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Old 11-27-2007, 06:28 PM   #1
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New Construction - under roof and water in basement


Hi all,
I need an opinion here - our house is down to the last stages. Drywall is done and we are now just waiting on the painters so the finish carpenters can do their thing. Our home is two story with a full basement that is approx 1400 sqft with a total of 2900 sqft. We've had extreme heavy rains here in NE Ohio and when we went over to check the house Saturday there was about 4" of water in the center and spread out to about 1" deep on the sides. We immediately went out and purchased downspout extenders (they haven't done the underground trenching yet) and plugged the sump pump in. That's not hooked up all the way either so we went back out to purchase 50' of drainage pipe to get it away from the house. We also purchased a dehumidfier. Now after all that, here is my question. The builder is acting like this is no big deal and that's it's normal part of building. This being our first home that we've built, how do I know. We did poured walls instead of block and there is plenty of drainage at the footers. We also did Owens Corning water proofing system. The only way this water got in is from the walls, right? Has anyone had this happen to them? We're rather clueless and everyone we asked seems in total shock. Builder seems like it's all okay...
Help in NE Ohio,
Cyndi


Last edited by Cyndi Lou; 11-27-2007 at 06:38 PM. Reason: title
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Old 11-27-2007, 06:42 PM   #2
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New Construction - under roof and water in basement


Yep, we had in our new house which we moved into in 1994. The big thing is the sump pump. Sounds like you are near a high water table or to your point just need better drainage from the roof. However, even with this, the house is likely built to be very dependent on the sump pump as water in the tiles and ultimately to the sump is expected. If you are going to finish the basement or stoer things there make sure to get a back-up pump. What I have found is that if your power supply to the house is relaible e.g. underground then your most likely failure mode will be pump failure. What I did was install two seperate pumps on two different circuits. One pump is set to trigger lower (the original "OEM" pump) and the second is a pedistal pump set to trip if the first pump fails. I also have a battery pump installed, but unless you spend big bucks they won't keep up with a torrent.

Hope this helps.... bottom line I wouldn't worry.

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Old 11-28-2007, 03:32 AM   #3
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New Construction - under roof and water in basement


Thank you for the quick reply. We are going to have a second sump pump put in once we are in house. I will definately look at the one we were thinking about, it was battery back up. The house is about 600' from the public lake, so I'm sure it's a high water table. The things you learn while building, I don't think any book could teach you!
Cyndi
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Old 11-28-2007, 11:16 AM   #4
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New Construction - under roof and water in basement


Myself, I would be very worried. A basement never holds water out any better than when the waterproofing is brand new.

You need to determine how and where the water is intruding. Ask the builder to explain specifically where the water came in and how that will be prevented from happening again. When you say the footings have plenty of drainage do you mean gravity drainage to the yard somewhere (good) or drainage into your basement sump? If the drainage is to your basement sump then good luck - you will always be fighting water.

Why is your basement floor out of level by 3 inches????
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Old 11-28-2007, 12:30 PM   #5
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New Construction - under roof and water in basement


Quote:
Originally Posted by Cyndi Lou View Post
Hi all,
I need an opinion here - our house is down to the last stages. Drywall is done and we are now just waiting on the painters so the finish carpenters can do their thing. Our home is two story with a full basement that is approx 1400 sqft with a total of 2900 sqft. We've had extreme heavy rains here in NE Ohio and when we went over to check the house Saturday there was about 4" of water in the center and spread out to about 1" deep on the sides. We immediately went out and purchased downspout extenders (they haven't done the underground trenching yet) and plugged the sump pump in. That's not hooked up all the way either so we went back out to purchase 50' of drainage pipe to get it away from the house. We also purchased a dehumidfier. Now after all that, here is my question. The builder is acting like this is no big deal and that's it's normal part of building. This being our first home that we've built, how do I know. We did poured walls instead of block and there is plenty of drainage at the footers. We also did Owens Corning water proofing system. The only way this water got in is from the walls, right? Has anyone had this happen to them? We're rather clueless and everyone we asked seems in total shock. Builder seems like it's all okay...
Help in NE Ohio,
Cyndi
yes, this is common during the building process. your house probably flooded a few more times before this time that you discovered it, but you just didn't know about it. It will flood as long as there is no electrical power to run the sump pump. Water will come through the windows, from the gutters, and from under the slap (french drain and water up the sump pit). Also, any appliances like hot water heater or HVAC air handler/furnance could get rusted out.

