LESLIE: Dominic in Pennsylvania is dealing with some water issues. Tell us what’s going on.
DOMINIC: Where the water main in the – in my basement comes in through the foundation …
DOMINIC: Whenever I have a heavy rain, what happens is the water seems to squeeze its way between the pipe and the cement.
TOM: Yeah, very common problem, Dominic. And basically the water is finding the weakest link where it can force its way in but the solution is the same and that is that you’ve got a drainage issue going on outside of your house.
You need to take a look at the grading and the drainage. The grading is the angle of the soil around the foundation perimeter and the drainage is mostly stemming from the roof. If you don’t have soil that slopes away from the walls – if you don’t have gutters that are clean with downspouts that are extending four to six feet away from the house – you’re going to get a lot of water that will collect right in that backfill zone that’s dug out when the foundation was originally built. And that will fill up and then it will look for a weak point in the wall, which is probably where your main water pipe is coming through.
So I would take a look at the drainage issues – get that straightened out – and I think that the problem is going to go away very quickly.
DOMINIC: Well, I have looked at the drainage issues. I have graded the – up against my foundation, all around the house and as for the downspouts, I’m not sure exactly where it leads to but I have a pipe coming in out from the ground and that’s where my downspout goes into. I don’t know if it’s maybe a dry well or something.
TOM: Well, that could be the problem right there. You don’t know where it’s going …
TOM: … and here’s an easy way that you can test it. Let’s abandon that underground pipe momentarily; let’s take the leader. Go out and pick up some additional leader material; you know, it’s pretty expensive.
TOM: For a few bucks, let’s run it right out away from the house where we can see that we’re sure that the water is dumping well away from the foundation. That, I suspect, is going to fix this problem. It’s also going to tell you that wherever it’s going underground has got to be corrected.
So I don’t know why it’s doing that; it could be a leak in the underground pipe, it could be an old well that was – that’s backfilled now and it’s all clogged and the water is backing up. Who knows? But if you run the water away from the house and the problem goes away, then you know what the source is.
DOMINIC: Alright. I’m going to give it a try.
TOM: Well, you give it a shot.
TOM: Be confident. It’ll work. (Leslie and Dominic chuckle)
TOM: Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT. 888-666-3974.