How to tell when you are dry?

behaviorkeltonJuly 13, 2006

I'm going to try to solve a drainage problem in my yard around the house.

So how can one tell if the basement is officially "dry"? I mean, sometimes it takes days for the wetness to soak its way down to the basement trouble spots... right?

Even then, it might be hard to determine if the area is a fresh bit of dampness or if it's just an old stain from previous dampness.

When I complete my attempt to create a french drain, I want to somehow determine (with confidence) that I actually fixed the problem without having to ponder "new dampness or old stain?".

I bought the house a couple weeks ago. The weather has been dry throughout my time here, so I haven't been able to see what happens after a good rain... or how long it takes to happen.

So is there some cool ingenious way to confidently determine if the problem has been solved?

I can tell that the damp staining on my basement wall is right below an area where my downspout (gutter) enters the ground. I tested the drain with a hose and see that the water does indeed exit through the exit point on that drain (onto the driveway).... but could it be that it leaks a bit?

Thanks for any help!


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"new dampness or old stain?"

Mark the old stains with chalk outlines and take pictures.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2006 at 9:01AM
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We got some really nifty advice that I'll pass on to you : plastic wrap! You can securely tape a piece of plastic wrap to the wall (or floor, or wherever)and if it's still weeping it will show up better and condense under the wrap. For quite some time I would put out random pieces, making sure to hit the trouble spots, and then check them after wet weather. It helped us determine which spots were and weren't fixed. I'd still take the advice above, however, so you'll have the old spots premarked for reference. Good luck!

    Bookmark   July 14, 2006 at 5:25PM
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I'm not sure that marking the 'trouble spots' helps because those trouble spots are already clearly stained from previous water issues.

I will try to the plastic wrap idea.. sounds good.

It finally rained today for 45 minutes. I think a downspout drainage pipe must be leaking at that bad area.

I've decided to try something unusual. I am going to make a short tunnel under the patio so I can reach the area where the downspout goes under the patio. Then, I can attach a new pipe and run that pipe to an appropriate area. Otherwise, I would have to destroy the patio to do the same thing.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2006 at 10:38PM
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