basement leak

chicoryflowerFebruary 22, 2007

I'm in an absolute quandary about my basement. I have a leak. What's bizarre about this is that the previous owner had thousands of dollars in drain work done, including the footer drains, french drains, regrading, landscaping, etc.

The repairs inside were rough to say the least, but now the stupid front corner is leaking again. It's the only place there has ever been a problem in the house.

The inspectors said the foundation was very sound and that the repairs were checked for moisture and everything was good.

We keep the kitty litter in that room - it's the ugliest room in our house (as you can imagine). The room is all chewed up from years of repair. I don't go in there unless I'm changing the kitty litter, and I found a decent puddle of water on the floor. First time we've seen it. We had snow and the ground is quite wet. The foundation is dry where it is exposed and the soil at the top is dry, as is the mulch, the side of the house, etc.

So what do you think is going on? Could it be that I just need to properly repair a crack in the wall and drylock the bejesus out of it? I've called drain people and landscapers in to look at this and make recommendations (these are local old hands who I can trust to make good assessments of the situation). In the meantime, I'm inclined to hack down all the old drywall and paneling and go to town.

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Last June, we got 14 inches of rain here in the east, and my basement flooded. Within a very short time, I learned lots because I had to.

I had most of the things done you mentioned, aside from the french drain.

Contractor who I trust with my life, also mentioned the down spouts, gutters and roofing. I discovered that these three issues are just as important in fixing a leak as re-grading etc. In my case, front gutters and down spouts(where the leak was) were to narrow to properly handle the water load from the roof.

The back of the house, there is no problem (house sits on a slight hill) BUT I couldn't figure out why the gutters flooded even with a mild rain. I keep them clean of leaves etc. Contractor informed me that when the previous owners had roof installed, the shingles were not cut on the edge of the roof properly to allow proper water flow into the gutters.

I suggest you look at your gutters the next time it rains. If they are flooding, they and down spouts may not be wide enough. Shingles may also need to be cut back.

After I spent mega bucks having soil etc. brought in, I wondered if simply replacing gutters and down spouts and having shingles cut back would have fixed the problem. I have not had a problem since.

Good luck!


    Bookmark   February 28, 2007 at 11:13AM
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We had a leak behind our old paneling and when we took a look behind it we had a ton of mold back there, so it may be worth a look just for health reasons (grab a mask!).

We are now Drylok-ing the heck out of the basement and had rain part way through the first coat. The Drylok actually held up well with just one thick coat which was great. But we never had it puddle (to our knowledge) either.

We had a big tree planted about 3 feet from our house in the bad corner. My thought is that the root system caused some kind of foundation damage that really can't be seen without digging out the entire house, which we could never afford. So Drylok is the solution for us to keep the mold and water out. My professional handyman father in law said it's probably best to wait a full year if you can before putting paneling or anything over the Drylok so you can monitor it and make sure it's doing the job.

It sounds like your leak is worse but Drylok just put out a new Extreme version of their paint so that may be an option for you. We just used regular as it was all that was at the store when we got started.

Hope that helps at least a little!

Here is a link that might be useful: Drylok Extreme

    Bookmark   February 28, 2007 at 2:05PM
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I had the same issue with the plants, they do cause damage but also provide a route for the water with the heavy root system.

I don't mean to rain on your parade andrewteg, but I was told by numerous professionals, including my contractor who also builds houses, that the Drylok paint will not work, for a long period of time. It disintegrates with moisture.

If you have a leak, theory is (unless you sell sump pumps), that you must prevent it from coming into your basement from the outside. Anything else is not going to cure the "disease".


    Bookmark   February 28, 2007 at 5:14PM
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My basement leak does not seem to be coming from the walls,but rather up from the floor itself! I swear it percolates up from the ground I have an unfinished,cement floor basement in 1920's Colonial. Husband blames me taking out the iccky yews from around foundation,but there is no water on that side of basement. I don't know where to start with this,but it's now annoying enough and ruining enough things,that I want it taken care of. Sounds like I should check my gutters and downspouts--how far out from the house should those downspouts go??? Do you dig a french drain on the inside or outside of the house? What is a sump pump? Do I need to find the source of the water before I take any action? Obviously I'm a very novice homeowner and didn't marry a handyman. Can anyone suggest a good one of those,home-owner bible books--I'm willing to learn. Thanks,Jardinista

    Bookmark   April 19, 2007 at 4:03PM
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We had an ice storm a couple of months ago when the ground was frozen and we had 8 inches of sleet followed by goodnessknows how much rain - our dry (finished) basement started to leak for the first time. So when we a couple of weeks ago had 8 inches from a Northeaster I knew what to expect - the land around one of the uphill corners of the house has nowhere to drain, while a downspout empties right there as well. My efforts to divert the floods of outside water - by digging a gully a few feet from the house - didnt seem to work as instead I apparently just transferred the problem from the back basement to the front basement wall as well.

It seems that the hydrostatic pressure all around the house caused the water to find any entry route - which included coming up through hairline cracks on the concrete floor. I wonder how to deal with that problem - would dry lock work?

I also intend to "drylock" the area where the basement walls join the I wasting my time?

Finally I am going to have to build a French Drain on the outside - but how does one dig a 24" deep trench 6" wide?

    Bookmark   April 28, 2007 at 4:48PM
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"I also intend to "drylock" the area where the basement walls join the I wasting my time?"
I would put a drain in the uphill corner and attach 10,20,30 feet of 4" pvc (no holes) to run away from the house and downhill to a low area, maybe make a rock garden at the outlet end. Get the water away from the house and you shouldn't have to do anything else. Drylock is a band-aid and doesn't cure the problem.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2007 at 10:43PM
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i had a problem on my own to , i bought the house almost 3 years ago and the previous owner did not Disclosured the problem with the foundation, and the last winter when the ice storm hit us all of the crack reopen up . so far , i spent about 2k to fix 3 crack , try to put nylon line along the side of the house and on the top we put rock over the nylon line when the rain hit the wall it will run down and meet the nylon line and because it water proof and will go away from the house but now the water rising up from the bottom of the basement floor
any idea that could be fix and the foundation is water proofing
please, help me i grown old with that , could not sleep well over this problem because a had a little kids and i don't want mold growing in my house

    Bookmark   May 2, 2007 at 4:59PM
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last night when the very heavy rain hit us the seal place ( the gap between foundation and the wall is leaking water because in front of my house is below grade, anyway to stop the water coming to seal place, please help

    Bookmark   May 3, 2007 at 11:29AM
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We have a step crack in our basement.

Before we did the grading, we dug beneath the grading, added a layer of high quality plastic so the water drains away from the house, and reapplied the soil. Our gutter is extended out further away from our house.

We then used the UGL Drylock Hydraulic Cement according to instructions, and it has been bone dry ever since. Hopefully it will stay that way.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2007 at 5:03AM
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We have a leak in our basement, on and off the carpet is wet. We have no idea where the water is coming from. Roter Rotter found no leaky pipes after the holes were cut in our drywall he said to contact a foundation specials because it seemed to be coming through floor.Is there anything else we can rule out first? Our little house is only 8 years old? I am so sad and confused. Not to mentioned the mold. A professional told us not to take the carpet out ourselves so it is just sitting there growing spores until the professionals can get here.Any advice would be appreciated. We don't want to go broke over this unless we have to:(My husband and I do our best around the house but we would probably need to contact someone to help us check our perimeter and drain pipes etc.... Any suggestions on who we should call?

    Bookmark   September 15, 2007 at 3:47AM
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