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dianna521 09-17-2012 03:17 PM

Basement Waterproofing
Hello! I am having some problems with water finding its way through the sandstone foundation. The house was built sometime before 1890. There is no footer. The main problem is happening near a corner. There is a downspout in this corner of the house that is directed about 5' away from the foundation. The leak isn't terribly bad-no large amounts of standing water, and it only happens when it rains very heavily.
We have the 2 gutters in the front of the house that I believe are hooked up to some kind of underground drainage, to the storm line I would imagine.
I am just confused because the companies we have had out so far are all coming back to me with different solutions.
Is it best to have the downspouts connected to drain tile? Would it make sense to just waterproof the back portion of the house since there is no evidence of water find its way in from the front? The front portion of the house is also at a higher elevation.
I think that the gutters are a part of the problem. They don't seem to be capturing as much water as they should be. They are box gutters and there is a metal roof. The gutters are 3" round. Theres a concrete slab and brick against the outside wall where the foundation is leaking, so grading is out of the question unless that was switched out.
I really think that minimally the corner section needs waterproofed, but I'm confused after that.
Can anyone help with the pros/cons of hooking up downspouts to storm lines. The front spouts have been problem-free.

Pirulo 09-17-2012 05:44 PM

Make the gutters drain really away from the home, 5' is not enough. Grade the outside terrain with a slope away from the house. Install a sump pump as low as possible in the inside of the basement (I guess you already have one). The sump pum is supposed to drain ouside really far away, but I have seen many times they are hooked to the sewer (it's ilegal by code, but in some places with clay soil is the only solution). Good luck, is probably not possible to have a really dry basement in such old houses.

AllanJ 09-18-2012 07:51 AM

A sump pump usually requires a water collection system (French drain) all around the basement perimeter under the floor. This will almost always cure wet basement problems.

Also, rain water must not pool up against the foundation. Do whatever you have to do (some suggestions are up above) to alleviate this.

Rain water and gutter water should not be run into underground pipes next to the foundation unless the water is unconditionally eventually carried some place else (forest? street?) some distance from the house with no chance of freezing up or filling up and then backing up.

A slab patio that collects water against the house is bad news. You would need to caulk where it meets the foundation and also dig a pit at the side to collect most of the water running off and put a sump pump in that pit.

Pirulo 09-18-2012 08:39 AM

The Frenh drain proposed by AllanJ is by far the best solution IMO (with the drain connected to and inside sump pump) but this means a mayor excavation work in the outside all around, and waterproofing the fundation from the outside (membrane applied, wiping tile, or tar paint or similar products), I'm afraid of structural issues you can have doing this in such old house (like crumbling fundations, falling stones, fundation shifting while you do this work, and things like that). It could be an expensive work if go that way. Try 1st the easy fixes (like grading and getting rid of rain water). Good luck.

dianna521 09-18-2012 10:40 AM

So are drain tiles/french drains outside the house usually successful at keeping water away from the foundation? I am in Cleveland, Oh. As far as I can tell, it is legal to hook up the drain to the storm water drain. Also, the front downspouts are hooked up to something underground and there are no drainage problems in the front. The lot/yard is not very large at all. If we were to have an open ended drain tile/french drain I think that it would either disturb my neighbor or run into the county archives land behind my house.

Pirulo 09-18-2012 12:27 PM

French drain/wiping tile work really well, but they are so much easy to install in new construction and not easy at all to retrofit into old buildings. Seem to me that from downspouts are already hooked up to storm water drain or a well or tank or who knows what, it's time to dig and verify. I can't help you anymore, you better get professional help now, but at least you have an idea of what's coming up to you.

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