DIY Home Improvement Forum banner

1 - 20 of 44 Posts

·
Work Hard, Play Harder
Joined
·
276 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hello!

I've asked about parts of this before; and you can see my house in the "526 Lincoln House" thread in the showcase. I've posted in many threads and even sent some personal messages for help. I've done a ton of work and we have spent the rest of our money. So, instead of asking questions in other threads/etc; I've decided to post all the related pictures to give everyone a full picture of the problem and hopefully will get some help getting to the bottom of this (and I will get to the bottom of this).

The problem: Water is coming in through the first and second step of our basement "bilco" stairway. We had an interior drain tile system installed; and the water hasn't drained away from the foundation. We got a new sump pump/etc. The water started months ago; and runs 24 hours a day. Recently I half-drilled two weep holes in the side, and water runs constantly from them. Below is a full picture of the situation; I will reply to this post if I run out of picture room. I know that people have said it is just water form the window well; but wouldn't that eventually drain away? Especially if they drilled weep holes when they installed the drain tile? (They were supposed to?!?!)

1) I have diggers hotline marking the property in the next couple of days; hoping for a water line, but doesn't sound like it...
2) I've made some of the grading corrections and I'm adding gutters to the garage this weekend. The progress is all at the front of the house; which doesn't have a problem anyway.

When replying please remember that I am willing to rip everything out at this point. The 3-seasons room, bilco; whatever.

Picture from when it started:


Picture taken tonight (sorry to take it tonight; the one I took with the rest is missing...):











If I open either of the two access panels for the drain tile system; it is perfectly dry on either end. The middle where it crosses the doorway and there is a huge drain now; is a constant flow into the system/sump.

Any help is greatly appreciated!!!
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
17,158 Posts
What is with the drain line in the last picture pointing towards the a/c unit? Take a picture standing farther away, so we can get a better idea of the lay of the property. I can tell you right now, the problem is a drainage issue. Not enough downspouts to move rainwater away from the foundation. If your current downspouts enter the ground, I would stop that and get them to drain away from the structure about six or eight feet. You can use plastic drain tile, or get downspout extenders that drain water away aprox five or so feet. Only way to fix the foundation, is to dig down, and use the appropriate materials to seal the foundation, and place a good french drain tile system in place. Since you are stating you are out of money, that is going to be a big issue, due to it will cost at the cheapest way aprox $50, more expensive to fix, can be anywhere $5,000 or more.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
301 Posts
where the hell is that much water comming from?

1. what have recent weather conditions been, is there that much water in the ground?

2. what is the local water table.

3. busted water pipe?


i dont understand why its so wet....if it is from the environment (rain, etc) then you will never keep it out unless you waterproof from the outside ($$$).

since you say it does this 24/7, i am concerned it is more than wet ground...like a broken pipe or water table issue --- if the water table has risen then your current drain system may be inadequate.
 

·
Work Hard, Play Harder
Joined
·
276 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
What is with the drain line in the last picture pointing towards the a/c unit? Take a picture standing farther away, so we can get a better idea of the lay of the property. I can tell you right now, the problem is a drainage issue. Not enough downspouts to move rainwater away from the foundation. If your current downspouts enter the ground, I would stop that and get them to drain away from the structure about six or eight feet. You can use plastic drain tile, or get downspout extenders that drain water away aprox five or so feet. Only way to fix the foundation, is to dig down, and use the appropriate materials to seal the foundation, and place a good french drain tile system in place. Since you are stating you are out of money, that is going to be a big issue, due to it will cost at the cheapest way aprox $50, more expensive to fix, can be anywhere $5,000 or more.
Thanks for the reply!

I actually pulled the end of that drain line up last weekend; it used to be barely visible. I'm planning to dig it out and see where it ends this weekend.

The front downspouts have been corrected and are away from house. One used to end on top of the porch! :-( The rear downspouts on both sides still enter Milwaukee's old "combined" system. You can see one on the left side of the second to last picture. The city inspector was here after the drain tile was installed and said they are functioning fine. The problem with disconnecting them is where to run things.

I will take pictures from further away and post. I will also measure the slow of the backyard.
 

·
Work Hard, Play Harder
Joined
·
276 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
where the hell is that much water comming from?

1. what have recent weather conditions been, is there that much water in the ground?

2. what is the local water table.

