water at lower stones to basement
Id appreciate any ideas from people on this one. I have had a couple of people out with no clear idea of what is wrong.
I bought this house which is a single family in chicago with a back patio. There are steps from the patio which lead to the basement. I have noticed that there is always water at the bottom landing. The steps are blue flagstone (I think) and Im not sure what they are over- but I suspect concrete. The drainage pipe at the bottom appears to work ok cuz I dont get flooded when it rains. FYI, the water is always there whether it has rained or has been dry for a week. I have also noticed that there is occationally (but rarely) water on the retaining wall when it gets very humid. I originally thought the water was seeping through the concrete retaining wall, but I soaked the ground for over 2 hours and did not get worsening of water in any spot.
I have talked to a couple contractors and they suggest 1. digging out behind the retaining wall to see if all is well there, 2. coating the concrete retaining wall with something that retards moisture, or 3. removing the stones and seeing what is happening underneath.
Anyone have any ideas? I was thinking of removing the stones myself but am unsure how big of a job this might be. Anyone else with anything similar happen to them.
The lower landing could be right at the water table, which in turn is holding steady because of the drain pipe.
I would not dig anything up until after I have written down all the possibilities of what I might find down there (e.g. with the stone removed there is now a persistent 2 inch deep puddle) and also written down plans (such as a French drain) for dealing with whatever I find.
Try soaking with water the landing right in front of the top step.
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