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Thread: minor basement water

  1. #1
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    minor basement water

    Since a really bad flood season a couple years back (during which, in two different floods, my friend's company and the competition across the river each lost a crane in Binghamton, NY) our basement has been taking on a bit of water in the heavy rains. By a bit I mean at worst there is 1/4" accumulation due to unevenness in the floor before the water makes it to the washing maching drain hole. We live on the top of a hill and do not have a sump pump.

    Since I'm going to be laid off soon I figure I should take advantage of the time to attempt to remedy this situation. There seems to be a crack in the foundation which is where the water comes from. I think (but do not know - the floor was painted when we bought the house) that the large hydrostatic pressure of the aforementioned wet season caused something to break leading to water uptake.

    I have two plans to deal with this. First, I want to direct water away from the level area at the upper corner of the house. This will be done by either adding gutter to go along the side of the house to drop on a slope, digging a bit of a trench from where the existing gutter work drops the water to the slope and/or using concrete to make a surface channel from the current gutter fall to the slope.

    The other idea is to take my crappy circular saw (a $20 wal-mart special), put in a masonry blade and cut some channels running from where the water seems to come from to where the drain hole is. I would likely just make the channels as wide as the "blade" kerf and then apply a little bit of thick concrete on top to seal them up and repaint the floor. Once I got close to the drain hole I could use a masonry bit and hammer-drill so as not to saw into the hole. This would be a shameless excuse to buy a hammer-drill and masonry bits. This reminds me, I need to order more P100 filter cartridges for my half-face respirator.

    I had thought about trying to reseal the crack, but am concerned that another hydrostatic pressure event would occur and either re-break my patch or make a new crack. The channels would (hopefully) prevent the water from accumulating while giving the hydrostatic pressure a place to go without breaking anything else.

    Do my ideas have merit or am I not properly thinking about things?

  2. #2
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    I'm no expert - so take my comments accordingly. It's my understanding that the first, and most effective, defence against water in a crawlspace or basement is to get the roof runoff as far away as possible and as quickly as possible. Second is to insure your grade is running away from the foundation. I'd start with these as they are a lot less dusty and messy than sawing drainage 'kerfs' in the concrete floor.
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rennie Heuer View Post
    I'm no expert - so take my comments accordingly. It's my understanding that the first, and most effective, defence against water in a crawlspace or basement is to get the roof runoff as far away as possible and as quickly as possible. Second is to insure your grade is running away from the foundation. I'd start with these as they are a lot less dusty and messy than sawing drainage 'kerfs' in the concrete floor.
    Yep, got to agree with Rennie, start outside, if the water can get in somehow, you have already lost the battle
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  4. #4
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    Ok. So the first step is to add/reroute gutters. Guess I'll need to get my ladder back from Ned in a couple weeks.

    Since I'll be running a length of gutter across the non-sloped roof part of the house, should I use a fully enclosed gutter for this?

    For that matter, how should gutters be attached? Directly to the house?

  5. #5
    Outside is first and releaving the pressure is second. I'll PM a secret formula for that... Check your PM

  6. #6
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    I also agree with gutters and a "weeping" pipe system to get the water away from your basement wall.

    Good excuse to get a "cherry picker" lift and a back hoe....


  7. #7
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    Scoring the slab as you described will tend to give it lots of new "control" joints, and I suspect it'll eventually crack in places you don't want it to crack. I'd stay away from that idea, and like the others have said, address the water before it gets into the basement in the first place.
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Kosmowski View Post
    Ok. So the first step is to add/reroute gutters. Guess I'll need to get my ladder back from Ned in a couple weeks.

    Since I'll be running a length of gutter across the non-sloped roof part of the house, should I use a fully enclosed gutter for this?

    For that matter, how should gutters be attached? Directly to the house?
    Mark,

    Are you talking about gutters or gutter drain pipe? How long is the run across the unsloped roof?

  9. #9
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    Got to agree, the best way to keep water out of basement is keep it away from the basement! Grading and proper drainage can make a huge difference. But if you get enough rain the ground can get saturated regardless what you do.

    It's extreme on an existing house but proper fill and drains around the foundation are actually backups. Even that is to keep water from building up around the wall.
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greg Cook View Post
    Mark,

    Are you talking about gutters or gutter drain pipe? How long is the run across the unsloped roof?
    I'm as confused. Got a photo/diagram?

    Here, I googled and here is a howto website that has a pretty clear diagram of how gutters are installed, and has a youtube step-by-step video also (I just watched 30 seconds of it, so I can't vouch for the quality.)
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