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Major Water in Field Stone Basement

Posted by labradoodlemom (My Page) on
Wed, Apr 20, 11 at 13:30

We bought a 1700 farmhouse with a field stone basement. We don't store anything in the basement but we do have electric, our furnace, and a dehumidifier down there that we worry about getting wet - not to mention our fear of mold issues!

Well, much to our dismay, we found that our basement can fill with up to 3 feet of water during major rainstorms! We have spent the past couple of years researching options to alleviate the water and are mystified as to what to do.

We fear doing drainage around the foundation as a 300 year old stone foundation doesn't seem likely to withstand the digging pressure.

We know we have a grading issue (the front yard slopes towards the house) and hope that regrading would solve some of the problems.

But, what else? Do we try to put in drains or swales 10 feet away from the foundation, to help catch additional runoff? Or, do we grade and then deal with any lingering problems from the inside?

Any similiar experiences out there?
Any insight would be appreciated!


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Major Water in Field Stone Basement

Yes, grading is the first thing. But where does most of this water come from during storms--over the top or from below? In other words, run off or water table?

We fear doing drainage around the foundation as a 300 year old stone foundation doesn't seem likely to withstand the digging pressure.

Indeed. If there is mortar between the stones it will likely be extremely deteriorated. And unless the flow is reduced to a trickle, draining water from the inside of the foundation can imperil its stability too.

Consider getting the input of a drainage engineer rather than winging it or depending on some guy with a bobcat and an opinion.


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RE: Major Water in Field Stone Basement

If you are near a cement company ask them what they would do but BE SURE to get someone older and wiser in these matters for your own safety.


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RE: Major Water in Field Stone Basement

I am curious as to what special drainage knowledge a cement company employee would have.


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RE: Major Water in Field Stone Basement

Each time you replace some piece of equipment that has been destroyed by water, consider installing it upstairs somewhere.


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