Latest Discussions : Basement & Foundation


01:54PM | 11/01/03
Member Since: 10/31/03
7 lifetime posts
We just bought a house two months ago and it has a nice 500 square ft basement (1/2 finished). Unfortunately, there are some leakage problems that the previous owner covered up and we are now noticing a few areas where water is seeping in. I had a waterproofing company come out and they want to install a drain system below the entire perimeter of my basement floor for $16,000. I don't have this kind of money right now and am looking for a cheaper option. My question is -- do I need the drain around the entire basement or just in the problem areas? Also -- the two areas with the problems are where water collects in my yard (near the house) after a heavy rain. Is it possible that some landscaping could solve the problem or would that most likely be a waste of time and money? Any help is GREATLY appreciated as I am severly bummed out about this situation.




06:43AM | 11/06/03
Member Since: 09/16/02
250 lifetime posts
That's always the first thing to do when you have water problems. Make sure your gutters and downspouts are working properly and make sure the landscaping is sloping AWAY from your house. They say ideally the ground should slope for about 10 feet for a total of at least 6 inches.

Good luck,


07:34AM | 11/06/03
Member Since: 10/31/03
7 lifetime posts
Thanks K2 & devildog. I checked into the legal angle and since we both signed a disclaimer in the original contract it looks like we're stuck. We've had a few more waterproofing companies out to look over the situation and they recommended the installation of a partial interior piping & sump pump system for a cost of about $5,000 (just along the walls that are leaking -- not the entire perimeter). I'm hoping that this and some exterior landscaping will solve the problem. Unfortunately, our lot must be made of mostly clay because the water justs sits on it when it rains. I'm hoping a landscaper will be able to resolve it at a low cost.


05:10AM | 11/12/03
Member Since: 08/25/03
2 lifetime posts
Willmcd: I am in the same "boat" as you. We have had the lot graded around the problem spots, we have had exterior waterproofing, we have had catch basins installed but now the problem is worse. I didn't want to go the drain system installation route since experienced folks have said exterior proofing is the only way and it is expensive. Exterior has not worked so far so you may also be stuck with doing the interior drains.

Brian Vogel

06:01AM | 11/20/03
Member Since: 09/30/03
10 lifetime posts
Same situation as will and abogadalme.

I am in PA, about 3 months in our new house. We were told that a basement closet did get some water during heavy rains (basement is about 1/2 finished). So we experimented with different options-- tried regrading. Came to the conclusion we would need to make some type of structural fix, so have talked to a few different waterproofers.

One, who took the time to explain everything to us, made a point to say alot of contractors will not even work with external drainage systems now, because they can not guarantee the work. Which I found interesting, because, as you pointed out abog, the "experts" say that is the best way.

Now I also learned, last night, during the heavy rains we had here in PA, we also have water in the opposite corner in the basement...there is a small bathroom off the laundry area.

My question(s) are: Looks like we are going with a sump pump in the closet, however, would this be extremely more difficult in the bathroom, because of the plumbing??
And, I believe the water in the bathroom can be attributed to the following-- In the rear of the house, off the porch steps, the sidewalk is about 1 foot from the house.The are between the house and walk was never cememnted, thus allowing for water to rolloff. WOuld cememnting this area prevent further water from entering, or only slow it down? THanks...and sorry this got so long!

plumber Tom

07:22AM | 11/20/03
Member Since: 05/10/03
801 lifetime posts
The guarantee is merely a sales pitch to get the homeowner to waterproof all 4 walls. Sometimes it not necessary. In your case it's probably not. A pump in the closet sounds like a good idea. will assist you in choosing the right pump. The gap outside can be cemented or caulked (depending on how big) if you are near Huntington Valley, Pa. I can recommend a retailer that will sell you a Hydromatic sump pump and crock. They are a quality pump manufactured in USA (Ashland, Ohio) and that is what the waterproofing companies use. The pump in the bathroom is more "unsightly" then anything. You would see the poly lid on top of the crock. If you need more help, or a reference to a company, feel free to Email me, Tom


01:46PM | 11/20/03
Member Since: 10/31/03
7 lifetime posts
The sidewalk probably needs to be sloped so that the water runs away from the house rather than towards it. We have a similar problem in the front of our house where the sidewalk has sunk over the years and now slopes toward the foundation. We are working on finding a solution -- probably to have that section of the sidewalk redone.


01:25PM | 11/21/03
Member Since: 11/20/03
1 lifetime posts

I am by no means an expert however, the old adage that "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure" seems to fit in this instance.

If water can be diverted away from the house by ensuring the natural grade is away from the house and that downspouts are draining 4 feet or more from the foundation you may very well solve your problem without the expense of the "professionals".

Good Luck...John

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