Monday, December 28, 2009

All washed up

For the second time in less than a month, there was water in the (unfinished, thank God!) basement of our new home.  About the same amount of water both times.  Both after significant rainfalls.  No sump-pump, very uneven concrete floor, very shallow French drains, and some suspicious cracks and stains on the floor.

At least it's easy to clean up with the wet-dry vac that my wife bought the first time this happened, but still, this is a problem which needs solving.

1 comment:

Steve said...

Hi Jeff,

I can't say that I'm anything remotely close to an expert on this kind of basement flooding issue, but I did have some personal experience with this very kind of problem when I was a teenager (long ago!) living at home with my parents....

Check on the outside of your home, around the foundation, to see if the ground has settled, flattened out, or sunk there, which might allow the rainfall to "pool" around your basement walls (perhaps pooling even below the surface). Another possible source of the flooding might be a badly sloped concrete patio next to your home, which might allow the water to drain toward rather than away from your foundation.

Even if the soil or patio around your foundation doesn't appear too badly settled or sunken, you should still be able to see an easily discernible slope to the soil/patio AWAY from your foundation (a level tool might also help you to figure out if it is sloped properly), which is quite helpful (perhaps even essential) for letting the rain drain away from your foundation - to prevent water from pooling right next to it.

Your basement flooding problem might be "easily" solved, if you were to add more soil around the outside periphery of your foundation, to give it a definite slope away from your home. If you have a badly sloped patio, then that might require ripping it out and/or re-pouring a new one sloped the proper direction.

From what I recall with the problem my parents had years and years ago, before we corrected the problem we had to have the soil graded at least at a 6" slope over a distance that spanned about 10' or so away from the house (if the water is going to pool in the ground, you want it to do so as far away from the foundation as possible).

You can probably do the math and figure out how much soil you would need to address the problem - and, oh yeah, you'll probably have to dig up the sod/grass first to replace it on top of the sloped soil when you're done (so that your soil doesn't turn into a mud pit after it rains and/or the snow melts). Perhaps, if you are fortunate, there is a very limited area (likely to be the case) which is causing the problem, so that you don't have to do this around your entire house....

True, this time of year probably isn't when you would want to be doing that kind of intensive manual labor outdoors (or anyone else for that matter, including yours truly!). But, short of hiring a professional to analyze and fix the flooding problem (think big $$$ expense!), I think that the idea above is about as cheap a solution as you can try.

Fortunately for you, if the above doesn't fix the problem right away, your clean-up isn't all that bad, and an iterative approach with a healthy dose of patience might actually work pretty effectively in the long run.

Anyway, I hope the above suggestions are of help....

Hope that you and Kristin had a most blessed and Merry Christmas!!!

Good luck, God bless, and Happy New Year!

Steve B
Plano, TX