The key for you is during the final walkthrough is to note everything. Then you will have a place where this issue is accounted for.

When I had my home built, I had the same issue, but I put it on my punch list. Once the house was settled, I noticed mold in the basement and a musky smell. The builder never fixed settling around the perimeter of the house either, so a little water would pool every time it rained.

From there, I forced the builder to have a mold remediation come in and scrub the basement and the ducts. They sealed it off and bombed it. Replaced all the insulation. It must have cost the builder 25-30K. Better them pay than me.
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Old 11-28-2007, 03:32 PM   #6
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New Construction - under roof and water in basement


What do you have for below grade waterproofing? I would personally be pissed at someone. Why would you want a basement in a high water table if thats really the issue? Didn't someone survey the property and note the water table?
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Old 11-28-2007, 04:13 PM   #7
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New Construction - under roof and water in basement


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Originally Posted by ncgrogan View Post
What do you have for below grade waterproofing? I would personally be pissed at someone. Why would you want a basement in a high water table if thats really the issue? Didn't someone survey the property and note the water table?
Not only do you not want a basement with a high water table, you can't even put a pool on your property. During the winter, assuming it's a northern state, the entire pool can heave.
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Old 11-28-2007, 04:17 PM   #8
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New Construction - under roof and water in basement


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Originally Posted by jogr View Post
Myself, I would be very worried. A basement never holds water out any better than when the waterproofing is brand new.

You need to determine how and where the water is intruding. Ask the builder to explain specifically where the water came in and how that will be prevented from happening again. When you say the footings have plenty of drainage do you mean gravity drainage to the yard somewhere (good) or drainage into your basement sump? If the drainage is to your basement sump then good luck - you will always be fighting water.

Why is your basement floor out of level by 3 inches????
We were told water was coming in from crock (sp?) and from the sump.
I also asked about the floor and I was told that it was pitched to the main drain in the middle of the floor. We are dealing with a known builder and the home does come with a 10 year warranty. Have a feeling we just might need it.
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Old 11-28-2007, 04:20 PM   #9
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New Construction - under roof and water in basement


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Originally Posted by handy man88 View Post
yes, this is common during the building process. your house probably flooded a few more times before this time that you discovered it, but you just didn't know about it. It will flood as long as there is no electrical power to run the sump pump. Water will come through the windows, from the gutters, and from under the slap (french drain and water up the sump pit). Also, any appliances like hot water heater or HVAC air handler/furnance could get rusted out.

The key for you is during the final walkthrough is to note everything. Then you will have a place where this issue is accounted for.

When I had my home built, I had the same issue, but I put it on my punch list. Once the house was settled, I noticed mold in the basement and a musky smell. The builder never fixed settling around the perimeter of the house either, so a little water would pool every time it rained.

From there, I forced the builder to have a mold remediation come in and scrub the basement and the ducts. They sealed it off and bombed it. Replaced all the insulation. It must have cost the builder 25-30K. Better them pay than me.
Excellent idea about having it put in the final walk through and I have plenty of pictures of it under water. I've kept a complete log of all steps of the building, down to any questions we had and builder had fixed, just in case there was a problem later. A picture is a hard thing to argue with. The mold was my main concern, I'm highly allergic to it. Today I checked it with my husband on our way home and it's dried up a lot. The dehumidfier is doing its job, but rather disgusted with the entire thing.
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Old 11-28-2007, 04:24 PM   #10
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New Construction - under roof and water in basement


