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Old 09-24-2011, 02:12 PM   #1
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Basement sump/water problems


I have a 40 year old home purchased Feb '99.
- It has a sump pump in an open pit in an unfinished basement that is below grade.
- There is no laundry sink in the basement although there is a washer and dryer. (The previous owner took the sink with him when he left and I didn't realize it was missing until after closing, apparently it requires a pumping unit).
- There is a french drain. The drain is filled with small rocks all the way around, I assume to catch any debris?
- The only water outlet is via the pump pit. (Washer discharges through sewer pipe about 4 feet up from the floor).
- The pump has been replaced 4 times since the house was purchased and I have used Little Giant 1/3 HP pumps for the last 3 replacements.
- There is no back-up pump (the battery back-up that came with the house never worked).
- Pit fills even during time of drought (but slowly).
- First major rain that year (drought conditions that spring/summer) was Hurricane Floyd in Sept '99, the water came in so fast it came through the unprotected cinder block, I found out the following year that even though the previous owner hadn't disclosed this - they also had the same problem. Water came through on other rains as well, sort of a dyke effect and squirted with enough pressure that it hit the floor (by-passed the channel). I use Drylok the summer of 2000 so we wouldn't have anymore seepage from the walls. That Drylok is discolored looking now and I think it is mold/mildew from the backside.


Issues & Questions:

1. There is an exposed channel around the 4 walls for water that seeps in to get to the sump pit. There are weep holes that are above the the floor level. When it rains hard, the water rushes through some of the holes so forcefully that it bypasses the drain and hits the floors.

Q: Is there anyway to effectively keep the water diverted into the channel and not gushing out beyond the channel and onto the floor? Could I use something like aluminum flashing maybe and if so, I would think nailing or screwing it on would be a bad idea so how would I attach it? Also - I would not want to cover the drain completely since even with the Drylok being used there are still times that water will weep down the wall and a 'drain covering' would just cause it to go onto the floor.


2. There has been rainfalls that cause the water to enter so fast that the Little Giant sump pump runs constantly but it cannot get the water out fast enough and the floor starts to flood.

Q: Any idea of how I can add an additional pump to the pit (it can only go above the existing one so it would have to be close to floor level in that case). Is there a sump pump that activates on a small amount of water hitting it? The second pump would have to use the same discharge pipe as the existing pump.
Recommendations or other options?

3. Drylok - I'm assuming that because of the mildew looking problem that using the Drylok was the wrong thing to do (HomeDepot clerk recommended it).

Q: Should I remove the Drylok? If so, does anyone know how this can be done? I'm thinking it would be difficult to remove from cinder block but am not sure what other options I have at this point. Or should I again use Drylok but only go down to a certain height all the way around so water will go further down the wall before exiting (not sure if that makes a difference)?


As a single mom , money is an issue (but isn't it for everyone). I can't afford to excavate around the house to put in a moisture barrier. I'm pretty comfortable with using most hand/power tools and any suggestions would be appreciated! Also, the house sits on flat land and the small amount of grading that can be done has been and downspouts have been diverted away from the house so there is really no help from outside remediation left that I can do on my own.

Thank you for any suggestions or thoughts on this!

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damp basement, drylok, rain, sump pump, water in basement


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