water in my basement
It is very common to misdiagnose a basement leakage problem as being from an external water source (surface water or ground water), while it is actual coming from the other water category. A leaking water line inside a basement wall, sewer backup through a floor drain causing basement flooding, condensation on water pipes walls during summer months, all can make a localized area very wet. This can easily be mistaken for basement leakage.
Typical Configuration For A Full Depth Basement Using Hollow-Core Masonry Foundation Walls
The following information details what is happening in Figure 1 above:
- Excavated Area The area that is back-filled after foundation walls are constructed; often referred to as the excavation ring . This is the area of loose soil around the perimeter of any building with a basement. Loose fill is more susceptible to water intrusion than undisturbed soil. It is very important to maintain slope away from the foundations, through- out this excavated area. One should also ensure that gutter downspouts are long enough that they don t discharge into this area.
- Soil Settlement Over time, the loose back-filled area in the excavation ring can settle, causing water to flow towards the foundation walls.
- Soil Saturation/Hydrostatic Pressure Water will have a tendency to flow through saturate loose fill more readily than undisturbed virgin soil. The soil in the excavation ring can become saturated very quickly, exerting great horizontal charges on the walls, as well as forcing water into the block. Professionally applied foundation waterproofing/damp-proofing will help reduce chances of water entering into the foundation walls above the footing/drain tile line.
- Drain Tile System Most of the water should be captured by the exterior drain tile and funneled away from the house. What water remains should be captured by the interior drain tile system which empties into a sump basket.
- Sump Basket Pump Water is collected in a sump basket until it reaches a level that causes the sump pump to activate and pump the water out through a discharge line.
- Sump Basket Discharge Most municipalities do not allow sump basket water to discharge into the sanitary sewer. Sump basket water should be discharged outside.
- Discharge Line The exterior discharge line should be long enough to extend past the excavation ring, so that the discharged water doesn t seep back down and get recycled.