Wet Basement Advice


  #1  
Old 07-10-04, 05:54 PM
raju
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Wet Basement Advice

I have a finished basement. In March it got flooded as the sump pump pipe got frozen. Carpet had to be replaced. I live in 8 year old house with no prior water problems. I replaced the carpet. Last month sump pump died and a little bit of water came into the basement again. I replace the sump pump and threw away the carpet pad as it was damp. I showed the basement to a few water damage inspectors and they concluded that water came in as the drain tile was filled up due to sump pump. After replacing the sump pump I thought I had fixed the problem. It has rained a lot in Midwest this year.
A few weeks ago after heavy rain I saw a puddle of water in the corner of my house. Since then every time there is heavy rain I see a little bit of water. The water is coming fron underneath ah wooden support beam so I cannot see any cracks. If I pour lots of water on the ground exactly above the spot where the basement leaks I notice a little bit of water come into the basement.

I have shown my house to a water damager inspector. He has told me that I have too many plants next to my house. He also told me that my neighbors house is higher than mine. He told me to remove the downspout pipes that were going into the ground with downspout extender that is above ground. He also advised that I remove all the plants that are next to my house foundation, install compacted class 5 around the entire house in existing landspace beds to achieve a postive 1-2% slope away from foundation of the house. He also recommended installing EPDM rubber membrane extending out 5 feet from the foundation. The first quote I got form a landscaping company was $10,000. The contract didn't gaurantee me that this will fix the water problem for good.

I love the landscaping I have and I don't want to spend 10000 to 20000 removing this landscaping and adding new one if my water problem cannot be fixed.

Any advice you have will be much appreciated.


Thanks

Raj
 
  #2  
Old 07-11-04, 08:33 AM
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Raj,

I think you first have to accept that information that was given is the best advice, IMHO. It is the same approach I would consider if all that you mentioned is accurate and they seemed good to you.

You should get at least 3 quotes regarding the proposed work that needs to be done. Only way of guranteeing anything is to go right down to the footngs. Of course this is very expensive but I would think that the option suggested to you will work as it has for clients of mine in the past who needed similar remedy.

I realize that landscaping changes can be disheartening but what do you want - no water or nice plants? If they can carefully remove what you have, then excavate down about 5 feet to place a vabor barrier along the basement and out at least 5 or 10 feet, and replant so this doesn't retard the growth of the plants, this may be a viable option.

If you have having problems with your sump pump, buy a good one. Inexpensive ones are a waste of money. An option with this is a this,

This article I wrote and you may find it very useful,

"I guess if I were you I would not even consider a "Battery Back Up Sump Pump". Reason you may be asking is that it is not a guarantee that they will work when needed. As with most homeowners, we don't always check on things when we are supposed to. If it is out of sight, it definitely is out of mind!

I would recommend a good water powered sump pump backup like the Guardian, normally available through a plumber since they don't sell these over the counter through a plumbing distributor. They are not cheap, runs about $450 - $500 but this must be plumbed into a 3/4" line, and installed before going to any fixtures or tees. Labor on these can be $350 plus. The water pressure from the city powers this and does quite well - for every gallon of water used, 2 gallons is pumped out. It requires a 1 1/2 PVC pipe for discharge.It does come with a Backflow Preventer for the water inlet pipe but you will need to get a check valve for the 1 1/2" PVC line. It can lift the water up to 15 feet at 407 GPH. At 10' it is 580 GPH. It does have an adjustable float that is placed adjusted just above your existing sump pump. So when the power does come back on, your's would kick on and the back up automatically shuts down. Simple and very effective.

I am an advocate of this and have installed many, especially after a client calls and says their battery back up failed. What usually happens is the batteries fail or if wired in on its own circuit, the power goes out, breaker trips and it doesn't recharge. Other cases, the batteries have just failed. If you don't check on it, you will have problems. At least the water pressure is more of a guarantee than the battery backups. I stress this is just used as an Emergency Back Up."

Hope this helps!
 
  #3  
Old 07-11-04, 10:52 AM
J
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I seem to be butting my face in all over today. I have to say that if it were me I would move the drains above ground like the guy said, slope the grade of the foundation as best I could away from the house. I would see how that worked. I would also deal with the one spot where the water pools outside the house if that is where the water is coming in. Sounds like if the sump pump works the water only comes in at this one spot. Don't know how your basement if finished but Lowes sell a product called Zypex. It Will waterproof your unfinished cement wall and where the wall meets the floor. I am a little confused about the wooded support beam and is water coming from your neighbors property. am I right in assuming that if the pump works the water only comes in the one spot and only during heavy rain. If, so before I spent 20,000 grand, I would have a look at that corner. How is your basement finished
 
  #4  
Old 07-11-04, 01:46 PM
raju
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More information

Thanks for taking the time to reply to my question. My neighbor's house is about 25 feet away from me. His house is at a higher than mine. His sump pump and the downspouts discharge water towards my house. His grading is better as his house is higher. My lawn next to my house is also graded but not as well as my neighbor.

