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Thread: wet basement ... landscaping

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  1. #1

    Default wet basement ... landscaping

    The other day my basement got very wet, ruined the carpet and padding in the finished area. The unfinished area, bathroom and HVAC room still bone dry. The water is definitely coming up through the floor in a few spots (hydrostatic pressure). There are no visible cracks and only one spot where the poured concrete basement floor has a hamburger sized chunk out of it, but no fishers or cracks in it. The walls are also poured concrete, and the house is about 10 years old. I have no evidence of water coming through the walls or any place else, that would be a slightly different scenario.

    My first mistake was calling a company that just wanted to sell me an inside trench system. These only divert the the water INSIDE the wall to a new sump in the center of the floor, doesn't stop mold, insects, radon, or hydrostatic pressure.

    So after a lot of research, and considering my specific problems here's my (becoming informed) plan.
    1) Hire an independent engineer that specializes in water issues. Someone who is not 'Selling' anything except expert advice, not referrals. Based on his advice:
    2) Find a reputable landscaper to reshape my yard to redirect water away from house, install a drainage system (french drain, swale, or rock swale) to the nearest primary storm drain.
    3) Ensure gutters are clean and maybe get larger gutters, but ensure the downspouts are far from house.
    4) Hire a reputable plumber to snake (clean) my 'storm trap' under the basement floor, to free any blockage.
    5) Raise the lip of my window well (egress window), and get a clear cover to put over it.
    6) Patch any cracks inside (3M concrete sealer), maybe seal the floor.

    Now I've already replaced my sump pump with a Zoeller M98 model (the best), and bought a 70 pint dehumidifier. I also bought a eu200i 2K watt Honda generator if the power goes out (decided after a lot of research this is the most practical solution, and I can use the generator for lots of power outage problems.

    I spent hours researching and making this plan because I couldn't find an article like it. Any advice appreciated, and if you know a reputable plumber that can snake the storm trap or a landscaping company, in central Maryland (near Laurel), please post here. Thanks an I hope this info helps someone.

  2. #2
    In the Trades Jerome2877's Avatar
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    Aug 2009


    Ok first things first, If there is access to the storm drains I would have them camera'd to see if there is a problem with them. Then depending on what they find either try jetting them (high pressure water) not snaking as this can damage the pipe, or repairing a problem if necessary. After making sure the storm system is good if the problem persists, start the other thngs you were suggesting. It could be as simple as your lateral being partailly blocked, so that when there are heavy rains the system can't handle the volume and saturates around the house.

  3. #3


    Great points, thank you! Would a plumber have a camera to do this?
    Is there a special high pressure hose, who does this kind of work?

    I believe this is the most likely problem and solution, just don't know what kind of tradesman does work like this.
    But I'll start asking around, plumbers and landscapers in these parts to start with. Thanks!!
    (so worried over this I can't sleep)

  4. #4
    In the Trades Jerome2877's Avatar
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    Aug 2009


    Not all plumbers will have a jetter/flusher as they are pricey, most will have a camera though. You may find a drainage company that specialize in storm drainage and have the equipment needed.

    A jetter/flusher is basicly a big power washer with a hose that has a tip with small holes. They are pointed on a 45 degree angle backwards so the pressure feeds the hose through the line and cleans the pipe as it goes. So if your drains are half full of dirt/mud it will break it down and allow it to drain away leaving a full size pipe.
    Last edited by Jerome2877; 08-19-2010 at 12:21 PM.

  5. #5


    That explains a lot thanks. My understanding is the collection pipes under my house that lead to the sump will eventually clog with silt and debris, so what you are saying makes sense to have this checked/cleaned.
    You do you mean the PVC pipes under my house that lead into my sump hole or something else? The couple landscapers I asked about this with were unfamiliar with this.

  6. #6


    An excellent landscaper came out today, he walked every inch, looked in the collector in the back yard, jumped in my window well, talked with me for about an hour. Will write up a bid this weekend, I was extremely pleased. He never mentioned cleaning the drain or anything, I'm really not sure what drain you mean.

    Any other ideas, suggestions? Appreciate all.

  7. #7
    In the Trades Jerome2877's Avatar
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    Aug 2009


    Normally you should have a storm drain connection at the city unless you are in a rural area that doesn't have a storm system. If you do have a rock pit that your storm drains to then this may have failed, meaning it is not dispersing the water into the ground anymore due to saturation or blockage. in this case you may have to replace the pit, basically by digging a big hole and filling with drain rock. Again the first step is the camera, it can tell you alot and locate the pit if you have one.

    I'm talking about the whole system, there should be a perimeter system around the foundation of the house. This go's to either a storm lateral that go's to the city drain or a pit, or it sounds like in your case you have a sump that is pumped somewhere.

    Your house is only 10 years old so there should be cleanouts maybe at the corners of the house outside that you can access the system if not get out a shovel and start digging.
    Last edited by Jerome2877; 08-19-2010 at 06:36 PM.

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