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JRMN 12-17-2009 10:35 AM

Leaky Basement Advice
I need some advice. I bought a house in July of this year and for the first time last Wednesday we had some water come into our basement. I called my insurance company, 3 waterproofing companies and a water restoration company. Each waterproofing company told us that we have a hydrostatic pressure issue and need to replace the sump pump system ($15,000 plus), which isnít covered by our insurance company. The water restoration company told us that everything is dry except the wall that runs along the front of our house.

Things that happen leading up water coming into our basement:
We had a rain storm Tuesday night.
It snowed Sunday December 6.
It rained Tuesday night December 8. We had water come into our basement.
It rained on Sunday December 13. No water in our Basement.

Things we know about our house:
There had been some water damage to our basement before.
The drain at the bottom of our basement stairwell is inadequate.
Our sump pump runs even when itís not raining.

Me and my fiancť are leading towards having our basement water proofed, however, we think we might have another issue because I sump pump runs when itís not raining. Does anyone have any advice or suggestions?

JRMN 12-17-2009 09:02 PM

Since my sump pump runs all the time I picked up a chlorine and ph test kit from Lowes to determine if it's rain or tap water that's draining into the sump pump pit. However, i couldn't figure it out. I actually should try to get my money back because it was pretty useless and hard to understand because it was already pre-colored. Since I couldn't figure out that test, I let the water drain into a plastic cup. Is rain water sitting around the foundation of my house supposed to be this clear? It looks as clear as tap water.

I also picked up a pair of rubber gloves and a bucket from Lowes. This is what I found at the bottom of my sump pump pit. I ended up filling that 12 quart bucket twice with looks to be silt/clay. I also had 2 bricks and a whole bunch of rocks in there as well. Is this normal?

meboatermike 12-17-2009 09:40 PM

Leaky basement
How old is the house? Are the basement walls poured concrete or cement block? I am assuming that they are not something really old like a rock foundation.

If the water that entered is only on one side of the house, how is the landscaping sloped around your house? Does it have a good pitch away from the foundation or is not sloped away or sloped even into the foundation?
You want the land graded so any water flows away from your house.

What kind of soils are in the area? If you have a sump pump that runs often but only occasionally has water entered I would say that the sump pit is down into or close to the water table in your area.

Do you own enough land and is the land slope such that you could have a positive drain installed to take the water away?

I personally would not spend that kind of money unless it was to be able to put in a positive drain but I am cheap :whistling2: and grew up in a house that had a wet basement sometimes, even with drain tiles inside and out and a positive drain also.

It is good to keep the sump pit cleaned out of the silt/mud but the stones and bricks were probably to sit the pump on.

JRMN 12-18-2009 07:38 AM

Our basement is poured concrete and our backyard sits at the bottom of a hill and on top of this hill are additional houses. The ground that our house sits on is pretty level. However, when walking from the backyard towards the front, the property starts to slant slightly downward from the driveway to the street.

Should I place the sump pump back on a brick?

SULTINI 12-18-2009 04:39 PM

Make sure your rain gutters and downspouts direct the water far from your foundation. Believe me they can cause more problems than people think. A lot of water comes off a roof.

tpolk 12-18-2009 04:48 PM

when it rained after the snow was there still snow on the ground possibly causing sheeting to the house since the rain could not percolate into the soil like the first rain?

Daniel Holzman 12-18-2009 05:45 PM

The quote of $15,000 to replace the sump pump is impossibly high. The quote must be to install a perimeter drain system, since you already have a sump pump, and even replacing it with a commercial grade pump with a battery backup would never cost anywhere near $15K.

As for whether a perimeter drain would work, that requires detailed hands on evaluation by a qualified professional, cannot possibly be diagnosed over the internet.

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