Confused...Water Table Below House Causing Damp Basement?

hope_2008August 3, 2008

We noticed water in our basement after the heavy rainfalls this year but only along one wall. We checked our sump pump and it seems that the water is not coming into the sump pump container via the weeping tile system (the hole is actually bone dry), but rather tiny holes at the bottom of the cement bucket as if there is a water table below the house. We noticed the walls of the basement weren't wet, but just the footings about 1-2ft up the cement blocks seem to be holding water, then if they can't hold anymore the water comes in... it still makes for a very moist basement regardless. So it seems the water is coming from the water table or floor only after heavy heavy rainfalls.

We decided to dig up the just in case...After excavating and replacing the weeping tile along the back wall of our house (a 60s ranch with a wall spanning about 40 ft), we took a close look at the old system and it was perfect - nothing wrong but again bone dry. We decided to test the weeping tile system. we took a hose sprayed into it for a long time, even pressure washed the house -- nothing came in the walls or the footings -- and furthermore, nothing even went to the sump pump -- it didn't turn on, and the hose remains bone dry. But when you were in the basement it sounded like the water was going somewhere but where?

We're so confused at this point and frankly didn't think it was worth it to dig up and trash our beautiful yard but you know what -- it had to be done for a peace of mind...

We checked with the neighbours, directly next to us and their sump pump never even comes on.

After a heavy rainfall or when snow melts, our sump pump will go off about 3-4 times a night -- but it's not coming from the weeping tile!

1) How can you tell if it's a rising water table and if so, how do you fix that?

2) What other ideas should we try before we put the dirt back in to fill the hole!

Thank you.

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If the weepers are connected into the sump and nothing came in that should suggest to you part of the problem. The water flow in a rainstorm will be much more intense than you can create with a garden hose. You just may have to do some more digging. In any case, before you backfill, apply a Delta-type membrane to the wall.

We checked with the neighbours, directly next to us and their sump pump never even comes on.

Up the street from us, the owner of a new home has a sump pump going almost all the time, with a backup in reserve. I built and lived in the house next door to his in 1989--separated by about 12 feet--and had no water problems.

Toronto is built on a watershed between two rivers flowing into Lake Ontario, so it's the luck of the draw when you dig.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2008 at 10:02PM
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