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Basement/crawlspace water and yard drainage issues

Posted by mkesow (My Page) on
Wed, Aug 27, 14 at 16:14

I'm having basement dampness issues along with drainage issues in my yard and I'm having some trouble coming up with a concurring opinion on the solution. Under normal conditions I do not get any flowing water in my basement. I bought a moisture detector and some of the cinder blocks read up to 24% moisture. Efflorescence is on a good bit of the walls. Dehumidifier runs 24/7. Under heavy rain the side yard can not keep up with the water and my 3 window wells fill up with water which then comes through the glass block. This is the only time I've had flowing water in the basement. There is an internal french drain system around the entire perimeter of the basement. Last time it rained heavy the sump pit was filling up and the pump was pumping the water out just fine. Adjacent to the basement is a crawlspace. I do get standing water in there.

The yard on the side of the house has a slight grade towards the foundation plus the neighbors yard is somewhat higher than mine so water seems to pool in the yard.

I have had 3 companies come out to look at my issues and I have been given 3 different opinions thus far.

Quote 1
Basement waterproofing company says that my internal system is inferior and needs to be replaced. They want to jackhammer up the floor and install new piping deeper than the current depth running to their new better pump. Their solution to the window wells is to add a drain in each one, drill a hole through the foundation, and run a 1/2" line which will connect to the new drain pipe. $1,000 for the window drains plus $11,000 for the rest.

Quote 2
Local contractor says he would do an external french drain system. Dig an approx 7' deep trench 2' wide, put drains at the footer, tar/vapor barrier the foundation wall, backfill with gravel, replace window wells. $3,000.

Quote 3
Local landscape company suggests putting in a swale with a french drain. They told me that even though the yard slope isn't away from the house, the grade is too high as is it covering the vents at the bottom of my vinyl siding. They want to lower the grade below the siding then slope it away from my house into the swale. Then slope it back up in the other direction, essentially creating a "V" shape next to my house. Put a french drain pipe in the bottom of the V and then also install 3 surface drains to remove the standing water that collects. Quote to be determined.

The big problem that the exterior solutions have run into is what to do with the water. I have basically no real slope on my land so the water won't run away naturally. The landscaper is contacting the city to see if we can tap into the storm sewer but that will require cutting the sidewalk and digging up the road. The local contractor also wants to do that but was hoping there was a line already there that he could tap into since my gutters drain underground but we're not sure where to. The landscaper says he won't tap into the line if it is there as it will be too much water for one 4" pipe, which I would tend to agree with. Also, the french drains would be 7 feet in the ground while the gutter line is only a few feet under so I'm not sure how he would deal with the elevation change.

Any suggestions on what to do would be greatly appreciated. Here's links to 3 pictures:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B_w-FJNZu2AaMnVRLXZHUjlLR1U/edit?usp=sharing

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B_w-FJNZu2AaVmJsdFBETWRCdE0/edit?usp=sharing

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B_w-FJNZu2AaanBpTzlFdzVqTG8/edit?usp=sharing


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Basement/crawlspace water and yard drainage issues

#3 with some modification for drainage.


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RE: Basement/crawlspace water and yard drainage issues

What modification?


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RE: Basement/crawlspace water and yard drainage issues

Generally, good lot drainage can be achieved with 1 to 2% fall, instead of the french drain buried 7' in the ground.

So, not knowing the topography and without some photos provided, speculation, would be just that.


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RE: Basement/crawlspace water and yard drainage issues

mkesow, no expert here, just another homeowner working on water drainage correction. Proposal one is not preferable to exterior water drainage correction. That leaves #2 and #3.

Regarding #2: "Quote 2
Local contractor says he would do an external french drain system. Dig an approx 7' deep trench 2' wide, put drains at the footer, tar/vapor barrier the foundation wall, backfill with gravel, replace window wells. $3,000."

If you go this route, a couple of points: tar is just damp proofing-different from water proofing applications. Also it does not expand to fill new cracks, nor does tar which inevitably will occur. It's recommended now to use an expansile wall surface product, with elastomeric properties. Elastomeric membranes are a polymer modified asphalt, formulated to remain pliable. Also, vapor barrier 6 ml, even 2 ply are considered minimum. heavy gauge polyethylene dimpled drainage may be better, and bentonite membrane best.


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RE: Basement/crawlspace water and yard drainage issues

Thank you for the replies. I posted links to 3 pictures in my initial post. I am definitely leaning towards option 3 but I have still yet to hear anything from the city about the storm sewers. Plus today I called the landscaper and he says they are no longer interested in my project. So I now have another company coming out Wednesday to look at it.


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RE: Basement/crawlspace water and yard drainage issues

I would , 1st, find out the elevations of the vents and the adjacent driveway. relative to the public walkway.

Next, grade the side yard to slope away from the house a min. of 3' wide and then slope back up to the neighbors driveway.

This creates a sort of "V" ditch, which also needs to slope to the street.

What strikes me as odd, is the description of the french drain, which sounds more in the realm of a percolation pit.

Which may be the solution, combined with the "V" ditch.


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RE: Basement/crawlspace water and yard drainage issues

When your sump pump runs now, where does it pump it to?

We had a similar issue and solved it with #2 above (but we didn't have grading issue of our lot--just our neighbor's). AND, importantly, the drain system that was put in is gravity drain to the storm sewer.

In our case, they didn't have to dig up the sidewalk. They were able to dig or otherwise go under it, and connect up with an existing street drain grate well.

Best of luck! I think #2 and #3 and/or a combination of the 2 will be your best option. But, first, you need to figure out where to send the water.


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