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Standing water in basement.

Post in 'DIY and General non-hearth advice' started by Hogwildz, Feb 14, 2008.

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  1. Hogwildz

    Hogwildz Minister of Fire

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    Has anyone here had standing water in basement problems due to lack of, or properly installed drain tile around the foundation?
    I have had water come in from the floor 3x in the last week and 1/2. One neighbor told me he thinks original owner did not install drain tile.
    I have a big hill out back, and am thinking of starting with a deep 6'-8' or so trench with drain pipe & stone up to about 18" from surface level.
    My neighbor has a mid sized excavator that I am able to use. I will learn how to use up above the hill with a test trench and some drain pipe & stone.
    I am a lil weary bought digging round the basement walls. I have Superior walls and they have crushed stone underneath, no cement footing. From what I understand the stone cannot be disturbed for fear of loosening stone footprint under the walls. I am thinking it may be possible to dig out and lay it 1'to1-1/2' away from the walls.
    I would like to hear from anyone who has performed this, and/or anyone else with Superior wall system.

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  2. sherri

    sherri New Member

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    My husband and i are dealing with the same problem on our house. we thought that at first the water was coming back in when it rained really hard. It is coming up out of the ground and seeping in because it is not solid and im assuming from your post that there are no drains or they were not properly installed as you said before. I will have to inform my husband of this as well. They also didnt use rebar for 2 concrete walls that come out from the basement so water seeps in there and gets into our basement. eventually the walls will fall in from this. We sweep it out now after storms. Very frustrating. we are going to have to have the work done and we are also going to have to have it grated more. Sorry i couldnt help you with your problem. I just know how angry it has made me because it will cost a lot of money to get the repairs done.
  3. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    You can't win against mother nature!

    I actually have a small puddle today- for the first time in 3+ years.

    But in my last two houses (jersey) I had a LOT of experience with wet basements. They both had the interior basement waterproofing where they install the gravel and sump pumps - take the slab out around the perimeter (inside) and even one across the middle of the basement.

    Worked pretty good - but, here is some of my experience.

    Our last house would often go two years without having the sump pumps turn on even once! Then, usually when I was away traveling, the water would rise and both sump pumps would fail to work since they had not been used for years!

    As per Murphys law, when I went to sell the house we had the wettest spring in 100 years, including 13 inches of rain in one 24 hours period. Man, those pumps were working every few seconds and I could see the moisture trying to push it's way through the floors.....the buyer even surprised us by stopping over in the middle of the deluge to check the house! Luckily, it was dry.

    Ground water can be coming from many possible places, including springs with pressure right underneath....and it even can travel uphill.

    Anything you can do will help, including your ideas and sloping the landscaping and gutters away from the house. But I think only an "active" system can provide the real insurance. Just make sure you run those sump pumps regularly to make certain they don't freeze up.
  4. Hogwildz

    Hogwildz Minister of Fire

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    I spoke with a friend who is an excavator today, he advised that I can probably solve the problem by digging down tot the low corner of the basement and installing drain tile piping from the corner near the stone footing and daylight it out a hill about 50 feet or so from the house. That hill drops about 30', so I might possibly get lucky and not have to install around the whole house. I am also going to do a 4'to 6'drainage trench again with pipe & stone all along the bottom of the big back hill, again taking it out the lower hill. My house sits with about a 30 or 40' upper hill behind and along to the left that wraps around and along the driveway. Basically an "L" shape. The other side and front have hills that drop off lower. So I will wrap the base of the hill with a trench drain, then another trench or french drain as its called from the lower corner of the house. I believe this will work. If not, I'll trench completely around the house. I will do a sump in the floor as back up and do it soon to get me thorough to the spring or summer. Prolly get a battery back up kit also, as we lose power on occasion here. I am still frustrated, but having a plan makes it easier to digest and a place to start working from. Gives me hope. I did extend the downspouts about 15 feet from the house now. But my problem is sub surface water, and the spouts didn't help any.
    The sump shouldn't be too much a PITA. Gonna cut the concrete out enough for a sump liner , then drop the pump in and run 1-1/2" pvd out and away from house for now. When I do the trench, I'll also put lay the sump piping in there and out to the hill.
    I thought the frost line was 18" or so here. The excavator said its 36" to 42". The hill trench will be dug between 48" and 5'. I'd rather do the extra safeguarding the first time, rather than have to redo again. Its on the long list of things to do, but higher up on the list. Argh
  5. Sandor

    Sandor Minister of Fire

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    Hogz,

    Bad newz bud. Whoever installed your walls F'ed up.

    I have built maybe six homes with Superior walls with absolutely no problems. The documentation on how to install the tile when you install the State-8 crushed marble footer is crystal clear. I still have the docs.

    Your problem is that hydrostatic pressure is forcing water up through the joint between the poured floor and your wall. So, you need to get rid of that pressure. Do not even think about digging below the gravel footer. Installing a draintile ABOVE the point where the concrete slab meets the wall will DO NO GOOD, period.

    I would:

    1. If on a hill, go back at least 40 feet and dig a deep swail that channels water around the house.

    2. Make sure the grade from the house tapers back to the swail.

    3. Make sure gutter downspout water is piped away from the house, as far as possible, to the downslope. 15 feet is not enough, think 50.

    PM me if you wish and I'll give you my number to discuss, and I can loan you my Superior Wall Docs.

