Basement problem due to neighbor

glorifiedbJanuary 2, 2007

I'm having seepage in our basement and I think I have it narrowed down to our neighbor. Basically, the water seeps in along one wall only. It's not a lot, but I definitely need to do something about it before I finish the basement. I checked during a heavy rain and the ground along the exterior wall was dry. We have fairly large overhangs in the roof and the downspouts are directed away from the house using those black plastic drain pipes.

Well, the neighbor's house is approximately 15 feet away from ours and sits a couple of feet higher. It's downspout is pointed directly at the basement wall that is seeping. I thought I would offer to reroute the spout away by using the plastic drain pipes again, but their gutters are pretty trashed and so water drips along the whole side of their house. As a result, I can't just redirect the downspout to solve the problem.

Any ideas on what I might be able to do to solve this? Is there some kind of barrier that I can install to prevent their water from seeping onto our property? I thought maybe a french drain near the property line to capture the water to a depth of about 3 to 4 feet. Would that be sufficient or would I need to go deeper?

If you have any suggestions, they would be greatly appreciated. I have spent way too much time this winter drying the basement.

Thanks in advance.

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You can try talking to them, but as a general rule you cannot direct water onto a neighbors property.
Natural runoff must be acceopted by a lower property, but the higher property cannot concentrate the flow or add to it.
Draining gutters onto someone else's land is not allowed.
From the counds of things you are not likely to get very far with someone who has clogged gutters. They are not very likely to care.
A letter from a lawyer can often help in these situations.

    Bookmark   January 2, 2007 at 8:20PM
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My mom is dealing with a similar issue with her neighbor. This is a urban home with zero lot line. The houses are pretty close together. My mom's downspouts are fed into a storm drain, but her neighbors is not. As a matter of fact one downspout extension is pointing towards her house!

Anyway, maybe you can see if your neighbor's downspout can be moved to a different location (away from your house). I had one moved on my last house because it was in the way of a new deck I was planning to build. I paid a handyman a $100 to do it. Just a thought. Good luck.


    Bookmark   January 2, 2007 at 8:33PM
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Thanks for the replies.

I'm not sure if I want to go the lawyer route since I would have to prove that they are concentrating the flow of water onto my property which is not necessarily the case. They are just not draining it correctly and it ends up on my property.

As for relocating the downspout, that is an option but the problem is that the gutters are wrecked and the water drips along the whole length of the gutter. If I relocate the downspout, that will not really significantly reduce the amount of run-off.

Thanks for the tips though. Any others would be greatly appreciated.

    Bookmark   January 3, 2007 at 1:16PM
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How about calling the building codes dept for your county and asking if their directing water onto your property is legal and if not have the county write a letter requesting that it be corrected.

    Bookmark   January 3, 2007 at 2:19PM
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