After 15 years of a dry basement (concrete blocks with a cement veneer), a corner is now wet with small puddles and won't dry out. It has been very dry here in the Northeast, so even if it is a grading problem, the ground hasn't been wet,and the basement doesn't get any wetter when it has rained. I had this problem when we've had near-drought conditions.
There is a downspout in this corner, but the gutters were new last year and have not been a problem before (the spring of 2006 was very wet here). I have gutter guards on the top. Also, there is an extension on the downspout to draw the water away from the house.
There is some peeling, bubbling paint on the lower walls (there's a word that begins with 'e' that describes this), but no other evidence of moisture coming in through the walls. I mortared around the intersection of the floor and wall in that area, and that didn't help. I have run the dehumidifier for hours and have gotten condensation in the machine, but the floor doesn't dry out.
I've checked the pipes above the area in question. No evidence of condensation or dripping. It hasn't been cold enough for any significant condensation.
It looks as though there are hairline cracks in the floor. I've mortared them up, but if they say 'water will always find it's way', I may have to do the whole floor!!! There has been mention of changes in the water tables causing this problem. If that's the case, how can this be addressed?
I'd like to see if I can find the cause of the problem even if the pro's need to come in. Does anyone have any ideas? thanks.