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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 18x18 deck on one side which I cannot tell the drainage beneath it, dut to it basically being flush with the ground.

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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 Waterproofing 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 probably do need to do first is carefully, 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 extensions.  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 perimeter 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.

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Shelving

Why do I have Moisture on Basement Support Beams?

There are small moisture spots on the steel support beams in my basement. I could be wrong but to me it seems like they originate from the inside of the beams. I tried priming and painting them with Rust-Oleum oil based primer and paint. After that didn’t work I tried again using the primer for rusty metal with another coat of paint. I don’t get water into my basement and I run a dehumidifier during the summer. Can you tell me what is causing them and what do I do? Thanks!   I always learning something from your show!

Our Answer

Water leaking from inside a steel beam?  Now THAT would be quite a trick!  The problem is actually a lot simpler./  What you are sein is simply condensation.  The basement air is damp, and the steel beam cold.  As that warmer, moist air strikes the beam, it release moisture which condenses on the beams surface, ultimately showing up as drips that could appear likes it coming right out of the beam!

The solution is to reduce that humidity. A dehumidifier is one approach, but there are many other things I'd do before that.  Primarily, you need to reduce the volume of water that is close to your foundation outside, by carefully and methodically extending downspouts, keeping the gutters clean and regrading the foundation perimeter if necessary. Follow the advice in our post about how to stop a leaking basement. Even though your basement isn't leaking, the very same principles apply.

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Remove Greasy Smoke Stains from Wood Cabinets

I have extremely greasy smoke-stained cabinets (previous owners were smokers).  I have tried every cabinet cleaner on them without any progress. I want to try TSP on it but I am worried it will take off the finish. Do you have any suggestions for heavy duty cleaner that won’t harm the cabinets?

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I don't think that TSP will remove wood finish, but I'd test it to be sure.  Remove a door or cabinet drawer, mix up a weak solution of TSP and warm water, and see how well it works.  Just dont let the wood get excessively wet or it may warp.

If you've not tried it yet, Murphy's Oil Soap is also an option. It's very well regarded as a furniture cleaner and highly rated on Amazon.

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