Author Topic: Maybe this should be in DIY, but anyone run into a wet basement?  (Read 3661 times)

IowaStache

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« Last Edit: June 10, 2016, 09:02:53 AM by IowaStache »

bo_knows

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Re: Maybe this should be in DIY, but anyone run into a wet basement?
« Reply #1 on: April 24, 2014, 11:48:15 AM »
I don't know much about the actual renovation of a basement, but I do know a bit about water problems.  Our basement had some flooding issues when we bought it, and it turned out that the main reason was outside drainage.

When it rains, do you see big pools of water close to the house? You could have an outside drainage problem that is making the issue worse. The only DIY thing I can recommend checking out is doing a DIY french drain around the property. 

Thegoblinchief

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Re: Maybe this should be in DIY, but anyone run into a wet basement?
« Reply #2 on: April 24, 2014, 11:59:47 AM »
Make sure all the downspouts are routed well away from the house. Look at the soil grade. Check your gutters.

Next time it rains, go outside and look for puddling up against the foundation.

It could be a drain tile issue, but make sure the surface drainage is good before hacking up the basement.

As far as tools go, most standard ones (saws, hammers, nail gun, level, ....) will pay for themselves quickly IF you're committed to learning and mastering. This is doubly so if you buy used, but if you can get some as free loaners, even better.

Thegoblinchief

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Re: Maybe this should be in DIY, but anyone run into a wet basement?
« Reply #3 on: April 24, 2014, 01:19:48 PM »
Then unfortunately you've got the expensive problem of drain tile. I'd definitely have drains roughed in for the bathroom while you do that.

Ouch!

Better Change

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Re: Maybe this should be in DIY, but anyone run into a wet basement?
« Reply #4 on: April 25, 2014, 10:27:28 AM »
Oh man.  Been there, done that.

Last spring we bought a fantastic mid-century modern.  We (later) learned that it's had water issues throughout its lifetime.  What a PITA.

Anyway, our home is super complicated because of in-floor (radiant) heating, so we couldn't just jackhammer into the floor.  We considered some options that did require some concrete jackhammering, but I hated the idea of these new internal drain tile systems that allow water to flow into the house.

I have all kinds of info on the topic as well as the costs to actually contract out the work (ouch).  PM me if you would like to tap into my wealth of knowledge and painful experiences.

FWIW, we had flooding rains a few weeks ago, and our basement stayed dry.  I'm hoping we succeeded in "fixing" our problems.

RMD

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Re: Maybe this should be in DIY, but anyone run into a wet basement?
« Reply #5 on: April 25, 2014, 10:35:34 AM »
Oh man.  Been there, done that.

Last spring we bought a fantastic mid-century modern.  We (later) learned that it's had water issues throughout its lifetime.  What a PITA.

Anyway, our home is super complicated because of in-floor (radiant) heating, so we couldn't just jackhammer into the floor.  We considered some options that did require some concrete jackhammering, but I hated the idea of these new internal drain tile systems that allow water to flow into the house.

I have all kinds of info on the topic as well as the costs to actually contract out the work (ouch).  PM me if you would like to tap into my wealth of knowledge and painful experiences.

FWIW, we had flooding rains a few weeks ago, and our basement stayed dry.  I'm hoping we succeeded in "fixing" our problems.

If you don't mind my asking, what was your solution?

Better Change

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Re: Maybe this should be in DIY, but anyone run into a wet basement?
« Reply #6 on: April 25, 2014, 11:03:09 AM »
Oh, I'm happy to respond, but grab a coffee, because this is going to get long.

Background: During the flood of 2013, we had two separate instances of 5" of rain in a 36 hour period.  And we live in central Michigan, which is basically swampland anyway. 

As we worked to pump the 4" of water out of the basement, we started learning all sorts of fun things about our house.  The home has exterior drain tile in the back, but because the dwelling is older (1958 construction), the drain tile is clay and is likely crushed to bits.  Said tile is connected to a deep pit that's emptied by an external sump pump.  The sump pump failed, which only exacerbated our problems.  We couldn't snake the drain tile, and so we figured most of the system was a bust.  Cost of new exterior drain tile?  $12,000.  Scratch that.

We were having problems with water entering from the front side of the home near the sewage line as well.  We figured water was pooling in the trench and coming into the house at its lowest point.  There's no drain exterior tile on that side of the house, and so we needed something to deal with the rising ground water in the front.  We sunk an interior sump pump at the lowest point in the front.  We were banking on tying the new sump pump to the interior drain tile near the foundation (shown on the original drawings, I swear!), but the tile didn't exist :(  Ugh, we totally got screwed by some old builders who decided to cut corners.  The sump pump used to eject into the front yard, which did us no favors (water just came right back in), and so we dug a trench around the house that empties into the creek behind us.  The sump + trench digging set us back a good $6000. 

We also had no gutters on the front of the house.  I suppose the architect figured the expansive eaves (beautiful, I might add) would be enough.  So we put gutters on the front of the house and tied them into the same trench that takes the water to the back of the house.  Oof.  Gutters aren't cheap, either.

We replaced the dead sump pump in the back, and the new one is quite active.  This leads me to believe the exterior drain tile is still somewhat functional.  That's the good news, I suppose.  Our internal sump goes off every few minutes when it's raining hard, but we have no indication that it's not able to pump out all the water rising under the floor; we were worried that it would only reduce the water pressure within a certain radius.  I don't think the recent rains were quite heavy enough to conclude that we're "safe," but we feel better than we did last April.

My questions to the OP:

Do you have drainage tile?  Is it connected to the sump?  Or is the sump just a hole in the floor with a pump in it?

Can you consider working on the outside of the home?  can you dig around the foundation and waterproof with drain tile? 

There are many options, and they run the gamut from affordable (clean your gutters and drain tile!) to super expensive (excavate your foundation or dig up your whole floor).


Thegoblinchief

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Re: Maybe this should be in DIY, but anyone run into a wet basement?
« Reply #7 on: March 30, 2015, 04:42:11 PM »
Cool, thanks for reporting back. Always good to hear about resolutions.