How do we handle ground water after the fact?

uncledave_ctMay 15, 2007

Our home was built in the mid-60's. It has a full basement, not a walk-out, that remains damp almost constantly. The footings were poured over crushed stone but there are no footing drains. I guess code in our town might not have required it back then, but I'd think it still would have been considered sound building practice to install them, right? (The builder is still in business, I have half a mind to call them up and find out why they cheaped out 40 years ago!)

Anyway, water always seems to appear around the opening to the bulkhead stairs. There is a channel cut into the surface of the concrete floor that makes its way to a sump pump which, even during dry spells, runs several times a day. Fortunately there don't appear to be any structural issues, no settling cracks or unevenness, etc. I do get trickles of water from the wall/floor joint and the tie rods whenever we get any significant rainfall. In the absence of proper footing drains, what can I do to help dry things up down under? I am on a very tight budget, but if I'm giong to tackle this, I might as well take a mighty swallow and do it right.


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uncledave, you have to get the water away from the house starting at the top, footing drains won't help if they are full of water. What I'm trying to say is where is the water going to drain to if the ground under the house is saturated.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2007 at 1:25PM
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You're absolutely right, hendricus. The ground slopes away and the gutters/downspouts carry water away from the house, but it still gets in. Since things seem OK above ground, maybe there are voids in the fill that are directing water in the ground toward the house?

    Bookmark   May 17, 2007 at 9:32AM
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We've been in this house for 3 years now and we had a leak in the basement from a crack in the poured wall. Previously it had been 'repaired' by putting a couple of 6' treated 2x4's around the area of the leak. It was well sealed to the floor with silicone and kept the water away from the furnace and carpeted room. Last year a permanent fix was done by throwing out all the old gutters, we have a 30" overhang, that were dumping water in that area when they overflowed in any heavy rain. Then added a foot of soil to the edge of the house, a lot of basement was showing, and regraded a foot lower 20' out from the house. Not a drop of water anymore and we had heavy storms on Tuesday.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2007 at 2:33PM
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