3. busted water pipe?


i dont understand why its so wet....if it is from the environment (rain, etc) then you will never keep it out unless you waterproof from the outside ($$$).

since you say it does this 24/7, i am concerned it is more than wet ground...like a broken pipe or water table issue --- if the water table has risen then your current drain system may be inadequate.
Weather in Milwaukee has been horrible :-(
It has been a bit rainy; but we had a really warm dry period and I checked it daily and even left the bilco doors open for lots of air - it didn't stop.

I'm not sure about the water table; wouldn't the interior drain tile system be wet at the access points?
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
17,158 Posts
The Sump should be running 24/7. Have you taken the lid off to see how much water is coming in. Also, how much is the sump cycling, and can you hear water pouring into the well.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,734 Posts
( i hate this part ! )

IF the major source of the infiltrating water is around the steps, dig - dig on the outside ! bsmt systems has taken the 'french drain' to pretty-boy land but, in reality, its still a pipe under the floor altho has less carrying capacity,,, you'll need an exterior sump & pump surrounded by clean 1 1/2"- stone & soil filter cloth,,, you'll also need some shoring to prevent soil collapse while someone knowledgeable finds the directional flow of the wtr,,, you'll then need a pipe riser ( we use 24" corrugated hdpe ) so you can have access to svce the pump, etc.

most wtrproofing salesmen just want to manage interior leaking as its much easier to guarantee - most h/o buyers like it better 'cause its cheaper than exterior excavation,,, none of this is at odds w/any previous post

good luck !
 

·
Work Hard, Play Harder
Joined
·
276 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
The Sump should be running 24/7. Have you taken the lid off to see how much water is coming in. Also, how much is the sump cycling, and can you hear water pouring into the well.
The water flow isn't fast enough to make it run constantly; which was the reason I tried to drill two weep holes. I thought if the water could get out it would drain away.. The old sump was going off every half hour or so? It is hard to say with the new one; as it doesn't shake the house and is pretty quiet.

I will take the lid off tonight and watch it.
 

·
Work Hard, Play Harder
Joined
·
276 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
( i hate this part ! )

IF the major source of the infiltrating water is around the steps, dig - dig on the outside ! bsmt systems has taken the 'french drain' to pretty-boy land but, in reality, its still a pipe under the floor altho has less carrying capacity,,, you'll need an exterior sump & pump surrounded by clean 1 1/2"- stone & soil filter cloth,,, you'll also need some shoring to prevent soil collapse while someone knowledgeable finds the directional flow of the wtr,,, you'll then need a pipe riser ( we use 24" corrugated hdpe ) so you can have access to svce the pump, etc.

most wtrproofing salesmen just want to manage interior leaking as its much easier to guarantee - most h/o buyers like it better 'cause its cheaper than exterior excavation,,, none of this is at odds w/any previous post

good luck !
Since I'm going to dig up that black pipe; I will dig a pretty big hole and see if I hit water? Otherwise to dig around the steps I have to remove a lot of cement. I'm willing to.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,734 Posts
IF the water isn't running enough to make the pump turn on to discharge the collected water, that would be an indication it could be still draining into the sump BUT then hitting the soil UNDER the sump & soaking the soil underneath OR can't reach the sump due to blockage in the drainage system tho the 2nd's less likely,,, it could ALSO be an indication bsmt system's interior work was unnecessary & was based on guarantee rather than problem solving.

based on the pictures you post, there's tons of avenues for wtr to infiltrate & none have been addressed so far !
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,734 Posts
know the ' why ' of placing the slot drain inside the door ( 'cause its easier ! ) but the wtr in the stairwell was never addressed from what i can see.
 

·
Work Hard, Play Harder
Joined
·
276 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
know the ' why ' of placing the slot drain inside the door ( 'cause its easier ! ) but the wtr in the stairwell was never addressed from what i can see.
I was told by four different companies it couldn't be fixed. Basement systems was the only one who agreed to do anything; which to their credit they were very clear it was only a solution to water gathering on the basement floor. Although we all agreed the water should all drain away from the foundation after the tile was installed...

One guy honestly stood there; turned and said "so ok, what are we fixing?". Sigh.
 

·
Concrete & Masonry
Joined
·
3,859 Posts
George,

Can you live with the wet steps on the outside of the door? If so, it would be fairly easy to remove the lowest landing at the steps, repour about 1" lower than the basement floor, and run a small drain in the middle of it to either the adjacent trench drain, or better yet, directly to the sump crock. It may not be the ideal way to control the water, but it should certainly be something you can handle with minimal damage to the wallet.


