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Old 07-29-2010, 02:02 PM   #1
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Water coming in at base of foundation


After extended periods of heavy rain, water comes in at the base of the foundation along the back of my house. It also comes up around a stair post base about 3 feet from the wall.



The foundation is cinder block ~60 years old. Only half of the bottom row of blocks is visible so it looks like the floor was poured inside the wall (normal, I take it). The walls are coated on the inside with some sort of black(tar?) coating which seems to be doing the trick of keeping the water from coming in through the walls; Itís just coming in at the base.



The ground comes up to about 4ĹĎabove the base of the foundation. Thereís a foot or so of planter area (weedsJ) and then a concrete paver patio. It does generally slope away from the foundation and there are downspouts that go out 6í to where it slopes away much more dramatically, but it does have some problems: a couple of flat or slightly back sloping spots, a stoop thatís come away from the foundation a couple of inches. I do intend to pull up the paver patio and fix these things but I want to know if thereís anything else I should do while Iím at it.

The water coming up through the post base has me a little worried. Itís my understanding that itís common for water to get into the cavities of a concrete block foundation and come out the bottom, but whatís with that? Does that mean that I actually have an issue with the water table getting higher than my floor? And if so, what if anything could be done about that?

Apologies for posting something that there seems to be a lot of information on out there but after much reading, I'm still unsure what to do. I was hoping someone could look at the specifics of my situation and give me some suggestions. Thanks.

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Old 07-29-2010, 04:14 PM   #2
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Water coming in at base of foundation


Do you have a sump crock & pump?

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Old 07-29-2010, 05:10 PM   #3
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Water coming in at base of foundation


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Do you have a sump crock & pump?
No. The water just runs to the floor drain. It's not a ton of water and it does have to rain a lot before it starts coming in. I would hardly care except that I was hoping to finish this room someday.
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Old 07-29-2010, 05:40 PM   #4
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Water coming in at base of foundation


sounds like poor drainage around the foundation.
the layer of black tar is a bandage from the previous owners.

I'd probably get more tar and do a raised floor if you ever finish the basement.

the proper fix would be to dig down the the base of the foundation and put in some drainage pipe and lots of gravel.

not all basements are good candidates for finishing.
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Old 07-29-2010, 06:05 PM   #5
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Water coming in at base of foundation


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sounds like poor drainage around the foundation.
the layer of black tar is a bandage from the previous owners.

I'd probably get more tar and do a raised floor if you ever finish the basement.
I'm hoping to avoid this since it's a pretty low ceiling as it is. I was thinking I'd go with something like carpet tile that's waterproof and removeable if it comes down to it.

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the proper fix would be to dig down the the base of the foundation and put in some drainage pipe and lots of gravel.
Sounds terrible, but yeah, I had considered the idea. Do people actually do this?

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not all basements are good candidates for finishing.
I know, but it's so close to being ok. I lived there for a year before I saw water.
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Old 08-03-2010, 02:26 PM   #6
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Water coming in at base of foundation


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Quote:the proper fix would be to dig down the the base of the foundation and put in some drainage pipe and lots of gravel.
Sounds terrible, but yeah, I had considered the idea. Do people actually do this?
So seriously, do people really do this? Is this a reasonable fix if it's only 4.5' down? Most of the info I'm finding on adding drain tile it looks like it's just getting put in under the surface when done on an existing building.
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Old 08-03-2010, 03:02 PM   #7
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Water coming in at base of foundation


Since you have water coming in at both the wall/floor juction and around the post, it is obvious you have a water table that has come up for some reason.

The most obvious conclusion is poor drainage around your home or an area-wide rise in the water table due to development or changes in drainage.

A 6' downspout extension is really pretty minimal. Longer extensions are desired. If acess is required or the is a aesthetic concern a buried pvc pipe (NOT perforated) could be used to get water away in conjunction with a "pop-up" distributor (no control, but just water presence) could be used.

Since you would not admit where you live (important climate-wise) this could be an attractive solution. I have one in Minnesota, but disconnect (and use a surface downsout) it when/if we do not have much early snow that minimizes freezing and then do the reverse in the spring.

Your problem is really area wide and not just a patch job on one spot.

