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evolved 08-17-2012 01:14 PM

Minor basement leak
To give some back ground, our house was built in 1938. It has a level, concrete floor basement with a masonry foundation (ie, rock solid). The basement has always been mostly dry.....some moisture in one of the corners, but the inspector (we purchased 1.5 yrs ago) told us that it's unavoidable on an old house. We cleaned it and applied seal-lock. Problem fixed.

We have had a few downpours of rain over the past few weeks (after not having any in 2 months) and i noticed that there were two wet spots in the basement. One of them is a hairline crack that isn't new, but water seemed to seep up from it. The second area is right around the main plumbing stack where another hairline crack is present.....same issue, water coming up except in this area it appears to be more so.

So, as a first time home owner, what should be my next course of action? Call a basement company? Is there anything I should do immediately? Also, I know I'm probably leaving out some details, but any clue as to what this could be?

Thanks in advance!

brew 08-17-2012 01:32 PM

Check your gutters and make sure that water isn't collecting anywhere where it can seep towards the foundation.

evolved 08-17-2012 01:35 PM


Originally Posted by brew (Post 14660027)
Check your gutters and make sure that water isn't collecting anywhere where it can seep towards the foundation.

They're all clean. I cleaned them out in June. I need to check the downspouts, though, because they may be blocked somewhere.

Lair 08-17-2012 04:10 PM

The downspout exit is critical. If they're dumping water next to the foundation, you'll always have problems.

I had to hire a backhoe to come in and dig down to the bottom of my foundation to take care of a severe water problem on a house I bought 20 years ago. They knocked a hole in the block and hundreds of gallons of water came out of the block wall. Water flowed out for hours. They added French drains and I rerouted the downspout flow. Never had another problem.

JonJon 08-17-2012 05:25 PM

Gutters and Grade

Concrete is full of water (moisture), that's just the nature of it and normal.
If you have water coming in, trace to the entrance point.
Cracks in foundations are normal especially if hairline and vertical.

Check around windows and points of entry like flashing and shifted foundations.

Sometimes, it just is a matter of soil saturation and there isn't much you can do except a french drain or something.

Call an expert for an assessment.

Guest100615 08-17-2012 07:04 PM

All of the above ideas are good but I would also like to add that when I owned a house with a basement I dug a small, shallow trench from a low spot next to the house to the side of the yard to ensure that water flowed away from the house.

I also ended up putting a concrete pad (sidewalk) next to the house that was about 3 feet wide and no water would fall directly next to the house.

It might help to make sure you have those plastic window covers on you basement windows as well.

The last thing I did was build something like a French drain / beaver drain........it is called different things. But...I cut a hole in the basement floor and ran some plastic drain pipe/hose under the concrete. It is the kind with holes in it so water will enter and drain out. I placed a 'sock' over the pipe, covered it with sand and replaced the concrete. The hose ran to the sump pump and I ran pvc pipe from the sump pump to another pvc pipe outside which drained into the sewer line.

Never had another problem.

Dry Lok does not work. The only good it will do is seal the pores in the concrete block, but the moisture will be trapped between the dry lok and the concrete block. This is a potential mold problem.

The only way you can deal with a leaking basement is to deal with the source of the problem from the outside. Nothing you can do from the inside is going to be permanent. Mother Nature will always win.

There should be a building code that requires some kind of exterior drainage before a basement is approved. I bet it cost me 200 bucks in material and 1k in labor. Whereas, it would be much , much cheaper to do it right from the beginning with new construction.

Lair 08-18-2012 10:20 AM

The basement in my first place was Drylok'ed to death, and stayed dry for the first few months we lived there. Then water started trickling in, then streaming in, and then flowing in like a river. I had to open a garage door every time it rained so it could flow out.

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