Need help locating basement leak

Reply

  #1  
Old 01-21-14, 10:01 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: USA
Posts: 2
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Talking Need help locating basement leak

Hi,

When fall came, the basement started leaking from the middle of the unit somewhere. I fixed one of the gutters it seemed to have stopped, I don't really know how to explain it. Perhaps it was just a coincidence, or maybe a dry time.

However, now winter has come and the leak has came back and there are two big pools of water near the middle wall again. I can't really explain what's going on, so that's why I tried hiring drain cleaning companies to come take a look at it. One of them assured me that my drain tiles were clogged. They tried using an augur snake from an interior access point to unclog the tile. He went quite a ways, and after he was done, he assured me 100% that he had fixed the problem. I came back the days after to check many times, and the basement was still leaking.

I would like to fix this problem myself, but I know it's beyond me. If I can get some help to identify the source of the leak, I would be able to save time and money and the health of the building. I just installed a dehumidifier yesterday so there won't be mold growth hopefully.

imgur: the simple image sharer

I posted 2 pictures at the above URL. The first one shows the water pooled up in both the kitchen area and the other room. Water seems to be coming from in between these areas, and the first layer of linoleum tiles are lifting up exposing the lower sticky tiles. The other picture is a closeup of that wall that seems to be leaking from the base. Keep in mind that the wall is not a foundation wall but just a regular drywall in the middle of the house.

Here are my ideas so far:

1. The contractors may be right in saying that there are cracks in the foundation walls where water could be coming in. However, if this were the case, why does the water not leave any trails that would indicate that they would be coming from those walls at all? It's pretty dry from the outer walls to this middle spot.

2. The attic may be leaking water down through this middle wall. So I'm going to check the attic to see if the water is coming in some way all the way down to the basement.

3. The drain tiles are not letting enough water flow through them and need to be jetted out. Oh and btw the drain tiles are clay drain tiles. This may be the actual answer as I look down the backwater check valve, the water flow seems to be pretty slow, although I'm not sure how this apparatus really works.

4. This may be a long shot but the water may be coming up from cracks under the 2nd lower layer of sticky tiles. I might try to lift up both layers of sticky tiles that are already falling out from the kitchen to see if there are any cracks in the ground then.


SO yeah.. if you have read this far thanks a lot. Any comments or suggestions would help a lot.
 
Sponsored Links
  #2  
Old 01-21-14, 11:42 AM
Group Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: NC, USA
Posts: 20,812
Received 195 Votes on 180 Posts
Only one image is viewable for me at your link.

I'm betting on your guess #4. Your basement is underground and any water underground is easily pressurized by the surrounding being higher in elevation. Normally the perimeter drain will intercept this water artificially lower the water table around your basement. If there is a flaw in the system then the water will find a way through. Just like a tiny hole in the bottom of a boat. Water will find a way.

Perimeter drains and drain tiles are sometimes not much deeper than your floor. Perimeter drains outside should be at the bottom of the footing while drains inside the walls are sometimes much shallower. The top of the pipe may be close to the same level as the bottom of your concrete floor which means the water is not very far down. When working properly it's enough but if the water comes in faster than the drain pipes can take away (they are installed almost level so there is little to no fall to generate rapid flow) then the water can back up and erupt through a crack or expansion joint.

Your backwater check valve should only let water flow out from your drain system. If something happens to cause there to be more water on the outside it should close to prevent the water from back flowing and flooding your basement.

---
I had one rental house with horrible water problems and weird clay soil. Even when the sump pump was working you could walk across the concrete basement floor and water would squirt up through the cracks. Turn off the pump and soon water was bubbling up in the center of the floor. Water never did enter near the perimeter much but would gush into the center.
 
  #3  
Old 01-23-14, 01:10 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: USA
Posts: 2
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
further questions

Hi,

Thank you for your response Dane. I have been busy lifting up the old tiles with a mask on since I heard they may contain asbestos. I also may have found the source, well sources, of the leak. They look like little indentations in the basement concrete floor. Almost like a size of a quarter, they're all around the perimeter of the kitchen floor, and I really can't tell what they are, but they were strong enough to allow water to penetrate the same size holes through the hard brittle tiles. My best guess is: it's probably because someone may have gone happy drilling through the slab and someone else had to try to cover up for their mistakes with regular cement. That cement they used is porous and letting water through every spot that I've checked. The water seems to be leaking out of these "holes" collectively, as you can see from some of the pictures I've uploaded into an album. Hopefully you can see all of them, as I've taken a lot.

imgur: the simple image sharer

Now some further questions of mine:

1. Is it safe to assume now that I should order the hydrojet service from the company so they can try to open up the clay drain tiles to let water in more? One guy came over and said that the clay tiles butt up together but over time, the space between them gets blocked by mineral build-up. Jetting them out with high pressure may clear them out..

2. Should I attempt to chisel these indentations further then try to use hydraulic cement on all of them? I've counted perhaps around 15 of them. I'm not sure how effective this method would be.

3. Is there any way a sump pit installation + sump pump could possibly help in this situation without installing new drain tiles? I've watched some videos of jackhammering through the slab and I've installed a lot of sump pumps myself, just never dug a hole yet.

4. Should I remove the black tar or just seal it with some kind of basement paint? I went to Home Depot and asked around but they had nothing (I took a can of mineral spirits and goof off but have not tried either yet), but I did see some product named Bean-e-doo that looks pretty good in removing black mastic adhesive like this.

As you can see, I'm pretty new to this and am grateful someone has actually responded so I could try to find the source which I did and was excited! Any further help would be also greatly appreciated. Thanks.
 
  #4  
Old 01-23-14, 05:06 AM
Group Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: NC, USA
Posts: 20,812
Received 195 Votes on 180 Posts
1. It might help but nothing is guaranteed. Jetting with clay pipe can do more damage than good if not done properly so it is not without risk. If the clay is weak the jetter may cut the tile like it does with the debris blocking the line so it's a balancing act between enough powewer/pressure to clear the line and not damage the pipe.

2. You can try and it may help but it's probably not going to be 100% successful. Unless the water is kept away from the basement on the outside you've basically got a boat and the water is outside trying to get in 24/7.

3. Yes, a sump pit could help by lowering the water table in that area by pumping the water out faster than it can flow in. It would work best and help dry a larger area if there is a layer of gravel under the slab so the water could more easily get to the sump which is why some homes have more than one.

4. I have only tried mechanically removing old adhesive because you soon get into needing a lot of solvent or remover and the fumes and waste gets to be a problem. A broad flat blade in an rotary hammer or they rent floor scrapers just for the job. If yours is soundly attached and you can knock down the high spots you may be able to go over the top of it without removing all of it.
 
Reply

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Display Modes
 
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Description:
Your question will be posted in: