Basement floods after heavy rain

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Old 01-25-19, 05:10 AM
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Basement floods after heavy rain

Hi all - thanks in advance for reading my post.

I'm a new homeowner who has been having water issues in my basement. I am currently residing in CT

Background info:
- house was built in 1968
- approximately 70% of basement is finished
- there are no sump pump installed. I don't believe there's an interior drainage system installed.
- exterior perimeter of my house is reasonably flat
- depending on the severity of the rain, parts of the basement has approximately 2 inches of water.

I've consulted 2 basement waterproofing companies (CT Basement and Budget Dry). They both suggested installing an interior drainage system with a sump pump. Their estimate range from 15k-20k. I cannot afford 15-20k at the moment.

questions:
- Is installing an interior drainage system the right solution?
- are there any more affordable companies around that can provide good service?
- are there any more cost effective option I could attempt on my own. I am reasonably handy.

Thank you all for your inputs. I truly appreciate it.

 
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Old 01-25-19, 06:33 AM
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You may have cracks in the basement walls letting water in. The only real fix for a finished basement is excavating, sealing the walls on the outside, installing drain tile and a sump system, then back-filling properly for good drainage down to the tile.
You could look at grading your soil to get some slope. Assuming you have gutters, making sure they drain. Extending your downspouts to carry water away. Eventually the soil will get saturated and water will seek the path of least resistance. i.e. cracks in the walls.
 
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Old 01-25-19, 07:22 AM
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depending on the severity of the rain, parts of the basement has approximately 2 inches of water
When the water enters, where is it coming in at, foundation, walls, corners?

I doubt there is any cheap ways to resolve that amount of water!
 
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Old 01-25-19, 07:39 AM
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Was there no evidence of water in the basement when it was inspected at purchase time?
 
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Old 01-25-19, 09:11 AM
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When the water enters, where is it coming in at, foundation, walls, corners?

I doubt there is any cheap ways to resolve that amount of water!

Water appears to be coming from the foundation. There's almost no sign of water on the walls. I guess it could be coming from the corners also. The water doesn't appear to be concentrated in any one particular area.
 
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Old 01-25-19, 09:20 AM
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Was there no evidence of water in the basement when it was inspected at purchase time?
I guess there was. Our inspector casually mentioned our flooring in the basement (laminate) shows sign of moisture. His exact words "There are areas where the flooring is swollen and showing signs of buckling. Based upon the material type, moisture may be the source beneath." We didn't think much of his mentioning there might be some.

We considered suing the seller, but we didn't think it would be worth the risk.

Our property was a flip... the seller didn't even live there. I'm thinking he could easily claim he didn't know about any water issues. He also intentionally left the section on the property disclosure that ask about water in the basement blank.
 
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Old 01-25-19, 09:24 AM
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You may have cracks in the basement walls letting water in. The only real fix for a finished basement is excavating, sealing the walls on the outside, installing drain tile and a sump system, then back-filling properly for good drainage down to the tile.
You could look at grading your soil to get some slope. Assuming you have gutters, making sure they drain. Extending your downspouts to carry water away. Eventually the soil will get saturated and water will seek the path of least resistance. i.e. cracks in the walls.
Isn't this option more costly than an interior drainage system. Unless interior systems are simply ineffective, i'm not sure i'd want to pursue an even more expensive option.
 
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Old 01-25-19, 09:36 AM
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I wouldn't discount an interior system - that's what I had to do. But they fix different symptoms. Mine was water pressure pushing up thru cracks in the slab. I don't have drain tile on the exterior of my 1920 house. If yours is the foundation i.e. the cold joint between the walls and slab, water will still get in. You would need a "moat" or dam to catch it. You did say it was mostly a finished basement. Consider the cost to take it down and put it back up.

Don't decide based on what I say. Just think thru the problem and the options
 
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Old 01-25-19, 09:56 AM
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There are surface mounted interior systems that can capture water that comes in through walls and perimeter floor joints. The water is then channeled to a sump and pumped away. If the water is coming through the floor such systems will not work.

I have a fieldstone foundation and am on the side of a hill. When people ask if I have water in the basement I answer "The river runs through it!" But I have been able to control it by installing a "moat" on top of the floor around the perimeter. The water is channeled to a sump pit and pumped out. The basement is not finished but it is dry enough for laundry, storage, extensive power tool workshop, and wine cellar. Since the water is still in the basement (although not flooding it) I have to deal with moisture by ventilating.

My moat is constructed from 1.5 inch steel angle iron bolted to the floor about 4 inches from the wall with garage door weather-stripping and roof sealant. The water runs by gravity from the back of the house to the sump pit in the front and there pumped up and out through the foundation wall to a french drain outside.
 
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Old 01-25-19, 10:18 AM
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There are surface mounted interior systems that can capture water that comes in through walls and perimeter floor joints. The water is then channeled to a sump and pumped away. If the water is coming through the floor such systems will not work.
What the hell do I know. I simply see water all over the basement floor. Also looks like more water is in the center of the floor as opposed to the corners. The guys at CT Basement and Budget Dry seem to think the footer tile/exterior drainage (no sure i'm using the correct term) that was installed when the house is built is clogged and therefore no longer effective. What you described in the bolded part is in line with the system they plan to install, i.s drainage pipe at the footer, sump pump to send water outside. Also tried to post a few pictures without much success.
 
