Water seeping through cracks in basement wall

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by yg17, Dec 26, 2015.

  1. yg17 macrumors G5


    Aug 1, 2004
    St. Louis, MO
    I hope there are some home repair experts here. I've owned my house for two years and never had a problem with water getting in the basement, which is fortunate since it's finished and I have my home theater and office down there. There's a sump pump, and when it rains, it keeps the water out. So far, so good

    However, today, we've just been having torrential downpours. It's so bad, that my detached garage has even flooded (by flood, I mean there's like a half inch of water since it sits below the driveway, bad enough that I parked my car on the driveway and just have to hope the rain doesn't turn into severe storms with hail). Now I've noticed in the unfinished part of my basement, for the first time, water is starting to seep through the cracks in the wall. Not a lot, the floor in there is still pretty much dry - a few drops have trickled down into the drain. And right now, the finished part of the basement is completely dry thankfully. That leaves me with two questions:

    1. It's supposed to rain even more tomorrow. What are the chances of this becoming a huge problem - like, big enough that I should start moving everything from my basement upstairs? The unfinished part has my washer/dryer, water heater and furnace, I can't exactly move that stuff, but is anything really in any big danger, even with more rain all day tomorrow?
    2. What, if any, long term fixes are there? Like I said, first time in two years I've seen this. If everything holds through the weekend, is it worth spending a lot of money to fix it, or is there a cheap fix I can do so next time no water seeps through?
  2. DeltaMac macrumors G3


    Jul 30, 2003
    I think most will agree when I say that, in your basement, water is not your friend, and can become a serious issue.
    I think that in general, a leak through the wall means that you have to fix that from outside. Damp-sealing the wall will mean exposing the outside wall so the potential leaking areas can have some type of remediation. I assume that your basement wall is under ground level. Digging down to reveal possible faults in your basement wall and foundation will unfortunately not qualify as a "cheap fix"

    Did you buy your house new?
    You can contact the builder, and see what ideas he will have.
  3. yg17 thread starter macrumors G5


    Aug 1, 2004
    St. Louis, MO
    Thanks. My house was built in the 60s, so far from new. On the other side of the wall is my driveway and side porch, not even sure how you'd expose the wall from the outside. Could water be getting through cracks in my driveway and into the ground below?
  4. steve knight macrumors 68020

    steve knight

    Jan 28, 2009
  5. LizKat macrumors 68040


    Aug 5, 2004
    Catskill Mountains
    It’s hard for anyone here to know exactly what to say, since we don’t know how unusual your total rainfall is for this point in the season, nor do we know the slope of your land, kind of soil, whether you already have some drainage ditches, piping, leach fields. And we don’t know anything about your gutter and downspouts.

    Above all we don’t know if the ground is saturated right now, or there’s just somehow a path along which water is coursing underground as a path of least resistance. If you don’t see water actually ponding in various places in your lawns after these rains, then the latter may be more likely.

    If so, you will need to divert its path underground; otherwise, it will continue to take its current path and wear down whatever stands in its way, eventually undermining your foundations. Having that happen is just as bad as it sounds.

    So you would need to show the water a way that you prefer it to go before it reaches your foundation walls. It’s good to get a professional opinion on what that way is before just deciding to put ditching between you and the upslope, for instance. It may not be cheap to get a licensed engineer’s recommendation, but it’s a lot cheaper than making a wrong choice or no choice and then replacing your house or its furnishings.
  6. Consultant macrumors G5


    Jun 27, 2007
    Quick things to try:
    1. Check for issues such as clogged drain, clogged drain basin, or sump pump issue.
    2. Get downspout extensions (and screws to attach). Move the end away from the house where the water won't flow back toward the house.
    Downspout Extension.jpg

    Long term solution:
    - Read up on drainage / french drain
    - Replace sump pump if needed
    - Slope the yard
    - Some kind of drainage system if persistent issue (or if neighbor did something so their water flows into your yard) Slope.jpg

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