CommunityLeaky Earth Sheltered Berm House

Leaky Earth Sheltered Berm House

We recently purchased an earth sheltered berm house and found some major leaking in the back part of the house.  When it rains or recently as the snow melts water runs down the walls.  The “roof” of the house is mainly flat and we are guessing that's part of the problem.  Our question is who do we get to come and give us estimates on fixing the problem?  We have had some basement companies come out and have been told to install a system where they make a gutter in the floor and just have the water run into the gutter and out to a sump pump.  The problem is we also have a few leaks inside other parts of the house that are not against a wall, so we don't believe that's the proper solution.  We live in Johnston, Iowa.  Any ideas?  Thanks!

The Money Pit Answer
You are smart to be very wary of basement waterproofing companies.  In our experience, they're a category of contractors that's wrought with fraud, often selling systems that are very expensive and generally not needed.  In your case, you've already made an important determination: This problem worsens with rainfall.  Your job will be to find a way to divert that water away from the perimeter of the house.  There are two ways of doing this: 1) Make sure you have a gutter system that's clean, free-flowing and that discharges water 4 to 6 feet from the house, and 2) Make sure the grade at the immediate foundation perimeter slopes away from the exterior wall.  It should drop at least six inches over four feet.  Doing both of these things will protect the area closest to the wall from becoming saturated, and will reduce the amount of water that can leak through.