Profile picture for Ollie T

How Can I stop water from leaking in the basement? I have two sump pumps already.

The address is 6411 5th Avenue, Takoma Park, Md  20912
  • January 11 2010 - Takoma Park
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Answers (10)

Best Answer

Chances are you are at the bottom of a hill, or you have a burm that is sending water back at the property. That needs to be addressed. We have the same problem with our home. We had to have a "wall" built and then add two french drains that take the water out to the curb. We also tapped our drainage pipes and sump pump pipes into the french drain. Basically you need to get that water AWAY from the house on the outside. Because even if the sump pumps get the water out, if they just dump it by the foundation, it will just seep back in again.
  • January 11 2010
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Profile picture for Oneeyenate
Hello backwater villagers,

Maybe I am a fool for stating the obvious first. However, since I solve peoples water problems here in Arizona I will apply some logic that perhaps may assist you in your current sad state of affairs.

Now maybe where your from water has no value. Where I am from here in Arizona it is damn expensive. It is so expensive we ship it in tiny little plastic bottles from Sedona to Tucson Arizona just to have a good tasting water here at our local gas station. We pay $1.29 per 24 oz. bottle for the privilege. Now granted it doesn't come to us until after it has gone through a purification process, but that is just common sense.

What does this have to do with your problem? Everything. Do you pay the city for your water that comes into the pipes in your home or are you on well water? Well chances are your pipes could be ruptured somewhere between the supply and your home. So that being said go around and turn off every faucet, toilet, irrigation valve, laundry machine, pool, and shower. Once you are sure every bit of water that could possibly come from your home is off then read the meter either at the well or at the street where the water company reads it.

 IS THE METER STILL RUNNING? If so, take the time to hire a company that can find the source of the water leak that you yourself could be paying for every month. They will charge you one time to fix a problem that is financially drilling you every month. In Arizona water loss is a very bad thing and there are large fines associated with not taking care of them. If you have that there you will be avoiding those by fixing the problem.

HAS THE METER STOPPED? If so that is wonderful news. Yes, especially if the water is still running in your basement. Why do I say it is wonderful? You will soon see. You need to get to know the lay of the land. Are your neighbors that live at a higher elevation having a water loss issue? If you know them you can test thier house in the same manner you checked your own. With their help and permission! If it is not their problem then there could be a Supply line that has burst but the water companies usually have that undercontrol as long as they have meters at thier pump stations. Trust me, a six inch supply line would definitely wet your basement faster than your simple sumps could handle it. So there are some trouble shooting tips from the driest state in the union.

WANT TO KNOW MORE? Remember that I mentioned water leaking into your property was wonderful news? That is because I looked at the topographic map of your street corner on Google maps using the address you gave. Yeah. Am I the only one that thought of this? Welcom to the Internet Age! OK, here is what I found that you will sit back in awe over. You are at the base of a hill near a valley. Less then a 1000 ft away is the beginning of a creek that feeds into a river from the looks of it. Well, in Arizona we call it a river because it probably runs full time. YOU FOLKS call it Sligo Creek on your map. The wonderful news is you will never be rid of your water. Ever. You are at the head of a natural spring which happens to come up under or around the base of your house. Your water level is probably like three feet deep. You probably see water when you dig a hole to plant a tree. I could be wrong but where I come from you are sitting on a clear liquid gold mine. Hire a well digging company to set up a large reservoir on your property. Purchase a medium sized Reverse Osmosis water purification system and another large Stainless or Plastic Reservoir for the outside on your property and turn that Basement into the smallest Purified water distributer in the area. Of course you would need to abide by all the State, county, and city codes. I think you understand where that leads you now. WOW! Wonderful news right? MONEY FOR NOTHING! Or very low payments if your smart and finance all the equipment. Enjoy, and send me some news as to what you find out.

Sunburnt in Winter,
Nate
  • January 13 2010
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Profile picture for Ollie T
YES THE BASEMENT IS FINISHED. THE GUTTERS AND DOWNSPOUTS ARE OK.
  • January 13 2010
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Don't jump on the french drain bandwagon too fast.  Depending on how the land lays, and what is at the root of the flooding, a french drain may not be quite what is needed.  Contact several specialists.  Get advice and quotes from them.

Oh, and if you are into landscaping and have a large enough yard, consider incorporating a water garden for the diverted water.  They can be a lovely and efficient part of the solution.
  • January 13 2010
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Profile picture for wetdawgs
Have a professional come and assess the situation to see whether a French drain is indeed the right thing to do, and what it would cost in your place.   My neighbor installed one himself last summer, but it was several weekends of backbreaking work!
  • January 12 2010
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I agree with everyone. I would focus on the outside first. Extending downspouts, building up soil and grading away from the house. After that, I would hire a waterproofing company to show you what is happening and give you an estimate to repair.
  • January 12 2010
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Profile picture for AlexShek
Ollie T, it is impossible to give an estimate site unseen. Are you telling us that your landscaping and gutters/downspouts are OK?

Why do you think you need a french drain at this point?

Is your basement finished?
  • January 12 2010
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Profile picture for Ollie T
Can you give a rough estimate of the cost of a french drain and refer me to someone?
  • January 12 2010
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Profile picture for AlexShek
In most cases, people have water in the basement because of improper landscaping, blocked gutters, or downspouts not directing water far away from the house. If your landscaping is OK and diverts water away from the house, if you gutters are clean and downspouts take water as far from the house as possible, installing french drain may be a good solution.

I recommend you to talk to a professional.

By the way, is your basement finished?
  • January 12 2010
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Profile picture for wetdawgs
It depends on how the water is getting in, but the basic principal is to divert the water outside so it isn't hitting the walls of the basement and seeping in.  A French drain is the most likely solution. 

  • January 12 2010
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