I would think that the main problem is a number of factors from what I can see:

- Those stairwells are rarely draintiled on the exterior. Mine at home certainly has no draintile, nor do most I've run across.

- Most of those stairwells walls, especially the one farthest from the basement, don't go down to the bottom of house footing. They typically step-up away from the house, making them very hard to effectively damproof & draintile.
- It's been a wet spring & summer so far. There's no doubt that the water table is high.
- You're in an older subdivision apparently, with small lots, different elevations between neighboring properties, and very little room to effectively grade the yard away for optimal watershed w/o effecting the neighboring property(s) in a negative manner.


There are many other options, but most of them are too obtrusive to recommend without trouble shooting the issues in person. If you're interested, my offer still stands. I'd be willing to take a look at it in person & see if I can give you some suggestions, free of charge of course. You would just need a little patience........ :laughing:

Best of luck.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
17,158 Posts
You have issues, from the neighbor to the right with the raised drive, to the fact that the grade slopes to your home. Bad situation that needs a lot of work to get the water away or drained from the structure & garage.
 

·
Work Hard, Play Harder
Joined
·
276 Posts
Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
Here is the sump pump, it is filling but not from the drain tile. Just water seeping in through the weep holes. The gray pipe coming in from the drain tile is completely dry. The sides near the door are all wet; so water is flowing down into the sump.

The weep holes I drilled in the stairs seem to have helped somewhat; as the water flow through the weep holes is much less.




The black pipe is apparently the worst french drain system ever...



It runs from the base of the triangular grass section and follows the sidewalk; then curves around the garage and goes under the brick stairs there... There is no crushed rock and there is no mesh covering until about 3 feet from the garage. Sorry they are hard to see; it started getting dark. The pipe wasn't buried very well either; there were large air pockets under long lengths of it.




Finally here is a fresh picture of the stairs; and a picture of the hole I dug tonight; I decided to dig in the window well as it couldn't collapse on me. I got about 5 inches from the depth of where the weep holes I drilled are. I started to hit a clay/mud substance about then. I couldn't really dig further without more equipment/time. I worked long hours again so I didn't start until late :-(





I hope I didn't miss answering any questions.

I'm working on a diagram of the yard and a plan of what I might like to do; but I want to wait and see if jomama comes down as it may change the plan...

Thanks for all the help so far!

edit: Thought I would add some information:

1) Multiple contractors said they "couldn't get a digger in the back yard to dig the foundation anyway".
2) Multiple contractors said they would only remove the stairs by taking down the top 2 and then filling it in.
3) All of the debri you see in the one picture (the large masonry bricks or whatever they are called) were dug out of the front side yard before regrading it. Some kind of crummy retaining wall thing.
4) Not pictured, on the neighbors to the west side; the grade is above the foundation at the back of the house; I'm having nightmares about that episode of Holmes were the main beam rotted because of this..
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
17,158 Posts
They actually make small units that you can stand up on to dig, or get a few helpers to help dig. You may have to get someone to run a camera in the weep tile to see if clogged, especially if no rock is on top of it, or no sock over it.
 

·
Wire Chewer
Joined
·
3,579 Posts
That's an interesting way to access the basement. Is that the only way or is there a way indoor too? If yes I would add a tarp or some other water seal over those doors to see if that stops water from getting in. At least as a temporary measure. Once you confirm you could do a more permanent fix. It looks like that whole foundation/area needs a lot of work though. I have a minor water problem compared to this and it can be quite costly and lot of work to do. Have not started on my project yet. Still debating between DIY or outsource. It's a lot of work that is involved.
 

·
Work Hard, Play Harder
Joined
·
276 Posts
Discussion Starter #20
That's an interesting way to access the basement. Is that the only way or is there a way indoor too? If yes I would add a tarp or some other water seal over those doors to see if that stops water from getting in. At least as a temporary measure. Once you confirm you could do a more permanent fix. It looks like that whole foundation/area needs a lot of work though. I have a minor water problem compared to this and it can be quite costly and lot of work to do. Have not started on my project yet. Still debating between DIY or outsource. It's a lot of work that is involved.
Water isn't coming down the stairs; it is coming out of them. For a month period I tested this to make sure. I covered the window well and bilco with a tarp; and sealed it down; Didn't change anything.

I've been following your thread. My wife isn't happy when I bring up digging out the foundation myself; but I will if I have to.
 
1 - 20 of 44 Posts
Top