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Thread: Drainage System

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
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    Default Drainage System

    Help!!! I am having some basement drainage issues and need some assistance.

    I bought a house built in the 40's about 5 years ago. Shortly after moving in after a rainy weekend I discovered a mud slide in my basement coming from the crack in the wall that is there from the drainage system. The company that put in the system came back out and ended up covering the crack up. I then started getting some leakage from another area of my basement and had a different company come out and put in a sump pump. We recently just had another big rain which seems to happen every couple of years and now mud has come out of the new drainage system that was put in. It was discovered while putting in the new drainage system that the house does not have a footer. It is held up by rods.

    The new company came out and scoped the outside drainage system where the water goes from the gutters and everything was clear and no cracks.

    I am looking for some assistance on how I can keep my basement dry. Is there a special way to install the drainage system when you do not have a house footer? I have tried searching on the internet but have not found anything helpful.

    Thanks for any assistance you can offer.

    Patrick

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Location
    New York
    Posts
    36

    Default Re: Drainage System

    A leaking water line inside a basement wall, sewer backup through a floor drain causing basement flooding, condensation on water pipes & walls during summer months, all can make a localized area very wet. This can easily be mistaken for basement leakage.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
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    2,478

    Default Re: Drainage System

    The house has a footing- it has to. It may or may not be a good one but it's there. If it's not doing the job then that needs to be fixed- a huge job if there's a lot of excavating to do. And nobody should have penetrated a wall below grade in a manner they could not perfectly seal. They darn sure should not have cracked it. Hydraulic cement might effect a repair here- use no other kind. Work it into the hole and crack as good as you can. The problem is that the crack will also be on the outside of the wall where you can't get to it.

    The problem you have is not gutter run-off, it's groundwater. If you can't seal the holes and crack successfully and water still comes in, you need the grading to positively slope away from the house for several feet everywhere. That may be enough. If not you can add French drains around the house to collect upper groundwater and move it away from the house. If that doesn't work you will need to dig down to the foundation and waterproof the walls from the outside, then replace all of the above work to help minimize the water.

    Talk to your attorney if any of the people you hired did any damage while they were working or if their work did not function as they promised it would. And never waterproof from the inside; that includes inside basement drain systems. That is a "last resort" fix meant to be used only where you positively cannot keep the water outside after trying all of the above. Water belongs on the outside and should go no further than that surface; that's where the waterproofing effort goes. It needs a solid wall to do it's job first. If the wall fails so will the waterproofing.

    Phil

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: Drainage System

    Maybe basement outside waterproofing could help you.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: Drainage System

    Quote Originally Posted by Mastercarpentry View Post
    The house has a footing- it has to. It may or may not be a good one but it's there. If it's not doing the job then that needs to be fixed- a huge job if there's a lot of excavating to do. And nobody should have penetrated a wall below grade in a manner they could not perfectly seal. They darn sure should not have cracked it. Hydraulic cement might effect a repair here- use no other kind. Work it into the hole and crack as good as you can. The problem is that the crack will also be on the outside of the wall where you can't get to it.

    The problem you have is not gutter run-off, it's groundwater. If you can't seal the holes and crack successfully and water still comes in, you need the grading to positively slope away from the house for several feet everywhere. That may be enough. If not you can add French drains around the house to collect upper groundwater and move it away from the house. If that doesn't work you will need to dig down to the foundation and waterproof the walls from the outside, then replace all of the above work to help minimize the water.

    Talk to your attorney if any of the people you hired did any damage while they were working or if their work did not function as they promised it would. And never waterproof from the inside; that includes inside basement drain systems. That is a "last resort" fix meant to be used only where you positively cannot keep the water outside after trying all of the above. Water belongs on the outside and should go no further than that surface; that's where the waterproofing effort goes. It needs a solid wall to do it's job first. If the wall fails so will the waterproofing.

    Phil
    Thanks Phil for the reply,

    I want to clarify something I said before. The crack is not actually in the wall it is along the floor perimeter where the drainage system was put in. That is where the mud was coming from and what was sealed over to stop the mud the first time. I was told the purpose of this crack was to catch any water that would seep in from the wall above.

    I'm not sure if the footer has actually fallen or was taken out for some reason. When they were putting in the sump Pump and drainage system they showed me there was no footer but rods holding the house up every few feet.

    I also already have a French drain on the side of the house. The company that put in the latest drainage system is coming back out to dig up the system they put in to see what is happening. Do you think they may need to reposition the drainage system?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    2,478

    Default Re: Drainage System

    Without seeing it I cannot comment on the French Drain location. Generally these are very close to the house, the idea being to catch the water right before the house so you get it all. If the house is on a hill you can locate another one deeper to get rid or groundwater flowing in the soil beneath the top drain. That's not often needed but with porous soil of areas with really heavy rains it might be prudent.

    I think the majority of the problem is where the basement sealing at the floor was compromised by the attempt to create a drain inside. Correcting that may be a lot harder than creating it. I'm still unclear about "rods" holding the house up. Rebar rods are commonly in foundations but they alone offer no support. Perhaps someone cut away the foundation which exposed the rebar, I don't know. At this point I'd recommend looking for a General Contractor to inspect the foundation situation because without one solid enough to hold the house you're not going to have something for the mud to flow into for long- foundations are as critical as roofs in keeping a home solid. They should also be able to advise you on mitigating groundwater and drainage issues.

    Using a GC ensures you that there will be no 'blame-passing' for things which do not work correctly. They are responsible for ALL of the trades who work under them which makes it a lot easier to get problems resolved than it is when you hire single-trade contractors yourself. Most single-trade contractors know little about other related things but a GC will know all of what matters and how it's all supposed to go together.

    Phil

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