water still in basement with sump system

Old 12-18-01, 11:33 AM
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Unhappy water still in basement with sump system

Hi, maybe someone can help me with the problem I have in my basement. Lately in one
portion of my basement Iíve noticed a small amount of water seepage where the wall
meets the floor after a heavy rain. My basement has a trench around the basementís
perimeter that is approx. 2 inches wide filled with gravel. I donít know how deep it is.
Iím assuming this is a French drain system that was put in sometime after the house was
built. There is an 18Ē wide border of newer concrete beyond the trench going away from
the walls, that follows the contour of the basement. I called in a water proofing
professional and he informed me that my sump pump drainage system has failed and a
new system needs to be installed. The sump pump is bone dry. Iím not sure if thatís
because there is very little water in the walls or a clog in the drainage system. He also
told me that an inside French drain system removes the structural integrity form the
house, because the floor is met to keep the walls from moving. He wants $15,000 to put
in a dual sump system. So my questions are these;
1. Can I run a snake through the drain tile pipe from the sump pump area , and possibly
clear out any debris or does the whole inside system need to be dug up and replaced?
2. Does separating the floor from the wall cause a structural integrity problem?
3. Can I change my homes landscaping to divert the water away from my house.

Iím trying to find the most economical system to relieve this problem. Any advice/
suggestions would be greatly appreciated. You can post to this topic or email me directly
at jay2000@prodigy.net. Thanks ahead for any help.

Old 12-18-01, 12:18 PM
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Best advice, get more than one estimate.

Having the grade away from the house is always prudent. Always good to extend your leaders a few feet away from the house. Water will seek the path of least resistance. By moving the water further away from the house may solve your problem.

You cannot snake the drainage pipe and I doubt very much if it's clogged. These pipes are usually surrounded with gravel and it's highly unlikely enough dirt can get into them to clog.

The walls may have a structural problem because the floor is not touching them. If the basement walls were moving, you would find cracks in them and the least of the problems would be moisture. Also the floor is probably 6 to 8 inches above the foundation.
Old 12-19-01, 03:19 PM
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Water in basement after rain

Make sure your gutters and downspouts are clear and carrying water away from the house. In addition, the soil around the house should be landscaped to carry water away from the foundation.
Old 12-20-01, 01:16 AM
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Unhappy wet basement walls

Okay here is the latest. I met with another waterproofing contractor last night. He pointed out several spots where you could
see spots on the wall. he told me that there is water trapped in the blocks. On a more comprehensive examination of the sump
well, there is some mud with small pebbles in the drain tile and bottom of the sump. His opinion was that at this point in time he
doesn't recommend going through installing a new drainage system. He says if I start getting a lot of water in the basement, then
the work could be done. My only question now, is water in the block causing any damage? The first contractor told me water
in the block causes problems. I notice there are holes already drilled in the bottom of the wall where the wall meets the floor.
Could these holes possibly be clogged up. Once again, thanks ahead for any advice.
Old 12-21-01, 05:49 AM
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I had a 80 year old house that had drainage problems when I lived in Michigan. We also got several contractor quotes ranging from $5,000 to $20,000 to fix the problem. And of course each one of these contractors knew exactly what it would take to fix it forever.

We addressed the outside drainage issue first off (by ourselves) and found a noticable decrease in the amount of water coming in. We ended up putting dirt around the foundation twice in the 5 years we were living there. Each time we placed 7yds of topsoil arround the exterior foundation of the house. Winter is the best time to do this because you do not have to work around any flowers, then in the spring they will for the most part still pop up through the dirt you placed. Then extend all of your downspouts 3 - 5 feet from the house & take advantage of any natural drainage slopes if you can.

Regarding the sump pump. I have to believe that unsticking the clog in the lines & letting water flow to the sump, would help relieve the overall pressure against the basement walls and decrease the likelyhood of water inside. I know you can not generally snake those lines but, just a stab in the dark here, can you push sometype of water hose up it. A stiff garden hose with the water turned on at full pressure might unclog the line. Sure it would be a messy job, but once the line is unclogged and the extra water drains into the sump, you will be a lot better off. Reducing the water (Hydrostatic per my earlier contractor quotes) pressure against those walls needs to be done our their will be more problems later.

Good Luck, Mike

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