HELP with Basement water leak in Savannah


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Old 08-21-14, 12:20 PM
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HELP with Basement water leak in Savannah

Please help! I have a basement - more of a broiler room. its a 10'x8' concrete slab with 5' walls that end at the ground level. My house was built in 1920 and I think they used it to heat the home with coals. in the corner, is a drain pan that ground water streams into (from heavy rains), secured from the remaining portion of the room by mortered bricks. from what I can tell, the drain does down about 8-10" and I'm not sure if it connects to a sewage line or does into the ground. sometimes, it backs up...thus I have added a automatic utility pump.

Recently, i have noticed water intrusion from the ground floor, walls, etc. It appears as though the water is not coming from the drain area, but from all parts of the concrete.

I have a dehumidifier and use a shop vac to reduce the moisture, daily for the last 2 weeks....this is driving me crazy!!!

Is there a way to seal the concrete to help prevent water intrusion? My objective is to limit moisture and mold growth.

Any help is GREATLY appreciated!!!

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Old 08-21-14, 04:42 PM
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Search the forum. This type of problem appears very frequently and the answers stay the same. Water is best kept out from the outside. After it's already through the wall much of the battle is already lost. Basically there are no easy answers.

The "fix" with a really good chance of succeeding will be expensive and involve digging outside. Basically excavate all the way around the home. Apply a waterproofing membrane to the foundation walls, install a weeping tile system.... Yes, disruptive and expensive.

You might have some luck if you dig a sump pit and get the pump down a couple feet below the floor level. Basically you'd be trying to pump down the local water table around the house. It can help but works best when there is crushed stone around the foundation walls so water can more easily flow to the sump. Something not usually found in old homes but it's a shot.
 
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Old 08-22-14, 06:27 AM
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Thank you! I recently installed gutters and feel that a lack of gutters contributed to this problem. I will dig drainage lines this weekend to run the water from the downspouts away from the house (to the street). After I get the drains finished, I'll probably coat the basement walls with some sort of "basement water-proofing" application. I know these applications are not the fix nor are they completely waterproof.....but hopefully it will help.
 
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Old 08-22-14, 07:15 AM
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Don't waste your time coating the inside. At least not until you look for cracks in the foundation & check the pitch of the land. If you have to dig, it won't be on all sides of the house. How high is the water table?
 
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Old 08-22-14, 08:24 AM
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I have tried the paint on waterproof coating that you apply to the inside on some of my rental houses. Cement block walls pressure washed and prepped according to the instructions and all three properties had the coating coming off within five years. So, following Pulpo's advice... don't waste your time or money.
 
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Old 08-22-14, 08:36 AM
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Perhaps there are cracks in the basement flooring (corners, etc) that is allowing water an easy access to intrude...? From the appearance and damp spots from the pictures, it appears as though there are compromised areas of the basement flooring (see 2nd picture of basement steps). Are you saying there is nothing I can do to strengthen that particular area's permeability (ex-patching, etc)?? I just want to make sure I'm hearing everyone correctly.

Thanks for everyone's input!!!
 
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Old 08-22-14, 01:52 PM
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You have to answer my question first. How high is the water table in your neighborhood? In other words, how deep must you dig to find water? The answers depend on that. Inside solutions usually don't work.
 
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Old 08-25-14, 10:53 AM
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I don't know how to determine the water table level in Savannah, GA. Do you have any recommendations as to how I can find this info?
 
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Old 08-25-14, 11:43 AM
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There really is not much you can apply to the surface inside to hold water out. It's sorta like a boat with a leak. If you apply something on the outside the water pressure will help hold it in place. Inside the water is underneath and working on whatever you apply 24/7.

One option is to create a moat around the perimeter that leads to your sump. This would collect the water that makes it in and direct it to the sump. Also, lowering your sump to locally pump down the water table around your basement may help.

Short of excavating and doing a full treatment to the outside of the foundation basement walls do everything you can to get surface water away. Make sure you have gutters all around. Downspouts leading well away from the house and make sure the water continues to flow away after it's left the downspouts. Grade around the house so water flows away. You don't want any water sitting so it can soak into the ground and eventually get to your basement.
 
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Old 08-25-14, 11:59 AM
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Thanks - I just installed gutters and am in the middle of digging drain lines to run the water to the street and ally. I hope this helps
 
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Old 08-25-14, 03:30 PM
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The building dept should know height of the water table. Local builders should know also. It's not a big secret.
 
 

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