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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Id appreciate any ideas from people on this one. I have had a couple of people out with no clear idea of what is wrong.

I bought this house which is a single family in Chicago with a back patio. There are steps from the patio which lead to the basement. I have noticed that there is always water at the bottom landing. The steps are blue flagstone (I think) and Im not sure what they are over- but I suspect concrete. The drainage pipe at the bottom appears to work ok cuz I dont get flooded when it rains. FYI, the water is always there whether it has rained or has been dry for a week. I have also noticed that there is occationally (but rarely) water on the retaining wall when it gets very humid. I originally thought the water was seeping through the concrete retaining wall, but I soaked the ground for over 2 hours and did not get worsening of water in any spot.

I have talked to a couple of contractors and they suggest 1. digging out behind the retaining wall to see if all is well there, 2. coating the concrete retaining wall with something that retards moisture, or 3. removing the stones and seeing what is happening underneath.

Anyone have any ideas? I was thinking of removing the stones myself but am unsure how big of job this might be. Anyone else with anything similar happen to them.

Thanks,

Steve
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sewert1 -

I have seen this post elsewhere.

Just removing a few stones will not tell you anything and probably confuse you even more.

Water problems start with where the water is first seen and that is just a clue that it is coming elsewhere and just showing up where you just happen to see it at the time. The real leak or source is elswhere.

If it is a real problem, you will have to spend the time and monet to find out how to correct it and then determine if it worth the effort and expense. There are many ways to go, but avoid the man that says he is an experienced contractor just to get some work. Find someone that will tell you what the problem is and that has no connection to repair company other than giving you three names and numbers for you to decide on how deep your confidence and pockets are.

Dick
 

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I would not remove stones or otherwise dismantle it until I am ready to fix it.

Which means I need to first research and plan what I would do depending on what I found under the stones.
 
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Yes, I posted this under the landscaping forum. I was hoping for more ideas if I changed.

I am ready to do what is needed to fix the problem, but I dont know where to start to begin to address it. I have had several contractors out who all seem to think different ideas on where the problem is. Do I start with one and keep working through them until its fixed? I thought of removing the stones to at least see if I can get an idea of where the problem starts.

Thank you for your reply. Any other thoughts are appreciated.

Steve

PS water is a bummer
 

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Check to be sure water does not pool up against the foundation or the outsides of the stepwell.

My suggestion:

Remove one of the lowest stones (at the very foot of the stepwell).

Observe for water seeking a level that is now visible above what is under that stone.

Do not touch any of the other (higher) stones or the walls of the stepwell yet.

Do you have a sump pump in your basement and a perimeter (weeping tile) drain systm?
 
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