Need advice on basement water problem

lesliewOctober 28, 2008

We have an extremely steep roof on part of our 60s ranch, and in very heavy rains, the water cascades over the gutters into the soil, saturating the ground, and causing some water to leak into the basement. Although we have spoken to a few waterproofing companies recently who advocate a combination of inside (French drain) and outside drains, coupled with pvc pipes from the leaders exiting through a "pop up", we are not prepared to go through the work and the cost right now. The roofer suggested larger leaders in two areas, but since I watch the water pouring over the gutter, I am not sure enough of it would actually get into the gutter to begin with. He is against oversized gutters, and says that because of the low slung roof, they will look ridiculous.

He also suggested using snow guards, to slow the rush of water. Has anyone had any success with solutions for this type of problem? We have been in this house for over four years, and it is only recently that we have developed a basement water problem, but the rains seem to be a lot heavier, and more frequent than they used to be.

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Get the water away from the house. The first and cheapest steps are the best. Use larger downspouts. Add new ones if necessary.

Then connect them to flexible pvc, run them out in the yard to popups.

Conncecting downspouts to flexible PVC drains keeps water away from the foundation.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2008 at 10:54AM
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I used to have the same problem with both my home (very steep, very high roof) and the home I have in town. The solution to both was over-sized gutters, and also replaced a downspout or two to handle the increased volume of water. No, it does not look ridiculous. In fact, it's not that obvious. Also one needs to check the lip of the shingles on the roof hanging over the gutter to make sure they extend out enough. That was another problem we had to tweek.

You are only out a few hundred for new guttering/spouts, and you can multiply that by ten if you go to dinking around with your basement and foundation. That would be addressing the symptom, but not the problem. Like Worthy says, get the water away from the foundation, first. Also, check to see that your soil is banked properly sloping gently away from the foundation.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2008 at 8:20PM
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The snow slides idea is silly! And even if would work (it won't) you certainly wouldn't ever want to prolong the presence of water on your roof and risk a back-up under your shingles or slates.

I would also check to make sure that the pitch of the gutter run towards the headers is correct, and of course that you don't have obstructions in your gutters that would cause a backup when you get heavy rains. At this time of year when leaves are falling we have to clean the gutters before every rainfall or they will be overwhelmed.

The fact that you have a steep roof vs a flat roof probably doesn't make much difference in heavy rain, it's the area, not the pitch, as long as the speed of the water is not carrying it so far out and over the gutters completely. Why not take a water hose up and play around on the roof to see what is actually happening?

Larger headers and downspouts will help, as will as a temp measure, large pipes carrying the water away from the house connected to the lower end of the downspout. Regrading around the house is a must if it slopes back towards the foundation, and possibly a french drain to move extraordinary rain away from the foundation. But unless you've got a clear slope towards your foundation, chances are some re-jiggering of the gutter itself will do the trick most inexpensively. Are your gutters the standard K-shape or are they half-rounds? It might be worthwhile considering which of those has the largest cross-section and upgrading if possible. There are also likely to be calculators online that allow you to plug in your sq. footage, slope and rainfall and determine what volume for both gutters and size of all the other pieces.



    Bookmark   October 29, 2008 at 2:22AM
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