    Edit: Just thought of something. What you can do is pick the lowest point on the downslope from the house and dig a trench from the gravel footer and down the hill. Backfill with gravel and cover with tar paper. That should relief the hydronic pressure. The above items are still must do.
  6. They Call Me Pete

    They Call Me Pete Member

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    When I bought my house I had water running across floor when it rained. Had a footing drain installed on the inside into a sump and haven't had a problem since. When we get bad spring rains it goes off every 3-5 min. and it's a 13 gallon sump. That's how much water I have. I was going to install curtain drain in the front yard but had issues with town on where to run the drain to so this was the simplest solution. Not the cheapest though.
  7. Hogwildz

    Hogwildz Minister of Fire

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    Sandor, already had most of what you posted planned. Of course, ain;t happening til spring/summer time.
    I did need a fix for not to get me by.
    I spent ALL weekend cutting a hole in the conctret floor, removed the gravel, and dug the ROCKS & clay out for about 12 hours. Hauled out to the side hill 1 5gal bucket at a time. Between the huge Hilti hammer drill I used as a jack hammer and the lugging wet rock & clay to the hill. after 12 hrs I was spent, cramping everywhere, cold and cursing miserably LOL
    I wanted to get the 30" sump liner all the way down, but I hit some kind of rock that would not break. Bedrock?
    Stopped at about 20 inches or so. Which actually is plenty. After the floor was broke & lifted out the pieces, and the gravel underneath lifted out, wallah, water level 8" below the bottom of the concrete slab.
    At this point I am cursing the previous owner/builder for knowing this land is WET, and not installing drain tile, which your right, IS a requirement for the Superior wall system. I found the paperwork stuck to one of the walls inside. Even have the "certified" installer's name and address. I now have the hole done, sump liner wrapped with sump cloth, and pump & piping to outside in place. Check valve with sepc'd 1/8" hole near pump in the PVC, and another 25' of vinyl heavy duty 1-1/3" hoes to the hill. This water is NOT coming back in anymore. I feel very confident that a drain trench along bottom of back & 1 side hill daylighted out will seriously help, at least for alot of ground water, and if deep enough, also subsurface water. I will also dig at the lower corner to below floor level, and just to the edge of the stone foot[ring for the walls (so not to disturb the footprint) and run drain tile pitched well to the side hill and daylight out there also. I am not going around the whole house as it is just not practical. And from seeing the water level, I should immediately relieve the pressure & problem by taking water from the lower corner out front and giving it a nice conduit away and out. I might go 10'-20' each way with the drain tile from that corner aong the house, yes away from the stone footprint. I am thinking go overboard a lil and do it once.
    I may go from that corner 20' along the side and pipe to daylight, then 20 ' along the front and a separate drain tile next to the other alos to daylight. 2 pipes have to be better than 1 :).
    and keep the sump inside for backup.
    If this fails, which seeing the problem now I doubt it will, I will just go around the whole house, but only if necessary.
    I have access to an excavator, now I have to teach myself how to use it out around the field and barn, nothing to screw up there ;)
    Some photos of the project. This is one project that kicked my arse, and I had literally not an ounce of strength or energy left when 5AM rolled around from a 4:30 PM start. LOL

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  8. Hogwildz

    Hogwildz Minister of Fire

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    PVC, Check valve.

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  9. Hogwildz

    Hogwildz Minister of Fire

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    Outside piping & hose.

    When I dig for the drain tile, I will also dig & install pvc to daylingt for the downspouts I can do this with.

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  10. Sandor

    Sandor Minister of Fire

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    Keep in mind Hogz that the exterior above ground water source must be diverted because the gravel beneath your house will silt in. And that red clay mud reminded me of WV.
  11. Hogwildz

    Hogwildz Minister of Fire

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    MOst the water at grade level runs away from house. With the exception of the garage side & back, which have a big hill along them, that trench I will go about 5 or 6 foot down with drain tile & I will do the stone all the way to surface level to catch the water running off the hill. Will also work on a few swails to channel the surface water away. All a big PITA, but has to be donw when the weather gets more doable.
  12. diyer

    diyer Member

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    When you install the "drain tile", you should run it to daylight on both ends. I put in the perforated black pipe with the filter sleeve over it. While I was working, it rained hard a couple of days. I tried to pick up the pipe and the silt had filled it full. The slit will pass through the sleeve and clog your pipe.

    Have it slope at 1/8 - 1/4" per foot down to the low side, continuing the slope to daylight. When you get to the upper side of the slope, turn your pipe straight up. Then cap it.

    The silt will fill the pipe over the years. You can flush out the pipe with a large pump and a tank, a pool works good. If you have no way of flushing the pipe, it will fill and be useless in a couple of years.

    Diyer
  13. jebatty

    jebatty Minister of Fire

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    For what it's worth, we had hydrostatic water through the basement floor following periods of heavy rain. It oozed in everywhere. Already installed was the Beaver system (plastic channels at the base of the cement block walls, holes punched in walls to allow draining into channel, then to sump). It worked as well as it could, drained the walls, but could not stop the hydrostatic through the floor.

    I then rented an electric jack hammer, punched out a 12" wide trench inside the basement walls and inside the footing, added a gravel base, then plastic drain pipe, covered with asphalt paper, then gravel, re-concreted the trench, and ran the whole thing to a sump. It worked like a charm, did not have water through the floor again. But what a hard, dirty job. Would never want to do this again, but we finally had a dry basement. BTW, no outside drain tile on this house.
  14. DriftWood

    DriftWood Minister of Fire

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    one thing I did was move the roof drains out to the lingth of a down spout about 10 feet. We have sand here it works.
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