05:53PM | 05/22/01
Member Since: 05/21/01
1 lifetime posts
I have recently run into a problem. We have lived in our home for 2.5 years and have never noticed any water in the basement. The home was built in 1870 and has a great foundation. Now, only one week after we have listed our home for sale, we have water. It has been raining of and on for about 2 days and water has started to leak in from the stairs leading down to the basement. The stairs are not typical stairs. While going down the stairs we have a crawlspace to the left and exterior wall to the right. The problem is that behind the tongue and groove boards (of the exterior wall) is the soil from outside and the steps almost seem to be built right into the soil. However, the soil only exists for the bottom 3 ft of the wall. Above that, it's concrete. I don't understand why the builder wouldn't put a full concrete wall rather than only the top portion. By the way, above the crawlspace on the left is an addition that was built on concrete stilts that are embedded in the ground. I thought perhaps I could just carefully remove the wood boards and take out about 4-6" of the soil and replace it with concrete. Then dig down at the landing of the stairs (which also consists of dirt) and fill that in with concrete (4-6"). Please keep in mind that I am only looking for a quick fix.
Also, how much of this would be solved by adding a working eavestrough to the exterior portion of that wall with a downspout 4-5' away from the home.

Jay J

04:34PM | 05/23/01
Member Since: 10/26/00
782 lifetime posts
Hi jinglesmountjoy,

Have you gone outside to the area where the water is coming in? What's out there? A concrete or dirt 'patio'? A downspout that's dumping water within 3' of the foundation? Sloping ground TOWARDS the house instead of AWAY from it? Leaking gutters? MISSING gutters???

I'd look at these things first. EACH and every one of them. The FUnny thing about water is it CAN travel a path of 'least resistance'. During the next decent rain storm, (in the absence of lightening), don a raincoat, boots, and an umbrella and take a walk around the house. Look for the signs I've described. If you can fixt these 'deficiencies', I'm sure your 'problem' will go away. You may simply find that water is making its way between a crack where the patio meets the wall, or because you have a loose-fill garden right outside the wall whose dirt is VERY porous, or a missing gutter, or a downspout that's disconnected or whose water is simply running back towards the house. In short, get the water AWAY from the foundation and see what happens.

My best to ya and hope this helps.

Jay J -Moderator

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