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Old 06-19-2018, 03:16 PM   #1
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Grading Question


Hi all! New to the forum and new to home ownership. I closed on my house about 3 months. Very shortly after closing (literally the day after) it became obvious that my house has significant issues with waterproofing.

I purchased the home as a "flip" with a finished basement but the floor was ruined within 2 weeks and I continue to get water down there after heavy rain events. I spoke to neighbors and they said they've always had problems with a high water table. The house has an old interior french drain that covers every wall except one. So far I do not have seepage except from the wall without the drain.

Outside that wall is where the driveway is and a graded bed of what is now mulch. There appears to be old ripped up concrete edging under the mulch and dirt so I think at one time it was some sort of planter bed that was walled in. When I first got the house there was also some exposed ground against the house where asphalt should have been but wasn't paved. Because of the water I paid to have it filled and graded with asphalt.

Since I did that I seem to get the water from where the mulch is and not so much from anywhere else. I'm wondering if there isn't something better I can do with that patch. It's right up against the house and although they redid the stucco all the way around, it looks like they were lazy and left the wall behind the dirt level undone so anything would preferably match the height to avoid having to re-stucco. I would guess the first thought would be to slope a concrete slab there but to me that would look dumb and be a lot of work. Any suggestions/help is much appreciated!
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Old 06-19-2018, 06:22 PM   #2
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Re: Grading Question


That dirt needs to come out of there , and get the asphalt guy's back.
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Old 06-19-2018, 06:24 PM   #3
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Re: Grading Question


What is the highest wet point in the cellar? In other words, does it appear that the water is entering & flowing down or is it rising from the floor? Move the mulch to the side & look for hairline cracks in the foundation.
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Old 06-19-2018, 06:31 PM   #4
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Re: Grading Question


They paint the concrete below grade with a black substance to make it water resistant, at what level did that stop?
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Old 06-19-2018, 10:02 PM   #5
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Re: Grading Question


Based on the information you provided most likely have a good lawsuit against the seller and probably the real estate agent involved. If problems with water in the basement were not revealed to you they did not act in good faith during the sale. Everyplace that I know of has laws in one form or another to prohibit selling properties without revealing known defects.
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Old 06-19-2018, 10:03 PM   #6
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The asphalt guys dont normally do an area that small (that's what every company I brought out to do the other area told me) and have a minimum charge of $1500 so I'd like to avoid that if possible.

The water to me would be flowing "up" or to the right of the photo and toward the backyard. On the right edge of the photo is the chimney and on the inside of the basement they added an interior wall. Most of the water likes to follow the floor joist of that wall and come out of the corner of that drywall. Since there is drywall covering the foundation walls it's tough to get a good look at most of the seepage.

There didnt appear to be any black sealant used below the stucco you can see. The line is literally where the dirt slop starts. I moved some of it with my hands at one point to take a look underneath and only saw concrete colored wall. It is a concrete block foundation.

Is there something that can be done either with a retaining wall or exterior french drain that would help without doing more asphalt or concrete? Maybe even pavers?
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Old 06-19-2018, 10:09 PM   #7
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Based on the information you provided most likely have a good lawsuit against the seller and probably the real estate agent involved. If problems with water in the basement were not revealed to you they did not act in good faith during the sale. Everyplace that I know of has laws in one form or another to prohibit selling properties without revealing known defects.
I did hire a lawyer specifically for that reason. My lawyer is a personal family friend that I know and trust. He isnt quite as sure about the strength of the lawsuit as I wish he was because I of course agree with you. The seller has already claimed he didnt know of the problem. The lawyer says hes unsure how a jury would see the case because hes a "flipper" based in a neighboring state and only owned the house for 3 months, never lived there, and was looking to make money on the property. It pains me to think that just because that means anyone can "flip" a house with no consequences for latent defects.
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Old 06-19-2018, 10:36 PM   #8
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I did hire a lawyer specifically for that reason. My lawyer is a personal family friend that I know and trust. He isnt quite as sure about the strength of the lawsuit as I wish he was because I of course agree with you. The seller has already claimed he didnt know of the problem. The lawyer says hes unsure how a jury would see the case because hes a "flipper" based in a neighboring state and only owned the house for 3 months, never lived there, and was looking to make money on the property. It pains me to think that just because that means anyone can "flip" a house with no consequences for latent defects.
Block will fill with water until it finds a pass out.
I think you need to remove some drywall, the bottom 12 inches and find the section with wet blocks. The center of those blocks are likely where you would find the problem on the outside.
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Old 06-19-2018, 10:49 PM   #9
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I did hire a lawyer specifically for that reason. My lawyer is a personal family friend that I know and trust. He isnt quite as sure about the strength of the lawsuit as I wish he was because I of course agree with you. The seller has already claimed he didnt know of the problem. The lawyer says hes unsure how a jury would see the case because hes a "flipper" based in a neighboring state and only owned the house for 3 months, never lived there, and was looking to make money on the property. It pains me to think that just because that means anyone can "flip" a house with no consequences for latent defects.
Block will fill with water until it finds a pass out.
I think you need to remove some drywall, the bottom 12 inches and find the section with wet blocks. The center of those blocks are likely where you would find the problem on the outside.
I did remove the baseboards so I can see the seepage areas and part of the area I have a problem with is unfinished so I can see. I get water on the far right let's say 3' of this photo and then maybe another 3' past what the photo shows. Its seeps up from where the floor and foundation wall meet. I've never seen anything dripping down anywhere.
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Old 06-19-2018, 10:54 PM   #10
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Re: Grading Question


