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Old 03-24-2012, 04:17 PM   #1
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water in basement


we bought this house last fall. it was a foreclosure. the basement flooded before we even looked at it. i noticed right away they had no downspout extentions so i threw them on right away and the water never came back except one corner. I know the grading sucks in that corner and they used a spray in foam between the vinyl and brick siding. i dont think the water was getting in from there because you can see its starts about foot lower than ground level. just want some advice if you have seen this before and what i can do before i have to dig it all up!. i know i can regrade and add stone and add a longer extention, which im going to do. do you think the problem is more than that since the downspout pretty much ran straight in the ground and could have made a easy stream for water to travel down?
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Old 03-24-2012, 07:41 PM   #2
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water in basement


Corners seem to be bad, I have two corners that are bad too. I guess it's where there's more movement. Pretty much have to dig it out to the footing and see what the wall looks like. I think older houses used to just use plastic, it's possible water is getting behind it. Would need to use a product that sticks on such as blueskin or tar spray (I forget the name, but it's like a spray that creates a tarish surface). Wall needs to be sealed as good as possible. It's a pretty big job, I was going to do it myself too and decided against it. Have to consider the cost of renting equipment and what not. How much gravel to order, what to do with the old sand, etc.... lot of logistics things that can be tricky.

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Old 03-24-2012, 08:23 PM   #3
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Before you spend any money you should clean the block really well with something to eat the mold (Zymeaway) maybe.
Look where the damage starts,and look at the coarse of block,it is right about outside grade.
I would say that not having the down spout hooked up to anything dumped all the water right onto that corner.
If it were anything else the whole wall would look like that.
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Old 03-24-2012, 09:56 PM   #4
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Before you spend any money you should clean the block really well with something to eat the mold (Zymeaway) maybe.
Look where the damage starts,and look at the coarse of block,it is right about outside grade.
I would say that not having the down spout hooked up to anything dumped all the water right onto that corner.
If it were anything else the whole wall would look like that.
i do have extention on now though and i still get a lot of water. my guess is having to dig it all up. if i got someone to do it, whats a price estimate on that?
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Old 03-24-2012, 10:17 PM   #5
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water in basement


I would be first taking a closer look at the way that brick wall was capped off.
It looks like a stone cap. Was it set at an angle away from the wall?
How was it flashed at the top of the wall.
Done wrong and water can just run down the back side of the brick.
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Old 03-25-2012, 06:54 AM   #6
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How wet is the area just outside after a good rainstorm? Is the hose at the bottom of the downspout effective without letting out a lot of water just where it begins?

THe need for a perimeter drain system with sump pump cannot be rules out. If needed it's your choice whether it goes around the outside of the foundation or just around the inside. If there is just one corner that gets wet inside you might dig a sump pump pit there and that might work with no perimeter drain or just 2 or 3 feet worth of perimeter drain attached to it.

When correcting the grade of the land, use dense soil, not gravel. A gravel bed around the foundation acts as a water holding area right there, not a means of carrying water away from the house unless there is a downsloping channel (French drain) away from the house explicitly put in for the gravel bed to drain with. With a gravel bed, the "official" grade or level or contour of the land for drainage purposes is the bottom of the bed.
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Last edited by AllanJ; 03-25-2012 at 07:03 AM.
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Old 03-25-2012, 09:43 AM   #7
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How wet is the area just outside after a good rainstorm? Is the hose at the bottom of the downspout effective without letting out a lot of water just where it begins?

THe need for a perimeter drain system with sump pump cannot be rules out. If needed it's your choice whether it goes around the outside of the foundation or just around the inside. If there is just one corner that gets wet inside you might dig a sump pump pit there and that might work with no perimeter drain or just 2 or 3 feet worth of perimeter drain attached to it.

When correcting the grade of the land, use dense soil, not gravel. A gravel bed around the foundation acts as a water holding area right there, not a means of carrying water away from the house unless there is a downsloping channel (French drain) away from the house explicitly put in for the gravel bed to drain with. With a gravel bed, the "official" grade or level or contour of the land for drainage purposes is the bottom of the bed.
i never really looked outside afterwards. from the pics you can see even with gravel there isnt much there, you can see the underlayment pretty easily. it is just that one corner that gets water. my sump pump is brand new but i dont really hear it ever kick in.
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Old 03-25-2012, 09:45 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Ravenworks View Post
Before you spend any money you should clean the block really well with something to eat the mold (Zymeaway) maybe.
Look where the damage starts,and look at the coarse of block,it is right about outside grade.
I would say that not having the down spout hooked up to anything dumped all the water right onto that corner.
If it were anything else the whole wall would look like that.
ya thats what i thinking too, is it possible before i put the extentions on that the ground could have made like a stream and made almost like a river or easy way for water to keep flowing?
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Old 03-25-2012, 10:23 AM   #9
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water in basement


