Weepy walls = sad homeowners.
December 5, 2012 7:05 AM Subscribe
Basement drainage issues...suggestions?
posted by TomMelee to home & garden (9 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I've got a 100 year old brick home with a full (mostly unfinished) basement. It was designed to take water on its rear wall, and it does so quite well. However, seeing as how we're 100 years later, "drain it to the street" isn't a great option any more for a bunch of reasons.
Anyway, the water used to weep in that wall, flow all the way across the floor to a floor drain where it meets the public storm drain system about 30 feet away (and 10 feet down). That pipe is crushed AND the city tied it into their new system in a dumb way (beneath the new line, like it comes in beneath it), and so that drain doesn't work. Also, it takes my washing machine effluent water, and we really shouldn't be dumping that to storm sewer, even if I DO use environmentally friendly detergent.
Over a year ago I installed a large sump @ the rear wall, and it works perfectly. No more water on the main part of the floor. It drains to the main stand line. It's way oversized, something like 4000gph, it runs about 20 seconds at a time about once an hour 24x7, much more often when it's actively raining. It's definitely draining under the pad, which is great, as I haven't had any more water up through the floor in the last year. (In case you're wondering, once I get the floor dry back there, the washer will move to drain into the sump.)
The problem is that nearly the entire back wall weeps, from as high up as 2-3 feet off the floor when there's a lot of water to just seeping in at the plate at the bottom. This is a monolithic foundation, the basement floor is NOT part of the footer, the foundation walls are solid sandstone with limestone-based grout. This weep gives me an area about 6-8 inches wide that stays wet pretty much all the time, making it GROSS. It also leads to mildew in the basement. A 70 Quart dehumidifer running 24x7 can't make it less than 55% humid down there, even when it hasn't rained for days. Add to that that my fiancee is extremely allergic to mildew, so she basically can't go in the basement.
I'm addressing my downspouts and the direction of that flow, but even when that is addressed, we will still have seepage on the back wall.
I have all the tools to do anything myself, but I do NOT have the funds to do something like excavate the exterior foundation and reseal, that will NOT happen so PLEASE don't suggest it.
I'm thinking I should drill weep-holes and install some sort of drainage tile, although I'd prefer to avoid tearing up and repouring the floor, even though I DO have the demo hammer to do it if necessary. (I have weep above the floor, I feel like drainage tile w/o holes won't obviate that problem.) I found a sort-of baseboard material where you drill holes and then place the baseboard over the holes, giving the water a way to flow w/o coming out onto the main floor area, but I can't seem to find such a system that isn't intensely expensive.
I use the basement as a workshop and my dogs spend the days down there. It will never be 100% finished space in my lifetime (6' ceiling, ductwork, stone walls, etc.), but it would be nice to store stuff down there without having to un-mildew it before use.
Need a way to deal with weeping water from one basement wall. Sump pump in place. Cheap is ideal.