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DIY Gal 2 02-12-2013 09:10 PM

Flooding due to sloping walk
Hi All,

I'm looking for a cheap/economical fix for a problem that causes my basement to continually flood. The outside door to my basement obviously sits below ground level and there is a sloping sidewalk down to the door. The sidewalk ends at a landing which houses a small french drain (about 12" x 12"). The problem is when it rains really hard, water rushes down the walk and off the roof, builds up in no time on the landing and overtakes the french drain within minutes. Eventually, water starts coming in the door.....really coming in the door, not just trickling. To remedy this, I've made sure the door is nice and tight and I've also introduced a small sump pump that I've slipped into the french drain. It works okay, provided it can keep up with the amount of water coming down but it isn't perfect. There have been several times we've lost electricity during storms and of course, my little system won't work at all and the basement starts to flood again. I can't imagine how this passed a home inspection! Anyway, I would be really grateful for some suggestions on the subject.....thanks for your time.

GBrackins 02-12-2013 09:23 PM

do you have some photos we could view?

DIY Gal 2 02-12-2013 09:30 PM

Hi, no....not at the moment but I can take some shots in the morning. It might be a bit hard to see since we have so much snow but I'll give it a go! Thanks for your reply.

AllanJ 02-12-2013 09:58 PM

Can't be done economically or cheaply.

You need to direct the water from the roof somewhere so it does not pool up against your house.

You need to regrade the land so water runs away from the door.

After that you may still need a French drain (or an ordinary drain system with non-perforated pipe). A French drain must also go somewhere so the water drains by gravity, or must have a sump pump. The purpose of a French drain is to collect water (usually from surrounding saturated earth and soil) and take it away, not to absorb the water.

747 02-12-2013 11:48 PM

A drain should have been installed there.

DIY Gal 2 02-13-2013 09:16 AM

After reading up on exactly how a french drain works, I'm fairly sure that mine does not since it's not taking the water anywhere. I can't regrade, since it is a basement, the ground will slope down regardless. I'm wondering if whoever built this place just dug a small hole, lined it and called it good but I would have thought an inspector would have had to okay it.

GBrackins 02-13-2013 09:29 AM

inspectors do not inspect every item. the drain and concrete may have been placed before their inspection. If we could see a few photos you may get some useful suggestions (I know we bug everyone about photos).

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