CommunityBasement Water in Old House

Basement Water in Old House

We have probably a 1920's house, and as you can imagine, the concrete floor has cracks (floor is tiled with old linoleum tiles), and the intersection of the walls and floor typically begin seeping water when we have 2+ inches or more in a 24-48 hour period. On one corner of the house is a sump, which has some old drain tiles draining into it. Only one drain tile has any water movement thru it. I  suspect they have gotten cloged throughout the years… The seepage is literally, from around most of the entire foundation, but particularly, on the opposite side/corner of the basement from the sump.

Would adding another sump on the opposite side help reduce the ground water pressure under the floor to prevent the water from coming up thru the cracks around the rest of the basement? The house footprint is 26'x44'.

Fortunately, we don't store anything that could get wet down there, but never the less, having to wet vac the water out on those heavy rain periods here in Iowa can be a pain!

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

Rick Smith (Waterloo, IA)

P.S.  The down spouts on the house drain thru drain tile I buried (after buying the house) to run the water more than 15ft away, and the foundation dirt is sloping away.. we have a 18×18 deck on one side which I cannot tell the drainage beneath it, dut to it basically being flush with the ground.

The Money Pit Answer
Rick, sorry to hear about your wet basement problems!  I will tell you that you are in very good company as this is one of the most common questions we are asked about. While frustrating, there are simple solutions.  For starters, please review these articles:  Basement Waterprofing Tips and Wet Basement Solutions.  Based on what you have said above I am 100% confident that your problem is being cause by poor exterior drainage.  When a basement leaks after a heavy rain, it is NEVER a rising water table, which is the ONLY time you need a subsurface drainage system.  So, you do not need to add a second sump pump.  What you probabaly do need to do first is carefuly, and I mean very carefully, make absolutely sure that not a DROP of water from your gutter system is leaking out of those drain pipes any closer than the 15 feet away you ran those extentions.  Also check to be sure the gutters are capturing all run-off especially during periods of heavy rain when gutters can become overwhelmed.  Secondly, looking at the photo, which the home is up on a berm, I'm not sure that the perimietr soil slope away for the first 4 feet from the foundation.  That "backfill zone" must slope away about 6 inches over 4 feet to keep the soil around the home dry.