Water, water everywhere

Another warm Sunday spent periodically squeegeeing the basement. I think I’ve finally isolated the problem, though. After researching the common indicators of basement problems, I’ve tested the walls and window wells to verify that they are indeed dry, and the problem appears to be on the north wall, where the wall meets the floor. There, hydrostatic pressure is pushing water from the saturated ground through tiny cracks I can’t see – cracks that, from my research, I’ve found are relatively common in the joint between wall and floor – explaining why there’s no dampness on the walls.

Thoughts of expensive sub-pumps and foundation excavations terrify me. But before I venture down that route, I’m going to try a couple less invasive, cheaper methods.

Since it was warmer today (over 50 degrees!), the melting snow coupled with the rain shower further saturated the ground, forcing more water into the basement. I’ve noticed the past couple weeks that warmer days, I have water as the snow melts, but bitterly cold days, the ground is frozen nice and solid. I ventured out into the yard to the north side of the house, where the problem is. There’s a downspout coming from the roof and gutter, shoved into the ground. It’s only about eighteen inches from the house, and the ground surrounding the spout was rock-hard, solid ice, with puddles all around. My theory is that this spout is too close to the foundation. So once the ground thaws a bit more (and I deal with more mild flooding), I’m going to excavate the downspout and move it another 4-5 feet from the house. Hopefully, this, coupled with a bit of fresh sealant, will solve the problem. If it only floods a couple times a year – during ultra-heavy freak rains (like the 5 inches in 24 hours last August) and once during the spring thaw, I can deal. It’s the nightly post-work cleanup that’s grating on me. Fortunately, if I stay on top of it, it doesn’t venture much beyond the wall.

On the bright side, the constant water near the furnace seems to have helped humidify the house just a bit. Lemonade – made with dirty gray water.


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