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  1. #1
    lawton michaels's Avatar
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    Default WATER IN BASEMENT, CANT FIND CAUSE

    I purchased a foreclosed home a couple months ago. The house has a half basement below ground with a electric water heating in that area supported on 4 metals legs so that it doesnt reach down to the concrete floor. The prior owners were using this area as storage. There is a hole in the concrete about 8 inches across, that looks like it was jack hammered and it goes to the dirt below the concrete. looks like there is no apparent use for it. (Im giving all this background to help find out what is causing my problem). There is a pvc waste line that connects to where the washing machine would go, and the water tank discharge line feeds into this also. the waste line runs horizontal to the floor and out of the front of the house into the street somewhere. there is a vertical pipe attached to this line inside the basement with a cap on it (for venting?) anyway, this basement appeared fine until about two weeks ago it rained hard one day and then couple days later it snowed. i live out of town and made sure that i kept the water dripping so that there would be no busted pipes. on one of my visits to the property, i saw about 1 and half inches of water in the basement. i didnt know if the rain or snow caused this. the house doesnt have gutters on the back of the house. i noticed a pool of water on the LAST concrete step that leads into the basement.(there is no outside entrance to the basement, you enter from a bedroom) anyway, i asked a neighbor who knew the previous owners and she said that never complained of any water problems. i let the water sit and waited for another rain. it rained all last night and today so i went back to check on the house. the water level has DROPPED a little. i had already turned on all the water lines up stairs and flushed the toilet and can find no signs of water leaks coming from the walls or in the crawlspace on the other half of the house. im at a lost because if the rain caused this, shouldnt the water level be higher now, especially since i didnt pump out the water in the basement. one more thing, about that hole, there is red clay (georgia). i would think that if water had come up from that hole, the water would have been red. the water was clear UNTIL i took a stick and pushed it into the hole to see if it was clogged, then the water turned red because i had stirred up the clay. lastly, there is a small hole in one of the windows in the basement on the side of the house. i was beginning to think maybe somebody put a water hose thru this hole and did this? im open for anything about right now. one more thing, lol, the back yard is SLOPED, so drainage WOULD come from the back of the house to the street.

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  2. #2
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: WATER IN BASEMENT, CANT FIND CAUSE

    The basement has water in it because it is a basement. There are 2 types of basements. Those that do not have water YET and those that do


  3. #3
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    Default Re: WATER IN BASEMENT, CANT FIND CAUSE

    Could be a combination of factors, but my bet is on intermittent high water table and possibly lack of gutters on the rear of the house.


  4. #4
    lawton michaels's Avatar
    lawton michaels Guest

    Default Re: WATER IN BASEMENT, CANT FIND CAUSE

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymond Wand View Post
    Could be a combination of factors, but my bet is on intermittent high water table and possibly lack of gutters on the rear of the house.
    what would u do to correct this, ( i know to install gutters).


  5. #5
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    Default Re: WATER IN BASEMENT, CANT FIND CAUSE

    Put a sump pit in with a pump and back up pump.


  6. #6
    lawton michaels's Avatar
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    Default Re: WATER IN BASEMENT, CANT FIND CAUSE

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymond Wand View Post
    Put a sump pit in with a pump and back up pump.
    is this costly?


  7. #7
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    Default Re: WATER IN BASEMENT, CANT FIND CAUSE

    Lawton,

    If you buy the pit (perforated) liner and pump and install it yourself it would be much cheaper of course than relying on a contractor. The theory behind the sump pit at least in this case is to lower the water table enough to ensure your basement does not flood. But one of the first things I would do is install gutter and downspout on the back portion of the house and ensure the discharge is well away from the house.

    Will these improvements solve your issues? That remains to be seen if in fact its a intermittent water table problem.

    Cheers,


  8. #8
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    Default Re: WATER IN BASEMENT, CANT FIND CAUSE

    Pumps are effective but are reactive rather than proactive. Get all your roof runoff routed away from the house, grade all surfaces near the house to slope away then see if you need a pump.

    In my area 95+% of water in basements is caused by one of those two.


