water issue

suzan30September 11, 2011

I have a finished basement in my Chicago townhouse. There is an outside exit via a narrow staircase that leads to the backyard.. At the bottom of the staircase is a drain. My basement is dry unless there is a very, very heavy rain in which case the drain seems unable to keep up with the water or the drain is obstructed by leaves, etc. After one painful flood right after I moved in, I am now really diligent about keeping the drain unobstructed, but I wonder if there is anything else I can do, especially since we've had some water even when there were no leaves or anything obstructing the drain. Would having it cleaned out help? Would building a roof of some type over the drain help? At least one of my neighbors has simply roofed over the entire stairwell, which keeps the rain out but also makes it useless a an exit.

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which keeps the rain out but also makes it useless a an exit.

And a potential death trap in case of a basement fire.

the drain seems unable to keep up with the water

Does that mean the stairwell is filling up with water?

You can have the drain scoped to check for blockages.

But it is just as likely the source(s) are elsewhere.

    Bookmark   September 11, 2011 at 10:28AM
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Thanks for responding. The only source of water in the basement is from the drain. With a very heavy rain, the stairwell will fill up and water then comes under the door comes in under the door. Not a lot, but enough to soak the rugs that I have over tile in my basement.

    Bookmark   September 11, 2011 at 4:21PM
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Scope and clean the drain. I usually build homes with walkout basements, in which I'm required by Code to provide a floor drain connected to the city sewers. Or, more recently, to a sump pump that then returns the water to the surrounding property.

But I have seen walkout drains literally connected to nothing, depending on a few feet of gravel under the walkout to disperse the rain water.

    Bookmark   September 11, 2011 at 5:10PM
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