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I did remove the baseboards so I can see the seepage areas and part of the area I have a problem with is unfinished so I can see. I get water on the far right let's say 3' of this photo and then maybe another 3' past what the photo shows. Its seeps up from where the floor and foundation wall meet. I've never seen anything dripping down anywhere.
If it is coming up from the floor, then the perimeter drain on the outside is not taking the water away or is plugged or collapsed.
That would likely take access at front or back by digging down to footing level to find it. From the corner you could scope it and see if water is moving at all. Sump pump may be required.
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Old 06-19-2018, 11:33 PM   #11
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I did remove the baseboards so I can see the seepage areas and part of the area I have a problem with is unfinished so I can see. I get water on the far right let's say 3' of this photo and then maybe another 3' past what the photo shows. Its seeps up from where the floor and foundation wall meet. I've never seen anything dripping down anywhere.
If it is coming up from the floor, then the perimeter drain on the outside is not taking the water away or is plugged or collapsed.
That would likely take access at front or back by digging down to footing level to find it. From the corner you could scope it and see if water is moving at all. Sump pump may be required.
Currently this is the only wall in the house with no interior drain and there isnt one at all around the perimeter of the house that I'm aware of.
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Old 06-19-2018, 11:40 PM   #12
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Re: Grading Question


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Currently this is the only wall in the house with no interior drain and there isnt one at all around the perimeter of the house that I'm aware of.
A basement when new has a perimeter drain. I would be surprised if it was built with out.
But you have floor drains in the basement, is there a sump with or with out a pump inside or out?
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Old 06-19-2018, 11:45 PM   #13
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Currently this is the only wall in the house with no interior drain and there isnt one at all around the perimeter of the house that I'm aware of.
A basement when new has a perimeter drain. I would be surprised if it was built with out.
But you have floor drains in the basement, is there a sump with or with out a pump inside or out?
My house was built in 1966 and judging from the scar in the slab the perimeter system came a little after that. There is a sump on the opposite corner of the house inside the basement.
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Old 06-20-2018, 12:25 AM   #14
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My house was built in 1966 and judging from the scar in the slab the perimeter system came a little after that. There is a sump on the opposite corner of the house inside the basement.
The perimeter drain I was talking about is on the outside, the system you have is dome much latter when the outside one fails a choice is made between inside and out, which is harder or most expensive kind of choice.


Is there a pump in that sump or evidence of one was there. What level is the water at in the sump.
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Old 06-20-2018, 12:35 AM   #15
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My house was built in 1966 and judging from the scar in the slab the perimeter system came a little after that. There is a sump on the opposite corner of the house inside the basement.
The perimeter drain I was talking about is on the outside, the system you have is dome much latter when the outside one fails a choice is made between inside and out, which is harder or most expensive kind of choice.


Is there a pump in that sump or evidence of one was there. What level is the water at in the sump.
Oh, ok. There is a sump pump in that pit. It is the only thing keeping the rest of my basement dry. It runs fairly often and keeps maybe 1' or two of water in the pit at all times.
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