Most of my finished basement has carpet. One corner of the basement is not finished as it has a big TV, speakers and audio video equipment hidden behind a dry wall. The water is coming from the place where floor and two walls meet. However there is a wooden support beam that goes from my basement floor to the roof of the basement. This beam is next to the wall. It is also runs on the floor so it is completely hiding the area where the water is coming in. All I can see is a small quantity of water coming from underneath it.

The sump pump works. Today it rained for many hours and I could the sump pump coming on every minutes for a while. I noticed some more water came into the basement. So for 4 to 5 hours of rain I noticed a small puddle of water. It would be around 1 - 2 small coffee mugs. I will install a backup water based sump pump like "Guardian" if that helps.

My plan is to show the spot where the water is coming into to a water proofing company. I will talk to a few and check their references. Once I have enough information about this I will make a decision. I will check out
Zypex from Lowes.

Thanks once again for the advice. I will post the results of my trials and tribulations.


Raj
 
  #5  
Old 07-11-04, 02:04 PM
J
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what is the support beam for. Is it only in that corner and no other. is this supporting the house. is it part of the original structure or did it come later. When I said how is your basement finished I meant walls and ceiling too. If this is an added support beam it should be on a footing not the slab. It might have pushed the floor down and seperated the wall form the floor a little. Please be clear Is this where all the water is coming from as far as you can tell. Can you set the float on the pump to come on sooner or dig the hole deeper. I am interested in finding out about that beam if that is where the water is coming from. reply please
 
  #6  
Old 07-11-04, 03:16 PM
raju
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More information Part II

Thanks for taking the time to help me. The beam is supporting the house. I can see similar beams in my utility room too. The other corners of the house are finished so beams are not visible but I am assuming that they are present.
The finished part of the basement has drywalls. The ceiling is like any other ceiling. I am a total home novice so I apollogize if my language is not clear.
I don't think that this beam was added later. The basement walls are cement blocks with weep tubes running to the drain tile.

I recently got a new sump pump installed. The plumber seem to think that the depth of the pump was OK. But I am sure I can adjust the sump pump height if needed. The sump pump has been running all day every few minutes. This must be because of the rain.

I have taken a few pictures of this problem. These pictures show the affected are. The roof over the unfinished and affected area. I hope this clarifies a few things.

Pictures can be seen at:
http://groups.msn.com/testpictureupl...rproblems.msnw

I will be happy to take more pictures or answer any questions.


Thanks

Raj
 
  #7  
Old 07-11-04, 04:16 PM
J
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nice pics. That is a stud not a beam. I hope it was not not nailed down creating holes. The water is almost 100% coming from where the wall meets the floor, assuming no nails. Look at the zypex and try it first. You may want the contractor to apply it, although it isn't hard to do yourself, since you will have to take out the 2 by 4 on the floor and undercut the joint. That means making the joint wider the further you go in so it locks into place kind of like a dovetail joint. Also remove all of the paint on the wall and floor maybe a foot up and brush on the zypex. Find out why the water accumulates outside at that corner and fix it. If it is real easy for the water to get in it will get in before the pump can prevent it. I don't know about those weep tubes, but I don't like the way it sounds. I got this thing about actually letting water into my house deliberately. I know why they do it I just don't like it. I think Zypex is an exellent product. It fixed my basement and everytime it rains I thank God I found it. If you let the contractor do it look at the joint before he puts in the zypex. Whoever does it "follow the directions". By the way since it is relatively easy to take out the studs why not remove them and have a look what happens when it rains.
 
  #8  
Old 07-11-04, 08:10 PM
J
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just an after thought. The hard part of applying the Zypex to where the floor meets the wall is preparing the joint to accept the Zypex.Call the number on the pail and ask them for their advice. You may be able to just make a simple slot with a cheap grinder or something similar. I say this because the purpose of the dovetail type joint is to lock the zypex in the joint. Since you will be installing the 2by4 so close to the wall it may be ok to skip the hard prep work and let the wood hold the stuff in. Then you could definitely do it yourself. Btw Zypex is a cement based product that expannds into the wall and crystalizes to stop the flow of water
 
  #9  
Old 07-12-04, 10:36 PM
raju
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Hi

Thanks for thinking of me and giving me this information. I was unable to find a product called Zypex. I found something called Xypex. It is a cement based product. I also called a few Basement Waterproofing companies. I found these companies through www.angieslist.com. One of them is called Aqua Seal. Their website is at http://www.aqua-seal.com/. They have given me a quote of $500 to fix the problem. I called a few references they gave me and they checked out fine. They have something called Hydrogaurd that fixes the water leaking from the corners. They have described the whole process at
http://www.aqua-seal.com/interior.phtml

I was wondering what you thought of them. They told me it will take them 3-4 hours to do this job. They cut the piece of stud, cut the concrete, add a water proof hydroguard and put cement back again.

Thanks

Raj
 
  #10  
Old 07-13-04, 11:27 AM
J
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500 don't sound so bad. as long as they will fix the problem. The product xypex is the one I was talking about. It has been a while since I used it. Search google for it. It may come in handy yet
 
 

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