Sump Pump Questions water coming up through basement floor.

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  #1  
Old 06-24-15, 11:14 AM
J
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Sump Pump Questions water coming up through basement floor.

We purchased a house about 2.5 years ago and the disclosure stated that they had not had any water issues after a small retention pond was put in uphill of (what is now) our home several years ago.

There was cracking throughout the basement floor, nothing crumbling or very wide that I hadn't seen in other places. So I didn't think much of it. Several of these cracks had had "grout" or concrete or patch some sort pretty thickly laid over them in mounds the length of the entire crack.

So we move in in October 2012 and everything seems OK until we have some very heavy rains. I check the basement frequently and don't notice any dampness on the walls or seeping in at all (cinder block basement, house built in 1972). So I think we're golden because if we haven't had any water yet, how could it rain any more than this, right?

Well it did. And I go downstairs to find standing water in much of the basement. Almost "overnight", but truthfully we don't really use the basement for anything other than laundry and storage. Not a ton of water, maybe a 1/2"-3/4" in the deep spots. So I start the clean up and again see no water coming up out of the floor drain, or seeping in the walls. Many many shop vacs full of water later I start to notice that many of these cracks have water springing up out of them. So much so that it's "shooting up" like a little mini-geyser (not to the ceiling or anything, but enough pressure to bubble up about 1" or so.

Now all of the patching of cracks makes sense... they were trying to stop what I was witnessing. My assumption is that the water table rises and rises until eventually it is creating hydraulic pressure on the bottom of my basement floor and the water is going to win that battle every single time.

So I say all that to give background to my question... which is: Will installing a sump pump help with this issue? Keep in mind that this event, I believe, is somewhat rare. We have had significant rains this year again and no water has seeped or sprung forth from the floor (yet). But I refuse to leave that to chance. If we are going to stay in this home longer term, we absolutely have to have use of the basement. With the threat that this may happen again, I refuse to put any plans in place or spend any money on making it more usable.

I've done some looking and see that the standard seems to be to jackhammer out a trough around the outside walls to create a drainage path for any water coming in the walls, which drains back into the basin to be pumped out. Seemingly, we do not have a problem with this, which makes it seem possibly unnecessary? If I were to cut out a spot in the basement floor for a sump basin, is it reasonable to assume that the sump will be able to hold that pressure at bay during these types of events? I'm thinking that relieving that pressure from under the slab is the ticket to helping prevent this from happening again. Is there something else I am over looking?
Am I right or am I all wet?

Thanks!
Jacob
 
  #2  
Old 06-24-15, 12:59 PM
C
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Before I seriously considered putting in an interior drain system, I'd want to know if there were exterior footer drains (should be!), where they drain to (storm sewer, daylight?), and their condition. An interior drain can solve the problem you describe, but you should rule out easier and cheaper fixes first.

Good luck!
 
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Old 06-24-15, 01:55 PM
J
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Where and how would someone find out such information? I say this before I jump over to google and search.
 
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Old 06-24-15, 08:49 PM
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It's often not easy to figure out, since it's all underground.

I'd suggest calling a local basement waterproofing contractor (or 2 or 2). I hesitate a bit because this particular area of home repair seems to have more than its share of snake oil salesman, but it's worth the effort to try to find one of the good ones. Perhaps ask around for recommendations.

A local contractor will be familiar with the construction techniques used in the area, whether or not there are storm sewers, etc. They will probably have to dig down outside next to your foundation in one or two spots to inspect the drain tile. It will cost you a few hundred bucks but you'll know where you stand.
 
  #5  
Old 06-25-15, 07:24 AM
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Check to be sure water is not pooling up against the foundation and if so, fix that.

The walls need to be crack free so water percolating through the soil just outside will not have a marked tendency to seep in, long before it gets to the level of the perimeter drain pipes. It is not customary to put in a second set of perimeter drain pipes outside, halfway down to basement floor level.

Then, water saturating the soil just above basement floor level, including new water that just percolated down, needs to be collected by a perimeter drain system below basement floor level, dumping into the sump pump pit.

Usually it is cheaper and almost as effective to jackhammer a channel around the perimeter just inside the foundation wall for a perimeter drain system compared with excavating all around the foundation just outside.

The advantage of excavating the outside is the ability to, at the same time, patch and scrub and waterproof the outside of the foundation. Meanwhile putting waterproofing the inside of the foundation works almost as well provided you have cured any problem of water collecting against the outside of the foundation. For all of these situations, cracks in the foundation that get wider or newly developed need to be filled promptly.

Note: Concrete is naturally porous. In some climates, waterproofing the inside surface may result in freeze damage from the water that has been absorbed by the concrete and not yetevaporated into the inside and perhaps recondensed by a dehumidfier. There are so many permutations of foundaton treatments and basement finishing techniquest that it requires an engineer to select the best combinations for a given basement.
 
 

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