Dick
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Old 08-04-2010, 11:30 AM   #8
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Water coming in at base of foundation


I live in southern Wisconsin. Madison specifically. I'm not sure I understand your suggestion. Are you talking about using the pvc to extend the downspouts further out to a pop-up?
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Old 08-04-2010, 03:37 PM   #9
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Water coming in at base of foundation


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No. The water just runs to the floor drain. It's not a ton of water and it does have to rain a lot before it starts coming in. I would hardly care except that I was hoping to finish this room someday.

By running to the floor drain, are you saying it's running on the floor surface literally, or it is connected via tile under the floor?



And yes, people really do install entire interior draintile systems, tied to a new crock. Your solution may be somewhat simpler, dependign on the answer to the question above.
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Old 08-04-2010, 03:54 PM   #10
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Water coming in at base of foundation


Ptron -

That is exactly what I was referring to about my reference to a pop-up valve/outlet.

It is important to use solid walled pvc and not just the cheap "Menards"-type pipe of corrugated that can restrict flow and make it easy to create low areas that collect sediment due to the low velocity.

Your climate is different from mine because we are drier and colder except for the cold days that only come with clear skies and sun. Even in the cold months, it is not unusual for snow on a roof melt and drain into the gutter and downspout due to the radiant sun's heat. If the ground is frozen (in our area due to a light early snowfall, the frost will go down deeper). I have been in northern Minnesota after a week or two of -20F every morning and found soft ground 6" under the snow cover that provided early insulation. If you have an exposed and plowed driveway the frost can be deeper.

My suggestion was just a suggestion based on what has worked in my particular location. The fact that the water is coming up around the post means there is water under your slab and footings.

Dick
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Old 08-04-2010, 04:02 PM   #11
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Water coming in at base of foundation


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I have been in northern Minnesota after a week or two of -20F every morning and found soft ground 6" under the snow cover that provided early insulation.
Dick

Isn't "Mother Nature" wonderful???

I plow snow commercially, and have found out the hard way, far too many times , that snow is an amazing insulator. It actually has the ability to draw the frost out of the ground, with enough snow cover of course.
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Old 08-06-2010, 08:23 PM   #12
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Water coming in at base of foundation


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By running to the floor drain, are you saying it's running on the floor surface literally, or it is connected via tile under the floor?
The former. It runs on the surface of the floor to the drain. It's never been so bad that it isn't just two or three neat little streams, trickles really.
Quote:
And yes, people really do install entire interior draintile systems, tied to a new crock. Your solution may be somewhat simpler, dependign on the answer to the question above.
I thought forresth was talking about digging down to the base of the foundation on the exterior and installing drain tile there. (BTW, why is it called tile when it's a pipe?)
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Old 08-06-2010, 08:44 PM   #13
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Water coming in at base of foundation


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My suggestion was just a suggestion based on what has worked in my particular location. The fact that the water is coming up around the post means there is water under your slab and footings.
Gotcha. But the fact that I'm only seeing it at the back of the house means it's an issue local to that part of the house and not some larger water table thing, right?

While the downspouts only carry water out about 6 or 7 feet, there is a significant dropoff at that point, a 30 or so degree slope away from the house going out another few feet.

It's possible the downspouts and or gutters are getteng overwhelmed in very heavy rain. It's a very small house, ~25x30, but there are only two downspouts, one on each back corner.

The more I look at it. The more I feel like the bad patio and pulled away, back-sloping stoop could be the major contributing factors. I'd just hate to rip all that stuff out, replace it, and then found out it wasn't enough and have to tear it up again and do something more drastic. I guess that's the chance you take. Anyone ever heard of hiring a consultant to look at your situation and tell you what you need to do and then letting you (and your poor friends) do the work yourself?
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Old 08-06-2010, 08:44 PM   #14
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Water coming in at base of foundation


Ptron -

It is now called "tile" because centuries ago when the concept was developed they used short section of clay tile with loose or open joints to allow excess water and drain away. - Not to many plastic plants with hole drilling machines about 2000 years ago. They built for structures to last centuries then.

Dick

Last edited by concretemasonry; 08-07-2010 at 04:58 PM.
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Old 08-07-2010, 04:15 PM   #15
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Water coming in at base of foundation


So, what sort of solution would you put in as a fail-safe solution to augment the exterior perimeter drain and gravel?

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