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Practcing 08-17-2010 09:12 PM

wet carpet in basement, need advice
My basement carpeting got soaked in the recent heavy rain. First time this has ever happened. Had to rip out the old carpet and padding, total loss.

I'm still not exactly sure what happened, my best guess is that there was a bit of a flash flood effect that filled the egress window well with water (because there was a slight dirt mark on 2/3 way up the well and window). No water got in, and there was no stains on the walls or below the window. So my guess is that the water went under the house and hydrostatic pressure pushed it up through the concrete floor.

I replaced the sump myself with a Zoeller M98 pump just a few months ago, and it's working perfectly. The water only got into the main finished room, not in the storage area, bathroom or furnace room.

My insurance company said the damage isn't covered, and they recommended a company called 'leak detection' to take a look to determine what happened. I've left messages with that company, but no return calls. I'd like to get a better opinion of what might have been the cause before I put down a new floor. Maybe I'll file a claim with my insurance company (USAA) even if it's declined, at least the adjustor will come out and talk with me about it. Who else could I get to look at it, maybe a home inspector? I'm a little hesitant to call a 'basement flooding' company because they will only try to sell me something, I consider that a conflict of interest. I've been to too many home shows, don't trust any of them.

My second issue is what's the best floor if this every happens again? The basement is bone dry right now without the carpet. I have a high-powered dehumidifier 70 pint Frigidaire (works great!).

I'm thinking these all plastic tiles, definately don't want wood or carpet. Maybe regular ceramic tiles with a high quality underlayment like the schluter products. I did my shower with their stuff and it's bomb-proof (ok, only waterproof) :-)

I live in Laurel (central Maryland near Fort Meade), any advice appreciated.

Rowhousefix 08-17-2010 10:04 PM

I had similar problem with water leak and let me tell you something, carpet is very bad choice for the basement. I installed ceramic tiles after long research and cant complain. You can get really nice tiles for less that a dollar per sq/f. So it is cost efficient and no more headache in the case of water leakage. Before I installed tiles I used some kind of white waterproof coat/paint. ( they have it at HD and Lowes).

Practcing 08-18-2010 07:11 PM

The other day my basement got very wet, ruined the carpet and padding in the finished area. The unfinished area, bathroom and HVAC room still bone dry. The water is definitely coming up through the floor in a few spots (hydrostatic pressure). There are no visible cracks and only one spot where the poured concrete basement floor has a hamburger sized chunk out of it, but no fishers or cracks in it. The walls are also poured concrete, and the house is about 10 years old. I have no evidence of water coming through the walls or any place else, that would be a slightly different scenario.

My first mistake was calling a company that just wanted to sell me an inside trench system. These only divert the the water INSIDE the wall to a new sump in the center of the floor, doesn't stop mold, insects, radon, or hydrostatic pressure.

So after a lot of research, and considering my specific problems here's my (becoming informed) plan.
1) Hire an independent engineer that specializes in water issues. Someone who is not 'Selling' anything except expert advice, not referrals. Based on his advice:
2) Find a reputable landscaper to reshape my yard to redirect water away from house, install a drainage system (french drain, swale, or rock swale) to the nearest primary storm drain.
3) Ensure gutters are clean and maybe get larger gutters, but ensure the downspouts are far from house.
4) Hire a reputable plumber to snake (clean) my 'storm trap' under the basement floor, to free any blockage.
5) Raise the lip of my window well (egress window), and get a clear cover to put over it.
6) Patch any cracks inside (3M concrete sealer), maybe seal the floor.

Now I've already replaced my sump pump with a Zoeller M98 model (the best), and bought a 70 pint dehumidifier. I also bought a eu200i 2K watt Honda generator if the power goes out (decided after a lot of research this is the most practical solution, and I can use the generator for lots of power outage problems.

I spent hours researching and making this plan because I couldn't find an article like it. Any advice appreciated, and if you know a reputable plumber that can snake the storm trap or a landscaping company, in central Maryland (near Laurel), please post here. Thanks an I hope this info helps someone.

rusty baker 08-18-2010 07:54 PM

Wow, deja vu, again.:whistling2:

Practcing 08-18-2010 08:20 PM

LOL. day-ja-vu, ...

I put my update to the thread I started, hoping my research might help someone. I didn't spell that out, so looks a little funny.

Any advice?

