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METZ 03-14-2010 01:22 PM

Eliminate basement?
I believe I am having a problem with ground water coming in my basement. My sump pump has been running constant since Nov and I have a second pump that kicks on also. I'm on a 3/4 acre lot that is basically flat. I am pumping so much water the back yard is flooded and running into the neighbor's yard and the secondary pump is dumping out across the street into a ditch (surely illegal). Iíve had basement waterproof companyís quote good systems but my issue is with where do I put all this water that gets pumped out? The ground is saturated with all the rain we have been getting. My main question is this, is it feasible to eliminate the basement as if it was never put it in? I would like to end this problem once and for all. I don't want to jeopardize the foundation in any way. Is there an accepted way to turn a basement into a crawl space? I'm sure that there will always be water down at the footer so I don't want the foundation giving way down the road. I am also having problems with bowing walls that needs to be addressed very soon. Please keep the answers related to eliminating the basement, yes you can do it and here's why or no, don't due it because....I really hope you guys can help me.:(

Here's some background info: The house is 24 years old. It was built right after a long dry period. The basement was dug down to what they said was the high water table then they stopped digging. 3 months after the house was built the water started coming in. When it starts it doesn't stop for months whether it rains or not. During droughts all is well. I have gutter extensions. The lot is graded some but it is almost flat. The houses to the left of me are all on an incline and the houses to the right decline, across the street is a field which inclines and that is where I dump some of the water in the ditch across the road. We are pretty much at sea level and some lots are below sea level.


oh'mike 03-14-2010 01:35 PM

I live right by the Fox river----One neighbor built his house with a full basement--Before the house was even complete the water table rose---He filled the basement with pea gravel(about 3 feet deep)

Added higher sump pits and never regretted it.

Can be done? sure! No sense fighting a loosing battle. You will need to raise the furnace and water heater---Breaker box may be o.k.---

He had the pea gravel delivered in a cement truck--Chute into a window --rather painless--

Sorry to hear that you have a situation like that--but you have to resolve it.--Mike--

oh'mike 03-14-2010 01:50 PM

Another suggestion----Get a post hole digger and sink a couple of test holes near the house.

See if you can determine the water table height.

You sound smart enough to figure out that you shouldn't do this where you might hit underground utilities or do that when the holes will fill with rain water--so I won't bother to warn you about that!

Have fun--Please let me know how it goes----Mike----

Bondo 03-14-2010 02:59 PM


I am also having problems with bowing walls that needs to be addressed very soon. Please keep the answers related to eliminating the basement, yes you can do it and here's why or no, don't due it because...
Ayuh,... What kinda access is there to it,..?? Bilco door,..?? Windows,..??

If you decide to fill it,...
Using quality gravel, roadbed type stuff,+ compacting at every couple inches,...
It'll probably take care of the walls bowing in, if you go high enough...

METZ 03-15-2010 11:12 AM

Great! I have some replies.
Mike, I'm glad to hear someone else was able to fix this kind of problem. I wonder if the cement floor will need to be busted up before the gravel goes in? I will do what you said with the post hole digger in several spots to determine the water table height.

I don't have an outside entrance but the windows are pretty large. I may add an outside entrance though. I have one wall that is bowed worse then the rest. I had someone tell me they could run steel rods inside the cinder blocks and pour conrete inside them to strengthen the walls. I thought that would be better then wall anchors. They said they couldn't straighten the wall though. I would feel a lot better if these walls were straight again before I filled it in.


METZ 03-23-2010 06:29 AM

I took the post hole digger and made a few holes 6 foot away from the foundation to check the water level. After doing some measurements I concluded that the water level is equivalent to 3 foot above the floor of my basement. I was wondering if I could get by with raising the floor. I have about 92" from the floor to the rafters so maybe I could raise it 20" and stop the majority of the water. The water table is supposedly at a 60 year high right now. Opinions are welcome!

oh'mike 03-23-2010 06:40 AM

That sounds like the solution! Add a bit more height to that for a dryer crawl space--and some space for the pumps-- I understand your frustration--As I said,I live close to a river and when the river hits flood stage my pumps run constantly.

Next house for me--No basement.--Mike--

Scuba_Dave 03-23-2010 08:05 AM

My basement had an original floor poured with (2) 2" drainage pipes to the sump pit
At some point (2) 4" pipes & a 5" pipe were added on top of the old floor
Gravel etc added & a new floor poured over this
Great drainage now to the sump pit & only in the last 10" rain storm did we get a little water in the basement
And this was I think due to temp removing a downspout in the front to reside the house

I have around 81" I think now between the basement floor & floor joists above my head

METZ 03-23-2010 09:39 AM

Should I bust up the old floor? Someone told me I should do that so the water will drain out when the level drops down? I don't have any piping in the floor, just a drain around the perimeter. I was also told that pouring another floor on top would overload the footer as in too much weight and cause problems. I'm sure there is a right way and a wrong way to do this; I'm just trying to figure it all out. Thanks for all the help so far.:thumbsup:

Scuba_Dave 03-23-2010 09:50 AM

I would not bust up the old floor
The new drains should handle the water

METZ 03-24-2010 11:28 AM

My next delimma is fixing the bowed walls. What's the best method? I like the idea of steel rods run inside the blocks with concrete but the walls will need to be jacked straight again, at least on one wall. The wall anchors are interesting but I have my doubts whether they will work. Anyone have first hand experience with either method or maybe one I missed?
I really apperciate these responses by the way. I actually feel like this problem will be going away soon thanks to everyones help in givng me direction.:notworthy:

oh'mike 03-24-2010 12:21 PM

METZ--I suggest that you start a new thread in this topic--Mike--

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