Latest Discussions : Basement & Foundation


11:16AM | 08/07/00
Member Since: 08/06/00
2 lifetime posts
First a question then the explanation of the problem as a whole. Any help is greatly appreciated. Sorry for the length but hopefully it will shed some light..

Is a sump pump useful for lowering ground water level underneath floor or is it primarily for running floor drains into?

Eastern PA 10 Year old home which is my first and have owned for 4 years. Packed clay "soil". Poured form walls. No drains or sump currently. 1/2 is fully finished. Previous owners of course had no water problems they said. Next time I will spend the money and get an inspector.

4 problems, 2 "fixed".

1. Three times water has come in around the water main which comes through the wall. I have sealed from the inside with an epoxy putty but not effective enough. I think I need to dig down the outside of the foundation wall and seal from the outside somehow, perhaps with cement. Any suggestions?

2. Water fills up a "submerged" window well and comes in through the window. Extending the gutter spout out 10 foot has eliminated that problem except during "Floyd" this spring which was the real start of my problems.

3. Hurricane Floyd, what a nightmare. Water came in through an unsealed, ex-window that was cinder blocked up when the previous owners added a deck. The other window well filled and the water main leaked.. Water appeared to come out from between the walls and floor, but it is possible that the waterfall running down the walls filled the gap between the floor and wall. Anyway, pulled about 600 gallons out by hand with a shop vac but could not keep up and woke up the next morning to 3 inches. Restoration company cleaned up and did an amazing job on the finished side. Others fared much worse. I dryloc'd the offending window cinder blocks and re-cemented the blocks in from the outside. Several hairline cracks expanded in the floor on the unfinished side. Still just hairline cracks but they are longer.

4. Recent PA rains just havn't stopped. Awoke saturday morning to wetness in the cracks and wetness around perimeter of at least the un-finished side. Wife described small puddles on the unfinished side but they were gone when I saw them. Nothing serious. Turned the Dehumidifier up higher and symptoms are solved for now.

No water from the walls appears to have caused the problem. My guess is that after Floyd, water has found a new method of attacking me, from below.

Is this likely that the water comes from below? If so, would punching a hole through the floor on the unfinished side and installing a sump pump be a safe and effective bet? I do not want to (nor will the wife allow) ripping up the finished side to put in drains.

French drains outside are a distinct possibility, but I do not have money to do the job this summer. If the sump pump is an effective solution I would like to stick with that.

Any installation tips on the sump pump would be helpful as well. I would assume a 12x12x20 hole down into the gravel or further would be the method of choice, but that is a guess.

Thanks for taking the rime to read this far down!

-Soggy in the suburbs


04:55PM | 08/07/00
Member Since: 02/19/00
205 lifetime posts
! important answer!!! Call you local town or city Inspector yourself. I also live in the N.E. and If I'm not mistaken,.... Especially in wet areas, the code requires a sump to remove the build up of water around and underneith the foundation. If the existing home owner thought it wat too expensive and took the cheap way out,....Then..."Judge JUDY" or any judge for that matter would be on your side...

[This message has been edited by HOLLYWOOD (edited August 07, 2000).]

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