Stop Basement from Flooding
LESLIE: Let’s talk to Marlene in New Jersey who finds The Money Pit on WCTC. And you’ve got a flooding basement. Tell us what happens.
MARLENE: My brother went away on vacation and he came back and the basement was flooded. We cleaned it up and then it flooded again. But this time it was coming, actually, from the ground and we think that there’s a stream that runs under this house.
LESLIE: Are you finding – or is your brother finding – that the basement floods after a heavy rainfall or does it just seem to happen at certain times of the year?
MARLENE: Well, he’s been in the house for 15 years. This was the first time that actually had experienced, you know, water. He – they just put in two sump pumps. You know? But I don’t know if that’s really – if it’s a stream underneath, is that going to really …
TOM: No, because you know what? The stream didn’t just materialize after 15 years.
LESLIE: It would have been there forever.
TOM: Yeah, exactly. No, I think, Leslie, this is a classic grading and drainage problem.
LESLIE: I mean you never know. You could have a breakdown in your gutter system. We had the same thing with our basement. All of a sudden – everything was fine; all of a sudden we had water in the basement. It was because we had a crack in the gutter 20 feet away from where the water came into the house. This can happen. I mean if your gutter or your drainage system isn’t working properly, water can come in from the outside through the subfloor, through the walls; because it’s all concrete and it’s hydroscopic so it’s pulling that water in.
So have your brother look at his gutter systems. Make sure they’re clean. Make sure the downspouts are clean. If they’re full, that water’s going to back up and over and come in behind the roof, behind the walls. It can deposit from the downspouts right into the foundation, so have him look at the downspouts. Make sure that they’re clean. Make sure that they deposit the water three to six feet away from the house.
And then look at the grading. You want to slope down about four inches over six feet going away from the house. So it’s a gradual slope but it’s effective.
And those – if you do those things, that should really control the water that comes into the basement.
TOM: Marlene, thanks so much for calling us at 1-888-MONEY-PIT. 888-666-3974.