Help! Basement flooding


Old 05-10-15, 08:09 AM
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Angry Help! Basement flooding


I have a problem! We've gotten a few days of consistent rain here in Colorado Springs and I discovered that we have leaks in my basement from both the wall and window well. I just bought this house in March so I'm pretty upset. I'll attach pictures so that you can see what I'm talking about. I'm a "single" military guy (since we're not married) raising a family, so I don't exactly have the money to hire some multi-thousand dollar company if it can be done better / cheaper.

A few things:
- House was built in 2003, if I recall correctly.
- No sump pump

1. I'm not sure what my immediate actions should be. I've been wet vac'ng the water up but it just keeps coming in at a slow but steady pace.

2. The window well isn't draining (none of the three windows wells seem to have drains installed), but the other two are. I tried disturbing the gravel/dirt to see what's going on but the ground appears completely saturated and isn't draining. I don't expect the window to be leak-proof (as it's not designed for that), but I would imagine there's a way to get the well to drain. I've emptied the well manually with a bucket / vac a number of times but it fills up again in a few hours (at most).

3. There are two cracks in the foundation where the concrete blocks were poured/joined and water is steadily seeping in through those cracks. I'm afraid if I simply try to use some sort of waterproof sealant that (1) it won't apply properly because water is seeping in as I try to apply it, and (2) the water will still be getting into the cracks and in cold temperatures may expand the cracks. Big problem: the other side of that foundation is a deck, so getting under it to the wall itself is a problem. This is what worries me the most.

4. As I just bought this house in March I quickly checked the disclosures that the seller provided and it does not disclose any water issues/leaks/etc. The guy who lived here before my did so for ten years (first owner), so the fact that we (in less than 3 months) have "suddenly" discovered multiple water problems makes me believe they were aware of it happening and simply brushed it off because the pre-sale inspections didn't find anything. Has anyone dealt with something like this before? Is it possible to pull any insurance claims they may have made with an insurer to see if any were related to water damage? I'm not sure where I should go from here as far as that side is concerned.

Any help is greatly appreciated!!!

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Old 05-10-15, 08:39 AM
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Welcome to the forums.

There are a lot of ways to approach this. With that much water it would seem likely that the previous owner should have had the same issues. You should have seen previous water stains in the basement.

Those window wells look to be set up as a drywell but that probably isn't enough. It looks like you're going to need a weeping tile system around the outside of the house where the window wells could be connected to and then run into a sump pit.

Others will stop by and add their opinions.
Old 05-10-15, 11:25 AM
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The 1st thing to do is make sure all the downspouts are piped away from the house. Sometimes that is all that is needed although making sure the grade goes away from the foundation and possibly excavating the foundation to water seal it may still be needed.
Old 05-10-15, 12:59 PM
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You mentioned you had no sump pump. Is there a sump hole? Is there water in it? I agree the window wells should drain to a pit or to the atmosphere at a lower stage. Did the house inspector raise any questions regarding stains on the concrete floor?
Old 05-10-15, 06:52 PM
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Thanks for the replies. I have an update but I'll try to answer questions first:

1. There doesn't appear to be a sump hole. There's a single PVC drain (few inches wide) by the water heater / furnace and a few other pipes sticking out of the cement behind it. I'm not sure what the other two are for... See pics for reference.

2. All the gutters (w/ extensions) are facing away from the foundation. In fact, the window well that's having issues is actually around about the highest point of grading in the backyard. (see pic with blue pool covering well)

OK, Update:

I peeled back the insulation on the foundation and found that the leaks were located at some metal pieces embedded within the concrete. I'm not sure what those are called, sorry. They're regularly spaced around the wall, but in this case they're at the joining of two slabs and water is leaking through at their location. I used a metal brush to clean off loose chunks of cement and then used Fast Plug Hydraulic Cement to plug the resulting holes. I also bought some cement sealant that I will paint on once the cracks/wall has been dry for a day or two.

I just talked to my neighbor, a construction supervisor in the area, and he said that at the time our houses were built there was no code requirement for sumps or drains in the window wells... so, awesome. (Apparently there now is a requirement for these.)

I did notice the window well isn't quite flush with the foundation at the top, but not sure if that's much of a contributor or not.

The thing that's really confusing me is why that window in particular is having issues if it's actually at a higher grade than the others.

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