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Originally Posted by ncgrogan View Post
What do you have for below grade waterproofing? I would personally be pissed at someone. Why would you want a basement in a high water table if thats really the issue? Didn't someone survey the property and note the water table?
We have the Tuff N Dri 30 year system with the exterior insulation. The soil was tested and we were told it was okay. We even put an extra 4K in a "safety net" just incase once they started digging and found further problems the money was there to fix the extra drainage issues.
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Old 11-28-2007, 04:26 PM   #11
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New Construction - under roof and water in basement


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Not only do you not want a basement with a high water table, you can't even put a pool on your property. During the winter, assuming it's a northern state, the entire pool can heave.
Our neighbor has an inground pool, so I'm praying that there hasn't been a mistake with water table. I really think that here in NE Ohio we've had LOTS of rain and the down spouts were just dumping at the corners of the house. Combine that with the grade not done and no power it just backed up. Soil is clay clay clay - they did go out several feet from the foundation with drainage gravel. Water never touched the furnace, but still took pictures of it all and how close it was. Furnace is not running yet, thank the lord.
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Old 11-28-2007, 04:45 PM   #12
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New Construction - under roof and water in basement


When you build a basement in clay soil, relying on a waterproofing film on the exterior is definitely not enough. That is a concept invented by the people that sell the "black goop" and DryLok. Water can come up from below.

Your situation is like building a house in a swimming pool and the drainage system at or below the footings is absolutely necessary. When the home is built the excavation limits can be 5 to 15 feet beyong the foundation walls - That is the size of your "pool" and you have to make sure your downspout extensions go beyond this to keep from filling the pool up.

One other thing to recognize is that in order to dig a foundation out, there is usually an access ramp that will collect water and funnel it down to the footings. Add into that, you have the treches for water, sewer, electrical, etc. that can add more water.

Invest in good sump pumps with a back-up. - That will be the best investment you can make.

One good thing is that when you have got the whole thing stabilized, you may not have a great deal of moisture around the foundation. The good thing about clay is that it does not relate to a high water table and does not permit the flow of water through it, so you only have to worry about the trenches, surface drainage and the remote possibility of a seam of gravel that will carry water toward the foundation.
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Old 11-28-2007, 11:32 PM   #13
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New Construction - under roof and water in basement


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Originally Posted by Cyndi Lou View Post
We were told water was coming in from crock (sp?) and from the sump.
I also asked about the floor and I was told that it was pitched to the main drain in the middle of the floor. We are dealing with a known builder and the home does come with a 10 year warranty. Have a feeling we just might need it.

10 year warranty generally only covers the structure and plumbing though, not other issues in the house.
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Old 11-28-2007, 11:34 PM   #14
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New Construction - under roof and water in basement


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Originally Posted by Cyndi Lou View Post
Excellent idea about having it put in the final walk through and I have plenty of pictures of it under water. I've kept a complete log of all steps of the building, down to any questions we had and builder had fixed, just in case there was a problem later. A picture is a hard thing to argue with. The mold was my main concern, I'm highly allergic to it. Today I checked it with my husband on our way home and it's dried up a lot. The dehumidfier is doing its job, but rather disgusted with the entire thing.
A small home dehumidifier is great, but what you need is circulation in the basement also. When mold remediation companies hit a house, they use huge dehumidifiers and fans to circulate air. What you also need to check is the HVAC system/air handler and the hot water heater for rust, and the ducting for mold.

If you want to spend the money, you may need to hire an environmental company to do a mold inspection and an air sample as part of your final home inspection.
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Old 11-28-2007, 11:36 PM   #15
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New Construction - under roof and water in basement


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Our neighbor has an inground pool, so I'm praying that there hasn't been a mistake with water table. I really think that here in NE Ohio we've had LOTS of rain and the down spouts were just dumping at the corners of the house. Combine that with the grade not done and no power it just backed up. Soil is clay clay clay - they did go out several feet from the foundation with drainage gravel. Water never touched the furnace, but still took pictures of it all and how close it was. Furnace is not running yet, thank the lord.
Having the furnace run is actually a good thing, because the furnace quickly dries the air by removing moisture. You're a bit lucky now because if this were summer time, with the heat, mold would be a bigger issue.

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