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Natural Floor Drains and a wet basement with no rain

We have natural floor drains in our basement NO SUMP PUMP so every time it rains hard we get seepage which we can deal with I guess. The problem we are having now is we haven't had any rain and in one spot in the basement we are getting water. It is happening where the wall and the floor meet. I have had a fan running on it for a whole week and nothing is stopping it from getting so wet. What could be the cause of this happening

Re: Natural Floor Drains and a wet basement with no rain

The water leakage could be caused by any one of a number of sources.

If you're getting rain in the cellar after each rain storm, and now when it's not raining it's probably time to install a sump pump.

For the long-term remedy attempts, the basic strategy is to make sure no rainwater is collecting around the exterior base of the house, seeping down & eventually entering the cellar through a crack in the foundation.

Is this an older building or one recently built; is it on high ground or a low-lying area; the fact that "natural drains" have been installed in the cellar (by a previous owner?) indicates that there has been a flooding problem in the cellar for some time; the fact that water in coming in during dry weather may indicate that the foundation was originally built improperly---is the foundation poured concrete, mortared cinder block, brick, stone ???

Exterior horizontal foot drains are usually placed at the base of the foundation in new construction to collect & divert any drainage away from the exterior side of the foundation, but these may not have been installed, or have filled up with mud & have become inoperable over the years.

Is there an unbroken concrete or asphalt "apron" (often a walkway) surrounding the entire outside of the house to encourage rain runoff away from the foundation--or is it mostly soil, garden beds, or grass right up to the exterior house foundation?

It's even possible that a high-pressure buried water supply line running along that part of the foundation has developed a leak---who knows? City water supply workers have an electronic probe that can detect such leaks.

If the house is located in a low-lying area (say, at the bottom of a hill) the underground runoff water from a rainstorm will tend to flow toward it (downhill) even long after a rainstorm (perhaps even an underground downward flowing stream) until subsurface water builds up & eventually enters the cellar.

What about the condition of the house's horizontal (usually plastic/aluminum) roof gutter system & vertical downspouts---are they in place & in good working order, not clogged with leaves along the horizontal runs or at the mesh drain downspouts, along with 5' diverters at the outside base of the house, so that rain water is diverted at least 5' away from the building during a rainstorm & not allowed to collect & seep into the soil near the foundation???---this is an area that the homeowner can easily attend to & it often works wonders.

You may have to call in a contractor to get an expert opinion as to exactly what is the source of the water; many causes of water coming into the cellar are difficult to diagnose & expensive to fix; but even a do-it-yourselfer can check out & even make repairs to the gutters, downspouts & ground-level water diverters by installing new gutters & downspouts if any are missing or cracked---try getting out the garden hose & spraying water along the entire roof & watch the drainage action to make sure the roof gutters & downspouts are working & to see how the water is either discharged away from the foundation (called runoff), or tends to seep down right next to it.

If the problem persists, and improving the exterior roof gutter runoff system doesn't help, it may be time to have a sump pump installed as a relatively low-cost alternative.

Re: Natural Floor Drains and a wet basement with no rain

The house is an older 2 story. We live on an alley in town so when it rains the water runs out of the down spout and into the alley and runs on to the street

Here are a few pictures of the leaking

This was yesterday afternoon after I cleaned up the laying water


This was from this afternoon when I went back down to check on it



Re: Natural Floor Drains and a wet basement with no rain

Picture looks like it may have been an old drian the was plugged.


Re: Natural Floor Drains and a wet basement with no rain

I remember when we bought the house the realtor saying that big circle was from something a LONG TIME ago but couldn't remember and it was like a water something ??? so it must be a drain of some sort. If its the drain that's clogged who would you recommend we call or have come out and look at it?

Thanks :)

Re: Natural Floor Drains and a wet basement with no rain

I agree with J L McDaniel; thank you for uploading the photos; the photos seem to portray what I would call very minor water intrusion & would be of only minor concern unless you are getting considerably more water elsewhere in the basement than visible in the photos, and wouldn't seem to warrant the expense of a sump pump.

You say the rainwater is discharged from a downspout then goes down an alley---if this is directly above the location of your cellar leak, look very closely & see if you can detect any minor cracks in the alley pavement adjacent to the source of the leak; if so, these can be easily (and cheaply) sealed with a caulking gun & cartridge of black roofing compound available at the home improvement stores---another tactic is to place an extended piece of aluminum/plastic downspout extension (10' to 15' feet or so) on the existing one to divert the runoff further down away from the house.

From the photos the foundations appears to be poured concrete, which is also a good sign; any water intrusion should be addressed; if you're still concerned, try consulting the Yellow Pages under "Plumbing", or "Plumbing-Leaky Basement", or "Foundation Repair", "Concrete Contractors-Minor Repair", also "Roofing Contractors"etc.

You should call in a contractor with the primary idea of finding out what they say IS THE CAUSE OF THE LEAKAGE; the contractor will give you a "repair quote" for the price of the repair, & you can then decide if you want to hire this contractor, or get a 2nd or 3rd opinion, or not hire anyone & attempt to solve the problem yourself.

The contractor should walk around the exterior of the house to see if there is water running off from roof drains, broken pavement walkways, etc. in that part of the cellar---as mentioned previously, many of these minor leak issues can be completely corrected with MINIMUM expense by diverting the tremendous amount of roof & walkway water runoff before it gets a chance to enter the foundation/cellar.

Re: Natural Floor Drains and a wet basement with no rain

I think the first thing I would do is chip out the concrete patch and refill with hydrolic cement which will expand and make a better seal.


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