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Old 09-24-2010, 10:31 AM   #1
KD1
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basement leak


Hi!
After 2 years living in my 20 yr old house, this morning ( after a hard nights driving rain ) I found a wet mark in the carpet, along the wall in the rec room. It is the same wall that the rain has been getting driven into all night. There is one really wet area, and you can see how the water had tracked along the floor, gradually stopping about 8 feet from the area that I would suggest is the source. I have never had a problem with my basement being wet before, hence this is a shock to me. Before I start pulling off dry wall, has anyone any suggestions as to what the cause might be? I have a deck above this whole area, but I don't think it's attaced. ANY thoughts wold be helpful right now!
Thanks!
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Old 09-24-2010, 02:45 PM   #2
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Could be something as simple as a clogged gutter or leader or a downspout that needs to be extended further from the house. Might be a small crack in the cinderblock or cement foundation. Might even be coming from the basement floor itself. But keep in mind that even if you fix the cause by cleaning and/or regrading, it only takes a short time for mold to develope and mold loves drywall especially the backside that may be damp due to trapped water. As much as you will hate to hear this, I would probably remove a section of the drywall near suspected the leak and investigate for mold and any damage to the foundation such as a crack that would allow water in. If there is mold replace the drywall, treat the studs with a mold killer and if there is a crack you can seal it with hydraulic cement. You can apply a block sealer such as Thorocrete or Drylock paint, but bear in mind that these products don't always perform as promised. Leaks should be dealt with from the outside and this involves often an incredible amount of work. Another solution is a French drain but this too may involve more expense than you want to undergo especially since you have lived there for many years w/o a problem.
Finally, I would be remiss in not mentioning that mold is a harmful organism especially if you inhale the spores. All applicable safety precautions must be taken when dealing with mold including the use of an approved repirator (not just a 50 cent dust mask) and maybe even disposable coveralls. And if you find mold consider having a pro deal with it for both peace of mind and body.
I am not a pro but I have dealt with this issue in my own basement. I hope I have helped.

Last edited by retired guy 60; 09-24-2010 at 03:00 PM.
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Old 09-24-2010, 10:12 PM   #3
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Many thanks for your advice. Just when you mentioned the blocked gutter, it came to my mind almost immediately, that I do have a gutter that ( for a reason not yet investigated ) does not contain all the water when it rains fairly heavily) an it is the the general vacinity. This will be my first port of call, followed by the drywall sample. Again, many thanks for your very helpful advice and tips ( esp . the mould )
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Old 09-24-2010, 10:20 PM   #4
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In addition to a "drywall" sample have a test done on fiberglass (if you have it), since it can hold moisture even though it can absorb little and feed mold growth on the interior of the "drywall" and the studs. Just 1% moisture can reduce the insulating value by as much as 50%. I saw this in 100's of houses after Katrina, including ceilings that did not get wet, but just got the humidity and heat.

Dick
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Old 09-24-2010, 10:35 PM   #5
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I would check the grading along the exterior of the house. Sometimes soil erodes away and can lead to water funneling in. Also check gutters and downspouts. Next time it rains, look outside for any obvious signs of water funneling or pooling.

Here's more on basements:
http://www.oldhouseweb.com/how-to-ad...basement.shtml
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