Determining Source of Leak in Basement?

goodhome631February 2, 2012


We have a 1959 ranch with accompanying "finished" basement for that time (tile floor, paneling, the works). On an outside wall in the basement, we have a small leak that is pooling in one corner, but it is small enough that we can't quite figure out the source (little trickles of water). Any thoughts on how we can pinpoint the general location of it without tearing out all the paneling? Soffit at top holds water pipes, but we think the leaky pipe must be close to the wall and the water dripping down the wall. (No drips off the soffit itself).

We had a flood in our basement that warped things a little overall, so it's not easy to just look at the wall and figure out that this must be where water is coming in.

Thank you!

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Start by checking the rain gutter down-spouts. Thousands of gallons of water come out of a downspout. The discharge should be tied into a solid pipe that goes into a proper stormwater system.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2012 at 10:29AM
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What is a "proper stormwater system"?

    Bookmark   February 3, 2012 at 11:10AM
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Well, if you wait until it rains... watch where the water goes. The water that falls as precipitation either absorbs into the ground or becomes surface runoff. All the precipitation that falls on the roof of your house (hopefully) becomes surface runoff.

Surface runoff is managed by engineered systems of drains, catch basins, culverts, etc. or naturally by creeks, rivers, aquifers.

The roof downspouts add significantly to the amount of natural surface runoff.

If the downspout discharges directly onto the ground, without at least directing the water into one of the above mentioned "proper stormwater systems" the result is an UN-natural aquifer around the foundation of your house.

And a wet basement.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2012 at 1:24PM
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