03:37PM | 02/21/14
This is our first house, we've only lived in it for 3 months and we really hope someone can give us some advice. We're in Vermont, and we've had two bad days in the winter where it's been raining on top of lots of snow is melting and leaking into our unfinished basement. We have a sump pump but it has never turned on, and the pit is dry. We've tested it and it does work. The wall that is leaking is right next to the sump pump, and water is leaking around an old rusted pipe that's not in use, plus a crack in the wall where the foundation meets the first floor.

We've had two basement waterproofing companies come out and both have told us we need to install a french drain along that wall (it's about 12 ft long), and one of the companies also said we should install a second sump pump in the bottom area of our basement as well, as there are some cracks in the concrete that he thinks are due to hydrostatic pressure (we have a two-level basement, the water that is actively leaking is on the upper level).

We have gutters and our land is graded down away from the house, except for in this one area where the leak is. It's right next to our front door landing, so of course the ground there is going to be flat. This area does not have a gutter, and with the heavy snow melt it is dripping over the side a bit onto this spot. But the front of our house is A-frame style, so I'm guessing it's not possible to add a gutter here?

Another scary factor is our kitchen on the first floor sits right above this leaky area, and is partially underground by about 4 feet. The waterproofing companies say that the wood supports in the floor are probably rotting because of the water penetration, and after they do their job they said we need to get another contractor in to pretty much rip our kitchen apart and fix the wood supports!

We are afraid of this can of worms and of course the previous homeowners made no mention of a leak. Both companies said it would cost around $5,000, but could not give a quote on the wood support fix until they did their job and had another company come in to inspect the wood. One company offers a guarantee for the life of the home that the basement will not leak along the wall they fix.

But will just 1 french drain cut it? Is this the best option? Why is our sump pump not filling with water when the wall right next to it is leaking?


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