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Old 07-23-2010, 05:09 AM   #1
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Help With Mysterious Basement Leak


Hi, I have a basement leak where the water appears to be coming from above ground level. It starts from the ceiling of the basement and runs down the side of the wall and pools at the bottom. This is isolated to one particular area in my utility room, spanning approximately 6-8 feet in length. Could be a roof issue.
I have tried:
1. laying a tarp in front of problematic area outside of the house
2. cleaning the gutter all around the house.
Neither of these solved the issue.

I have attached pictures.
Anyone have any ideas as to what the problem is or recommend any solutions.

Thanks.
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Help With Mysterious Basement Leak-basementleak1.jpg   Help With Mysterious Basement Leak-basementleak2.jpg   Help With Mysterious Basement Leak-basementleak3.jpg  

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Old 07-23-2010, 05:18 AM   #2
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Help With Mysterious Basement Leak


Does it only leak when it rains?

How about a “stand back” picture from the outside.

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Old 07-23-2010, 05:39 AM   #3
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Help With Mysterious Basement Leak


Hi,

Thanks for the quick reply.
Yes, it only leaks when it rains.
I would take another picture, but its still quite dark outside and raining.

But on previous inspections during rain, the water is running down the side of the brick wall outside, more so than in other areas.
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Old 07-23-2010, 05:50 AM   #4
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Help With Mysterious Basement Leak


The easiest way to troubleshoot the “mystery leak” is to get out there when it’s “not raining” with a hose and someone on the inside looking.

Slowly and systematicly start spraying the wall form the lowest point, slowly work your way up the wall and up to and on the roof if necessary. You’ll find your leak.
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Old 07-23-2010, 05:57 AM   #5
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Help With Mysterious Basement Leak


That is a good method. I will try that later today when it stops raining.
It might take a while of soaking with a hose however, since the leak becomes apparent only during heavy rainfalls.
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Old 07-23-2010, 09:15 AM   #6
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Help With Mysterious Basement Leak


It seems to be around the chimney. Could be gaps in the mortar, water running down the chimney. How's the chimney cap? When was the last time you inspected the top of the chimney for loose bricks or deteriorating mortar?
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Old 07-24-2010, 08:03 PM   #7
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Help With Mysterious Basement Leak


I've tried to use a hose to find a leak, which only did so during big rains... The problem is it's really difficult to simulate so much water getting dumped on a house with a garden hose.
I ended up having to pull out the ladder in the middle of a downpour to effectively spot the problem and get it fixed.
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Old 07-25-2010, 10:51 AM   #8
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Help With Mysterious Basement Leak


A few pics from outside would indeed be helpful.

Is there an additional course of block buried behind the skirt/floor joists?
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Old 07-25-2010, 11:07 AM   #9
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Help With Mysterious Basement Leak


Yes, exterior pictures will help us all.

I can see your water heater vent enters the wall right around the area where you're having your leak. I take it you have a chimeny on the exterior of your house around the leaking area? We had issues with water around our chimney at our last house. There was a small concrete area surrounding the chimney with a drain in it and it was constantly getting clogged. When a big rain came, indoubtably some combination of grass, leaves and other stuff sitting around would clog it up and the build up of water would work its way in our basement. Although this might not be your specific problem, I'd be willing to bet it is (in some way) related to your chimney.

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