - it's not perfect.

I don't think the water table is usually that high - just when the soil under the driveway is completely saturated during heavy rain.

I did a water test on the caulk in the area in the picture. A hose running specifically on the caulk (and not the top of the threshold) for hours did not produce any leak. Water running down the middle of the driveway into the cracks, for hours, produced a leak. The water flow from the hose was low to be so specific in where it flowed.

Appreciate your thoughts on this.
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Old 10-15-2013, 10:03 PM   #7
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Water leaking into basement over foundation wall?


From your hose tests it looks like your judgement is right on with the cracks in the driveway being the culprit! I wonder what is beneath the concrete driveway-- how (or if ?) it was prepared. From your pics it's tough to tell what cracks you are talking about with the driveway. I see the expansion joint running down the center, but are there smaller cracks too? It sounds like your situation calls for a durable concrete sealer. There are dozens of products out there, but I've never personally used one yet. Maybe someone else can chime in with a product recommendation. If not, the quikrete site has some interesting product information that you might be able to use.
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Old 10-15-2013, 10:25 PM   #8
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Water leaking into basement over foundation wall?


One thing about this problem that puzzles me is the appearance of the mortar joints above the door on both sides. That is an obvious job that was done for some reason or other. They run from the glass block panel (recent installation) and about the same time as the glass block for the basement window.

In recent situations, I discovered that windows and door are really the cause of water that shows up inside a structure, but enters above and horizontal to the observance of the "leakage". That glass block panel may have been recent and replaced an improperly installed window that still allows some penetration, no matter how much caulk is just slopped on to fill spots. Water flows down, horizontally and even upward in some cases.

I know nothing about the home except what was posted, but it may not be as simple in the end a slab is a little too high because of the concentrated interior where the leak ultimately shows up.

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Old 10-17-2013, 10:45 AM   #9
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Water leaking into basement over foundation wall?


The mortar joints above and on either side of the door are a previous ugly fix for rust jacking. Same with the joints on either side of the glass block window. Not sure about the glass block panel...it was installed quite awhile before the basement windows.

I had done a water test on the glass block window and got a tiny leak inside through a tie rod hole. It was towards the door but not where the major issue is. There was a gap between the window angle and the brick that I've fixed. I don't think it (alone) is the source for the water under the door - there's just too much.

I haven't repeated the water tests...what I need is a lot of rain.

Good suggestions - I will reexamine the door/window/panel to see if there are other issues. Thanks much.

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Old 10-17-2013, 11:00 AM   #10
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Water leaking into basement over foundation wall?


In response to tcook555 - the expansion joint down the center of the drive is the main crack I'm referring to. There are smaller concrete cuts perpendicular to it about every 6-8 feet. No other/diagonal cracks.

Are you suggesting a concrete sealer for the crack or the concrete surface?

Thanks.
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Old 10-19-2013, 05:55 AM   #11
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Water leaking into basement over foundation wall?


IF its leaking under the threshhold, seal it - we're currently using herculiner ( trk bed liner stuff ) for tasks like that,,, unfortunately it only comes in grey & blk

gravity is your best friend: wtr runs downhill, takes the path of least resistance, seeks its own level, & rushes to fill a void.

those ' cracks ' are contraction joints - contractor sawed/formed - so conc wouldn't randomly crack,,, IF those joints are the source of your problem, SEAL 'EM,,, possible but i'll bet they aren't


Last edited by stadry; 10-19-2013 at 05:58 AM.
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Old 10-21-2013, 09:14 AM   #12
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Water leaking into basement over foundation wall?


Interesting suggestion to use herculiner / truck bed liner stuff. I wouldn't have thought of that.

It's probably worth sealing the contraction joints near the door - it would help reduce the soil water saturation in that area. It know it's going to take more than that though. Thanks for your ideas.

Anyone have suggestions for the best caulk to use to seal driveway concrete contraction joints and cracks? Note, I deal with Michigan weather...
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Old 10-21-2013, 09:37 AM   #13
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Water leaking into basement over foundation wall?


we use 100% silicone to seal hgwy jnts to prevent wtr & incompressibles intrusion,,, it requires the use of closed cell backer rod & the creation of a jnt seal reservoir,,, do NOT install over 3/8" thickness, tho,,, dow will have instructions, incl depth:width ratios, on their w/site,,, ' tooling ' is suggested as is proper cleaning of the jnt reservoir sidewalls.

' caulk ' is never a good substitute altho you probably used the generic understanding of the word

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