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Old 01-25-19, 10:44 AM
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They must see a sump basket and pump somewhere in the basement to think an exterior system might be clogged. Why can't they try to unclog it?
If you tear down the finished basement walls yourself, you could fix this for a fraction of the cost. You may still experience frost heave on the walls if the exterior wall water has no where to go.
 
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Old 01-25-19, 12:26 PM
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You definitely need a perimeter French drain system with perforated pipe, either just outside the foundation or just inside the foundation below floor level. This dumps into a pit with sump pump. The perimeter drain on the outside works better but one on the inside can work acceptably.

The ground surface must slope away from the house. There must not be a depression all around the foundation filled with gravel or mulch.

Cracks in the foundation can let outside water in before it can make its way down to the perimeter drain pipes. It is preferable although not always practical to fill the cracks from the outside.

Letting water drip down the inside of the foundation walls and catching it in a surface moat or trench along the inside perimeter of the basement floor has the decided disadvantage of making the interior humid and encouraging mold wherever the water dripped or flowed.
 
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Old 01-27-19, 10:30 AM
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Doesn’t it make sense to first find out why there is water coming in? What is your topography? You mention reasonably flat. What does that mean? Are you in a neighborhood. Are ther houses above you? Is your property sloped away from the house? Do you have gutters? Where does rainwater go? What is the water table in your area? Do your neighbors have wet or dry basements? How did they fix it? How long ago was the basement finished? Did it used to be dry, then something changed? Why would someone have finished it? Were they oblivious or did something change and cause water to start to come in?

I would want to know why and where before I started to find a cheaper way to fix it. Maybe your neighbor sloped his land and now it drains onto you. This would be necessary to know. Why are you getting water inq your basement?
 
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Old 01-28-19, 04:19 AM
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Doesn’t it make sense to first find out why there is water coming in? What is your topography? You mention reasonably flat. What does that mean? Are you in a neighborhood. Are ther houses above you? Is your property sloped away from the house? Do you have gutters? Where does rainwater go? What is the water table in your area? Do your neighbors have wet or dry basements? How did they fix it? How long ago was the basement finished? Did it used to be dry, then something changed? Why would someone have finished it? Were they oblivious or did something change and cause water to start to come in?

I would want to know why and where before I started to find a cheaper way to fix it. Maybe your neighbor sloped his land and now it drains onto you. This would be necessary to know. Why are you getting water inq your basement?
The companies I engaged seem to think water is entering due to faulty drain tiles that have been corroded over time. Also worth pointing out that I did observe water entering through the basement door that leads to walk out. There is a trench drain on the outside of the steps that lead to the basement. However, I've noted that particular trench drain overflowing whenever it rains heavy. The overflowing water then run down the steps and eventually enter the basement. I could be wrong, but based on the amount of water and the areas that have the most water, I do not believe the basement entrance is the only source of water entering.
Topography - I live in a very hilly area. The area around my house is flat all the way out to about 20ft. There's one small area (less than 5% of total circumference of house) in which there is a noticeable drop in elevation. Also, much of the areas surrounding my house have shrubs and mulch.

There are no houses above me. I do live on a hill. I'm the 4th house on a hill. All the houses are perpendicular facing the hill.

I do have gutters all around the house.

Lots of question which I appreciate. I will get to the others shortly.
 
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Old 01-31-19, 06:18 AM
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Deal with ground water first

Not totally understanding your plot plan or landscaping but I would first work on getting rid of any ground water from above you. By that I mean make sure anything above you drains away from your house. Modify the slope of your landscape so water from above you does not contribute to your problem. Then work on doing the same with water coming off the roof and that falling on the land nearest the house. Then deal with that basement walk out door the same way. Everything needs to slope away from the house. All of this can be done by you or someone with good directions at a lower cost than tearing into your floor. Also, it is the first step in any good groundwater abatement plan. It doesn’t guarantee you won’t need to eventually add new perimeter drains but you might find it is sufficient.
 
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Old 02-07-19, 04:11 AM
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Not totally understanding your plot plan or landscaping but I would first work on getting rid of any ground water from above you. By that I mean make sure anything above you drains away from your house. Modify the slope of your landscape so water from above you does not contribute to your problem. Then work on doing the same with water coming off the roof and that falling on the land nearest the house. Then deal with that basement walk out door the same way. Everything needs to slope away from the house. All of this can be done by you or someone with good directions at a lower cost than tearing into your floor. Also, it is the first step in any good groundwater abatement plan. It doesn’t guarantee you won’t need to eventually add new perimeter drains but you might find it is sufficient
Thank you. This makes sense. I will have to look further into best practices for diverting water away from house. As previously mentioned, currently there are shrubs planted on the front and backside of house. As you'd expect, compost and topsoil were used in the planting process of the shrubs. Unfortunately, it seems I may have to do away with shrubs that are planted against my house.
 
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