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Question DetailsAsked on 6/28/2014

What type of service provider do I need for a wet basement?

When it rains 3 or more inches, water comes into one corner of my basement in rivulets running to the floor drain. When the rain stops the water just dries up. I have a dehumidifier which helps but I don't know exactly what type of service can take care of this problem? Do I just need basement waterproofing or do I need some type of drain outside the basement?

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6 Answers


If it is just durring hard rains it sounds like you may just have a roof drain problem. In all honesty if I were you the next downpour I would put on a good raincoat and boots and walk around the house and see if you see any water ponding near the house near where your problem area.

If you see nothing I would recommend paying for a home inspector to take a look at this. I would explain your problem and they may give you a lower price since you just want a small part of a home inspection, the other option would be an engineer.

I am inclined to recommend this approach as I have seen too many waterproofing companies use a one method fits all approach and rip people off. One in my state hired a older mason friend of mine and even though he knew his trade they had him convinced that our entire state has a clay type of soil and their costly approach was the only thing that would work. They would use a hard sell at a high price and if the customer did not say yes anothe rep would contact them later saying they had found a mistake in the estimate and at times they would drop it by more than 50%. This same company has changed names many times through the years to avoid lawsuits.


Answered 6 years ago by ContractorDon


As other comment said - sounds like a surface water problem that might easily be solved by getting roof runoff away form the house, putting compacted sloped soil nerthe house to ensure surface runoff moves rapidly away from the house, or maybe putting in a small swale or ditch to divert surface runoff that might be getting close enough to your house to seep in through your foundation.

Sine only happens in very heavy rains, really does not sound like it will be hard or expensive to fix, and I am pretty confident no significant excavation or expensive drain system or anything like that will be needed - your sort of case is usually a DIY job, or at most some light ditching or near-surface drain installation by a landscaping company - very commonly in the under $500 or $1000 range even if you have to contract it out because you are not able to do it yourself. Might just take a bit of gutter downspout redirection into a ditch or gutter material to get the water away from the house - this is the most common cause, followed by surface water flowing up against the house.

In the Home > Basement Waterproofing link in Browse Projects, at lower left, you can find a number of prior responses with checklists for things to look for to control water getting at your basement.

Answered 6 years ago by LCD


Agreed with the other guys. This is very likely a drainage issue that can be readily fixed at low cost. I had a similar thing with one of my houses. I hired a professional engineer for only $350 or so for his assessment and he helped me understand exactly where to extend my drains from the house, etc.

As long as you can get the water away from your foundation, so that the grade of the ground will continue to carry it further along, you will probably be set. I did that work myself and it wasn't hard, with maybe a total of $100-150 of materials from the Depot and some elbow grease.

Also make sure the ground next to the house, which often settles, doesn't dip back toward your foundation. If it does, add soil so that there is SOME pitch going away. And extend the drains how ever many feet are needed to help out.

For us, I had to merely extend most of the drains only some 3-5'. In one spot, I had to dig a 10' trench about 12-18" deep, to carry the water to a "lawn spigot", through a 4" schedule 40 pvc. When the ground is wet it's not a big deal and I got that done in a few hours.

Good luck!


Answered 6 years ago by Jefferson


One thing on Jefferson's comment - if you need to add dirt near the houe because it has settled so causes ponding, two hints:

1) has to be compacted and relatively impervious and not highly oprganic like mulch or peat (somewhat clayey or silty or topsoil) or it will just act as a sponge and let the water soak in. If planting near the foundation or have decorative rocks, that is fine as long as there is a long-life liner or compacted soil under it sloping well away from the foundatio and wrapped up at the foundation wall, topped by the pervious mulch or topsoil or stone layer. Avoid deep-rooted or tenacious rooted shrubs or trees near the house - it is recommended to stay with shallow-rooted plants, bulbs, annuals, and the like within 5 feet of foundations so the roots do not destroy your water-resistant protection or penetrate the wall and break it up.

2) Keep at least 4 inches from final dirt surface to the bottom of the siding AND from the top of the concrete/block foundation wall (whichever is lower) to avoid possible water overtopping of the foundation or wetting of the wall in extremely heavy rains, and also to minimize insects getting into your wall - most will not crawl more than a few inches up a bare concrete/block wall exploring. If in ground termite or carpenter ant country, increase that as much as you can - takes 12-18 inches to keep most burrowing termites out of your house. Also, the more open wall is exposed, the more readily you will notice ant trails or mud termite tunnels on the foundation. If you do not have enough wall height to do that, then regrading of the soil (watching out for buried utilities - get locates) away from the house may be needed. You do NOT want a swale or ditch along the foundation - generally you want water flow and accumulation to stay at least 3 feet and preferably 5 feet from the foundation in relatively tight soils, and generally more like 10 feet if possible in very free-draining soils if there is a chance there is a less pervious layer in the first 5 feet or so that could trap the water and let it get back to the house through the free-draining soil.

Answered 6 years ago by LCD


Who do yourecommend for basement waterproofing

Answered 5 years ago by Guest_9902298


This is Garrett K., Angie's List community moderator. Please call member services at 1-888-944-5478, they'll be happy to assist. Thanks!

Answered 5 years ago by garrettk

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