Practcing 08-22-2010 09:31 AM

Here's a good picture of what I'm trying to address. The water is coming off the hill, much of it is going over the storm drain and to the back of the house. This is compounded by the water from under the deck. I'm trying to find the right kind of drainage system for this job, any suggestions appreciated.

tacomahardwood. 08-22-2010 06:13 PM

Is there cracks in the basement floor ? is the dirt by the gutter spouts sloping away from the house ? Is the window well set up with a drain system? Then there could be cracks under the walls , Also another likely source would be where the basement slab meets the foundation footing , It may not be sealed , When to pour concrete over the footing it will not seal out water , So it has to be sealed , It sounds like it flooded , But You should also do a calcium chloride moisture test in various areas of the basement floor and see what the moisture emission is , I doubt it is and emission problem but I have seen it where there was no flooding , The product i would try is something like traffic master , It is warranteed for that type of application , I don't think water would hurt it any .
Just read the rets of the thread . If you try it your self use 6 inch pipe .You can get some drain catch boxes at lowes or home depot. I would look up desings for that type of drain system .

Practcing 08-22-2010 09:17 PM

I really appreciate the comments and suggestions. There are no cracks in the floor, only one divot about the size of a hand, I'm thinking thin-set under tile (porcelain) should fill that easily.
From each of the 4 downspouts the ground is gently sloping away, maybe 1% grade. There is no drain under the egress window sill, I think that's where the water is getting in and under the basement, then it's pressing up under the basement floor (mostly in the middle, nothing along the walls).

I found a large, long drain at lowes I think will be perfect under the deck, it should catch most of the water and move it to the corner, then around to the front of the house, out to the street, all down hill.

Practcing 08-23-2010 08:26 PM

He said it's going to take about 5 days, and $5500 bid.

Several pipes, longest a 6" that runs about 50' the entire length from back yard to front.

epson 08-23-2010 08:56 PM

Fixing your wet basement may be as easy as regularly rodding your drainage or lateral line, annually cleaning out and inspecting your gutters and downspouts, or installing a sump pump which you have done. (Does it have a backup battery). Or, other solutions can be as extensive as installing new perimeter drains, waterproofing your foundation walls and floors, or altering the shape of your yard or driveway to direct water away from your house. Every case is different. The key is finding the right solution for your home. There are many experts who can assist you here are some of them:

1) Plumbers
2) Professional waterproofing companies
3) Landscapers who deal with drainage issues
4) Local building suppliers
5) Construction contractors

Be sure to explore these solutions with several different companies in different trades, and get estimates from each. Make certain they are insured and guarantee their work, and take the time to contact their references. Finally, check with the Better Business Bureau to confirm the work record of the contractor you select. Also, before starting any work, talk to your neighbours and check the surface and storm water regulations for your community. Make sure your plans comply with the rules and that you obtain any necessary approvals before you begin.

And after you have researched your problem and possible solutions, you will probably get different answers from different people/trades. One other option to consider is to hire a home inspector or engineer that specializes in wet basement problems. These professionals can offer you unbiased advice and can help you map out the best solution for your particular situation.

Aaroncarpet 08-27-2010 09:56 AM

If you are going to have carpet in this kind of area you can get insurance part of homeowners to replace the rug when it does back will happen again

Practcing 08-27-2010 05:59 PM

Thanks for the tip, I didn't know that. I'm paying about $5500 to make the chance of it happening again, extremely unlikely. I'm also going with traditional porcelain tile.

Allison1888 08-27-2010 06:34 PM

When talking with basement waterproofing companies, ask for references from customers that had the work done 3 to 5 years ago. You'll get a good sense of how reputable the company is-- and how their work holds up.

Practcing 08-27-2010 07:52 PM

I met with one basement waterproofing company, and canceled an appointment with another, after doing a lot of research about the benefits of dealing with water, OUTside the house as opposed to their plans to jackhammer a trench inside my basement walls and set up a secondary sump inside.

I believe 90% of those with damp/wet basements can solve their issues with good landscaping and drainage. Had the builder graded the property better, and the neighbors not directed their water onto my property, this would not have been an issue in the first place.

It's getting fixed now, here's a pic of the work in action. Thanks again for all the comments and ideas.


Uploaded with[/IMG]

Practcing 08-30-2010 04:33 PM


This was a big issue for me, I found 2 trains of thought, the first was to seal the floor as much as possible, I got several recommendations on industrial strength sealers.

Then the other train of thought was to use a non-waterproof grout, so if water does push up through the floor again, it will go through the grout and would be more easily managed (dry vac'ed up). This idea is to keep any water that might still get through from going around the floor and up the walls which would be an even bigger problem in the long run. Water that gets up the walls will eventually get through the insulation, drywall and then back down on the floor.

I went with option 1; leaving the grout porous, to allow water that might come up through hydrostatic pressure get in.

If you feel strongly differently, I would love to hear your thoughts. I have to do this right away, if I'm going to seal it, because the floor goes down on Thursday (today is Monday afternoon).


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