Okay,story time,when I bought my house I had very severe water problems,that the previous owner tried to fix but only made worst.
I dug all the way down to the footers,installed drain tile,I then back filled tamping the dirt in 6" lifts and then installed over 400' of rigid pipe for my down spouts along with 6" spouting with leaf relief.
Everything was great until the next spring when I had WATER in the one corner,I was besides myself. So here we go, I dug up the problem corner only to find nothing,now I am really mad.
I spent night upon night out there with a flash light watching the rain,only to find out that the down spout and a rip in the seam that was towards the top and it followed the corner channel down to the block.
My whole point is investigate before you act because, if I didn't have access to equipment and the know how I would have been paying some to do this for nothing.
Joe made a valid point in his post.
Look closely at your wall it is telling you its story,I read it as that is the problem area in itself if it wasn't everything would look like that.
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Old 03-25-2012, 10:26 AM   #10
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Okay,story time,when I bought my house I had very severe water problems,that the previous owner tried to fix but only made worst.
I dug all the way down to the footers,installed drain tile,I then back filled tamping the dirt in 6" lifts and then installed over 400' of rigid pipe for my down spouts along with 6" spouting with leaf relief.
Everything was great until the next spring when I had WATER in the one corner,I was besides myself. So here we go, I dug up the problem corner only to find nothing,now I am really mad.
I spent night upon night out there with a flash light watching the rain,only to find out that the down spout and a rip in the seam that was towards the top and it followed the corner channel down to the block.
My whole point is investigate before you act because, if I didn't have access to equipment and the know how I would have been paying some to do this for nothing.
Joe made a valid point in his post.
Look closely at your wall it is telling you its story,I read it as that is the problem area in itself if it wasn't everything would look like that.
wow, i would have been so pissed too!! did you get it fixed then now? i will go outside and take a look and see what i can see, thanks
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Old 03-25-2012, 10:28 AM   #11
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i think im going to go to menards today and get alonger extention. the grading is terrible and maybe the water from the gutter is pooling up there and going right back into the house
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Old 03-25-2012, 10:38 AM   #12
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did you get it fixed then now?
Yes,put in a new piece of down spout.
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Old 03-25-2012, 10:42 AM   #13
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i just went outside, it hasnt rained since friday but ground is soaking wet and muddy! i also notice the underlayment stops about 4 inches from the block. i kicked back some of the stone and saw there was a huge hump in the ground. ( you can kind of see in the underlayment on pic 2) but that hump is pretty big and it slopes inward towards the foundation. the corner where the brick siding is there is no underlayment at all against it the ran it 4 inches away from there too and it is soaking wet right there. i think i got a big project ahead of me this spring but i really dont want to have to dig too much or do drain tiles. if i can regrade new underlayment and extend the water farther away im hoping that will fix the problem. is bark good to use for grading??
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Old 03-25-2012, 01:05 PM   #14
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i just went outside, it hasnt rained since friday but ground is soaking wet and muddy! i also notice the underlayment stops about 4 inches from the block. i kicked back some of the stone and saw there was a huge hump in the ground. ( you can kind of see in the underlayment on pic 2) but that hump is pretty big and it slopes inward towards the foundation. the corner where the brick siding is there is no underlayment at all against it the ran it 4 inches away from there too and it is soaking wet right there. i think i got a big project ahead of me this spring but i really dont want to have to dig too much or do drain tiles. if i can regrade new underlayment and extend the water farther away im hoping that will fix the problem. is bark good to use for grading??
Absolutely NOT.

Here's what I suggest:

- Pull ALL of the stone out of this are, and the other area's where you need to raise the grade.
- Pull out landscape fabric.
- Cut downspouts & raise the bottom elbow at least 8-12"
- Dig around corner and find the obvious section of the wall that's letting the water run in freely. If you can't find it easily, it may take two people. The second person should be able to faintly hear the water on the interior if holding their ear close to the wall. Move the garden hose util you pinpoint where it's leaking in. Fortunately, it looks to be in the third course, so darn near at grade.
- Put in short window wells, 12" are typically the shortest you'll find.
- Bring in good soil (I prefer a clay-topsoil mix, and it's easy to find here) that will compact relatively tight.
- Raise the grade to get the soil at least 4-6" higher in the first 10' from the house. More is always better.
- Installing new fabric is up to you, it doesn't help shed water. Whatever you use for mulch/stone/etc., MAKE SURE the soil underneath it pitches well away from the house. Stone WILL NOT shed water. Wood mulch isn't much better, especially when it's fresh.
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Old 03-25-2012, 01:14 PM   #15
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Absolutely NOT.

Here's what I suggest:

- Pull ALL of the stone out of this are, and the other area's where you need to raise the grade.
- Pull out landscape fabric.
- Cut downspouts & raise the bottom elbow at least 8-12"
- Dig around corner and find the obvious section of the wall that's letting the water run in freely. If you can't find it easily, it may take two people. The second person should be able to faintly hear the water on the interior if holding their ear close to the wall. Move the garden hose util you pinpoint where it's leaking in. Fortunately, it looks to be in the third course, so darn near at grade.
- Put in short window wells, 12" are typically the shortest you'll find.
- Bring in good soil (I prefer a clay-topsoil mix, and it's easy to find here) that will compact relatively tight.
- Raise the grade to get the soil at least 4-6" higher in the first 10' from the house. More is always better.
- Installing new fabric is up to you, it doesn't help shed water. Whatever you use for mulch/stone/etc., MAKE SURE the soil underneath it pitches well away from the house. Stone WILL NOT shed water. Wood mulch isn't much better, especially when it's fresh.
thats for the advice, where in wisc do u live? im from wi, in hartland/merton. those steps are all things i had in mind and will try. i hope that will fix the problem. hopefully just a small problem, nothing major, thanks

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