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basement wall seepage - grading problem?

Posted by gardengirlva (My Page) on
Sat, Jun 17, 06 at 16:15

I have had a problem with seepage through my basement walls during heavy rains. The first few times it happened I suspected it may have been because the gutters needed cleaning, but most recently it happened less than a month after I had the gutters cleaned so I think I may have a bigger problem.

I read that sometimes leaking is caused by grading problems. I suspect this may be an issue with my house. I am not sure what the grade is supposed to be but the soil at the foundation is mostly level with the rest of the yard.

What type of home maintenance/repair person would I call to have the grading evaluated/fixed? I am clueless about this sort of thing. I don't want to call a basement waterproofer unless and until I have to as I am afraid they will not consider simple solutions such as grading and instead will want me to buy an expensive waterproofing system.

Also, on two sides of the house there is a wrap-around deck. In the back it is high enough that someone could get underneath to check it out, but on the other side it is only about a foot off the ground (I live midway down a hill). Will the deck have to be removed on that side to fix this problem?

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: basement wall seepage - grading problem?

You really want to correct the waterflow situation first and the only way to do that is to figure out where the water is coming from. If you just try to seal the walls, then you will still have water inside the walls. This water will freeze in winter and cause the walls to crack.

Which wall gets wet and how does that relate to your hill situation? Also are there any leaders at the spots where your walls get wet? Do you have any window wells? Do you have any hardscaping against the wet walls like a driveway or sidewalk? Do you get any seepage through the floor?

As far as cleaning gutters, that can be less important than where the leaders deposit the water. You don't want that to happen against the house. You want the leaders to deposit the water a few feet from the house - at least three or more feet. I've even read recommendations as far as six feet. Since you have sloped land, you may be able to divert the roof runoff with an underground drain that empties past the house. It is hard to say without seeing the site.
The high side of your yard should be graded so the water is diverted out toward the sides of your property. There is probably a way to do it without taking down your deck. Is this where the wall gets wet?

The answer could be as simple as extending your leaders or just building up the soil around the house. Next time it rains heavy, go outside and see how the water puddles against the house or runs toward it if you haven't done so already.

RE: basement wall seepage - grading problem?

heavy rain turns our backyard into a swamp, and also ends up coming in the basement through window wells, we have sump pumps in wells that work when rain isn't so hard, but we need to redirect water away from house somehow

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