Every spring with snow melt and if the water tables are high, I get water in my basement. I can visibly see some cracks in the foundation where the water is seeping in. My question is how do I know if the problem should be fixed from the outside or the inside? I know for a fact there is no drain tile around the house so I'm assuming that would resolve most of the problem. Nor is there sump pump/basket in the basement. I've tried waterproofing the basement as well as landscaping but the flooding is worse than ever. Just need to know which route to go. Thanks,
It is always better to start from the outside. unfortunately, this is also the more expensive route. If you know that you have no foundation drain and yu have a high water table, then you might as bite the bullet and make the correct repairs. Your house is not a boat and thus, it is not waterproof. Water is basically stupid - it will follow the path of least resistance downhill. Any water that finds cracks in your foundation will get inside. If you have some exterior waterproofing and/or a foundation drain, the water will be redirected. Otherwise, you have a flooded basement.
Interior waterproofing can help keep things dryer IF you have already taken steps to divert water from the outside. A sump pump is a last ditch effort to keep water that is getting in from getting deep enough to cause some real damage. But, if the sump pump is running you are still getting water in the house.
There is one simple and inexpensive step that at worst could help and at best could solve your problem: Take a look at your gutters and downspouts. Make sure that your gutters are clear and the downspouts are flowing freely. Finally, add enough 4" drain pipe to the downspouts so that all water is directed well away from the foundation.
Handling the water above ground may help and is certainly worth a shot because it is the least expensive thing to do. Extend the leader pipes on your down spouts away from the house and make sure the water drains away from the house.
Adding a sump to allow the ground water to collect below the floor level and be pumped out may be enough without adding drain tiles. The water needs to go far enough away from the house that it doesn't just percolate back down and replenish your ground water to above the floor level. It is illegal in most place to pump this into the sanitary sewer. Get it to the street so it can go into the storm sewers.
If this doesn't work, I think you're getting into bigger dollars though I'm by no means an expert.
Any advice given here is general in nature and is not necessarily valid for your given area. If in doubt check with your local codes enforcement department for what is required when doing electrical, plumbing or structural work on your house. Permits may or may not be required in your area and home owners may not be able to DIY some tasks. I have no way of knowing if you have the skills needed to complete the tasks you are asking about, when in doubt seek professional assistance.
My advice may be worth exactly what you pay me for it. :-) For the record I did not stay in a Holiday Inn Express last night.
check your elevations, gutters/downspouts, and take a really close look at your foundation. fixes are on the outside. coverups are on the inside.
cheap quick test of elevations, if you don't have The Eye, is to find a nice long, flat 2x4. put a shortie next to the house, to clear little bumps and hiccups. put another shortie out as far as the 2x4 will reach. put the long 2x4 on the shorties, pointing away, and put a level on it. if it isn't sloped away from the house, fix that. if the house is in a bowl relative to the surrounding land, build a small ring dike around the house and cut a drainage swale into the land, so standing water has to run away to the street.
gutters have to be installed, not leaking, clear, and same for the downspouts. they have to push water away from the house so it doesn't run back into the basement.
we had some idiocy in the way our house was built, with 12 inch block all around, except to the east... where they switched to 8 inch block at ground level. this is the driveway and sidewalk side. and looky here, not only was the masonry cap over the transition deteriorated, but the soil under all the paving had washed away, a clear opening into our basement. a boatload of foam under the paving, sealing the foundation, rebuilding the cap with 5000# test sand mix, and sealing all joints, cracks, and the cap with polyurethane concrete caulk fixed it.
put on your deerstalker hat, get out your magnifying glass and violin, and play detective.
sig: if this is a new economy, how come they still want my old-fashioned money?
Basement leaks can be minimized by taking a few simple steps to keep water away from the foundation. Make sure your eavestroughs and gutters are in good order and that water is directed away from the house. Landscaping should be sloped away from the house as well. These simple steps can go a long way to solving some leaky foundations.
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