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Question DetailsAsked on 3/7/2016

How can I keep water out? it is leaking from under my walls...

The room I live in is in the back yard, it wasn't built the best, probably in a hurry. Any time it rains water will flow right into the room creating huge water puddles inside the room.. Im not sure how to explain the foundation, I feel like the wood was just somehow drilled into the concrete and in time the water was finally able to seep through. Now anytime that it's raining it is hell for me and my wife. The water will rise almost an inch. And even after drying and getting water out the puddles can return within seconds.. It's becoming a big hassle and with

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Well, you can find a LOT of previous similar questions with answers in the Home > Basement Waterproofing link in Browse Projects, at lower left - including a fair number with fairly exhaustive checklists of things you can look at to solve the issue, with french drains and slab underdrains and foundation waterproofing and such more expensive solutions pretty much at the last-resort end of the lists.


First thing - look for WHERE the water first appears and where the puddles refresh from - from cracks in the slab or from the perimeter crack between slab and foundation wall generally means you have significant underflow under the foundation wall OR the groundwater is rising when it rains hard. Water coming through the walls means a lot of rainfall is ending up against your foundation in the backfill. Water OVER the walls (over or under the bottom sill of the main floor wall) means surface water getting at the perimeter of the foundation.


THEN look where water is flowing or puddling outside in the rain - first cause is usually lack of gutters or downspouts dumping the water right at the foundation, second is commonly that there is one or more areas where the fill around the house is lower than the surrounding yard or patio or such so it flows towards the house, third is (in very heavy rains only generally) that the slope in the first 3-10 feet or so around the house is not sloped at least 2% (1/4" drop per foot) away from the foundation and compacted to promote runoff. (The hard compacted zone can be under decorative rock or bark or mulch as long as those do not trap and hold a lot of water).


Then if those are not the cause start looking further away - neighboring runoff coming towards your house, runoff from walk or drive coming to the foundation, ponding in the backyard, water rising in your yard out of a manhole or storm drain or backed up ditch, or a general slope toward your house with no drainage swale or berm to keep the runoff 6-10 feet away from the house.


The above measure(s) will solve the prolbem in the majority of cases, and the vast majority when you exclude cases where the house is in a natural drainage or hollow or built in very free-draining sand or gravel or on bedorck or hardpan that is letting general groundwater rise affect the house.


Since you said "any time it rains" sounds to me like roof runoff is getting right next to the foundation and coming in or under it - that will flood a basement in no time. Generally, if you have proper gutters and downspouts and the runoff from the downspouts is controlled and kept out of the soil until it is from 3-10 feet from the foundation (depending on density and "tightness" of the soil except generally 10 feet in expansive clay soils like in the western midwest), AND slopes or berms or swales around the house keep it from flowing back toward the house, nromal rainfalls will soak into the ground but NOT contribute enough water to cause basement flooding. In fact, even new houses that have not even been backfilled yet generally do not get flooded basements from rainfall as long as the gutters and downspouts are in place and working right.

Answered 4 years ago by LCD




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