  9. #9
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    Default Re: WATER IN BASEMENT, CANT FIND CAUSE

    Basement water leaks can be difficult to cure. First thing that you should do is to determine the source of the water. Is it from the public water supply or is it ground water. This can be done fairly simply by taking a water sample to a local analytical lab and having it tested. When I have a home with an unknown water source problem this is usually the first thing I do.

    The sump pump would take care of the problem, but as Matt said it is reactive and does not take care of the root cause.

    My bet is that this has been an ongoing problem with this home, why else would you have a hole in the basement floor? Most likely this was made to install a sump or possibly an ejector pump for the basement. Either way, it is not a good idea to have an open hole like that.. In the part of Georgia that you are in you also have high levels of radon gas. This hole makes for perfect entrance point for that gas.

    As for the cost for repairing this problem? It is impossible to put a price tag on it without knowing the cause.

    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

  10. #10
    lawton michaels's Avatar
    lawton michaels Guest

    Default Re: WATER IN BASEMENT, CANT FIND CAUSE

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymond Wand View Post
    Put a sump pit in with a pump and back up pump.
    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Patterson View Post
    Basement water leaks can be difficult to cure. First thing that you should do is to determine the source of the water. Is it from the public water supply or is it ground water. This can be done fairly simply by taking a water sample to a local analytical lab and having it tested. When I have a home with an unknown water source problem this is usually the first thing I do.

    The sump pump would take care of the problem, but as Matt said it is reactive and does not take care of the root cause.

    My bet is that this has been an ongoing problem with this home, why else would you have a hole in the basement floor? Most likely this was made to install a sump or possibly an ejector pump for the basement. Either way, it is not a good idea to have an open hole like that.. In the part of Georgia that you are in you also have high levels of radon gas. This hole makes for perfect entrance point for that gas.

    As for the cost for repairing this problem? It is impossible to put a price tag on it without knowing the cause.
    thanx, this all makes sense.


  11. #11
    Brad Borden's Avatar
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    Default Re: WATER IN BASEMENT, CANT FIND CAUSE

    This is most likely ground water moving in through pressure on the exterior foundation walls. The cure is very expensive. Excavating the exterior soil from the footer level to grade level is the first step. Next install, depending on depth, 6" perforated pipe w/fabric sock at the footer level. Giving proper slope extend the pipe to a positive discharge area on the property. You will need to waterproof the wall with a pliable asphalt coating and a membrane from footer level to grade level. Then, backfill the trench with #57 stone to 75% grade level. Finish the trench with soil back fill. Install gutters and install the downspouts into a separate drain system.
    These systems need to be done by a professional with an excavator.
    They usually are around 15K to 20K in our area for an average basement walk out basement.
    This is not all the specs. This is what you should be looking for if you want to stop the water before it enters the basement.


  12. #12
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
    Ted Menelly Guest

    Default Re: WATER IN BASEMENT, CANT FIND CAUSE

    Yep. 5 to 20 grand. More than likely a sump pump will take care of most of the cure. Say if you back yard is sloped toward the foundation, the back of the foundation is all you may need for the drainage. If it is sloped toward the home and you put a swail in the soil leading around the home is all you may need. I use to see countless homes that paid that 15 to 20 grand and only a slight amount of that was needed. Get someone in your area that deals with this situation on a daily basis and only this situation. He is not going to kill a quarter century career and business selling folks what they do not need.

    Just some thoughts.


  13. #13
    Brad Borden's Avatar
    Brad Borden Guest

    Default Re: WATER IN BASEMENT, CANT FIND CAUSE

    I agree that every situation is different. My suggestion was if he did not want a pump and wanted no water intrusion. If his house is in a hole he may not have any other options than a pump. YES ,please call an expert at least 2 or 3, before spending any money.


  14. #14

    Default Re: WATER IN BASEMENT, CANT FIND CAUSE

    Take the simplest route first. If the house has been sitting empty for some time the waste drain might be partially blocked. When it rains hard the drain tiles around the foundartion can overload the drain causing back up. Call a plumber rod it out and see if this eliminates the problem.

    If it is cracks in the foundation it is a simple fix.

    The water could have come in thru the waste pipe in the basement if the system backed up.

    Its best to observe when the water is coming in rather than guess after the fact.

    Steve Reilly
    Owl Inspection Services
    IL. the land of basements


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