"Trench warfare" vs. water in basement?
April 8, 2014 2:09 PM Subscribe
Before we bought our house, our home inspector suggested a solution to a minor water issue in the basement. I'm considering his solution and others, and welcome knowledgeable opinions.
The house is on a hillside, and a boulder (~3 feet across) interrupts the foundation at one point and intrudes into the basement. A smaller boulder does the same in one other spot. When it rains heavily, water occasionally trickles into the basement from those two spots. The boulders have been plastered over previous to our ownership, evidently to prevent the trickling (which was unsuccessful). The water is not much, and could probably be controlled by putting down some old towels. We've been basically ignoring the problem, but I'm trying to get everything ship shape around the house and I want to find an appropriate solution.
The home inspector's suggested solution was to rent a jackhammer and dig a shallow trench (~1" deep) in the floor around each of the boulders, then run a connecting trench from there to the access pit for the sewer lines, where the water could drain out of the house. On the plus side, this solution would be simple and effective. On the minus side, it would be irreversible, ugly-ish, mildly hazardous (tripping, etc), and possibly overkill. None of the minuses are dealbreakers on their own, but together they've made me pause to consider.
The other solutions I've found on the internet include painting the foundation on the inside with special sealant (which looks ineffective), and excavating and coating the foundation from the outside (prohibitively expensive right now, and maybe impossible due to the aforementioned boulders).
What should I do? The ideal solution is cheap, easy, elegant, and will make me look like a genius when I tell my wife about it. Thanks in advance for your help.