Can anyone recommend a leaky basement pro?

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Can anyone recommend a basement pro that'll come and look at my stupid basement? It leaks like a colander and I noticed this morning while I was pumping it out that some of the plaster is starting to fall off the walls. I don't even have a theory about where the water's finding it's way in, so I need someone to do some diagnosis.
Thanks

Ftownzzz's picture

worth asking- do you have an alleyway that runs along your house and/or are you an end house with an exposed side?

kingtaco's picture

Ftownzzz wrote:
worth asking- do you have an alleyway that runs along your house and/or are you an end house with an exposed side?

Have you been stalking me? Because yes, I have exactly both of those things. And yes, that's the side of the house that the water comes in through.

Neilpuck's picture

I have a friend whose basement leaks constantly, so much so, that I would consider her a pro at leaky basements. As far as who can fix it, I'll leave that to others. (that's the F.us spirit!)

Ftownzzz's picture

hahha. we had this problem first year in our house a while back. We have an alleyway that runs along the side and it was old bricks mixed with dirt. A real good entrance for seepage. We took a chance and had the alleyway paved with cement and brought up about an inch and half two inches up the base of the house along the alleyway. Happy to report we haven't seen a speck of water since (and we used to get a large large puddle on the floor and dampness of the wall). It was a good priced fix for what we feared would be a financial nightmare.

kingtaco's picture

My alleyway's already paved. I've taken a look and don't see any cracks in it. I may try to spray some sealant or something all over it to see if that helps. I'm possibly the least handy person alive, so this is my fix.

I don't even know what the alley's there for. The previous owner said it's to allow the city to service the street light that hangs over my neighbor's back yard. The street light that hasn't been on once in the time I've lived in the house. And why the city hung a street light over my neighbor's house is a mystery to me. I called the streets department to see if they'd repave it and they said they own the alley, but they don't fix or maintain it. So, there's that.

Ftownzzz's picture

yeah we have the same situation. sounds silly but- i would also check the sidewalk that's against the house and see if it has cement between the sidewalk squares of if it's dirt. it doesn't take much to get in there and if the sidewalk is old/cracked/not connected it could contribute to the problem.

bozoloper's picture

have you looked to see which way the water is flowing in the alley? if it's graded to flow out to the street but there are obstructions the water may be backing up and flowing towards your house.

there's a fool on every corner when you're trying to get home.

kingtaco's picture

bozoloper wrote:
have you looked to see which way the water is flowing in the alley?

I did. When I moved in there was a pile of rubble at the back end of the alley that was damming the water in. I pulled out all the trash and thought I'd fixed the problem, but it didn't even help. The water does kind of flow out, but it seems like it's only slightly graded. A lot of it still just sits.
This is most likely where it's coming from and I probably just need to get the alley sealed up and then my basement replastered.

bozoloper's picture

kingtaco wrote:
bozoloper wrote:
have you looked to see which way the water is flowing in the alley?

I did. When I moved in there was a pile of rubble at the back end of the alley that was damming the water in. I pulled out all the trash and thought I'd fixed the problem, but it didn't even help. The water does kind of flow out, but it seems like it's only slightly graded. A lot of it still just sits.
This is most likely where it's coming from and I probably just need to get the alley sealed up and then my basement replastered.

also, check to make sure your down spouts are draining correctly. technically it should go into your storm water drain through your basement, but sometimes people get creative. the people who owned my house before me just had the down spout draining into our back patio right at the foot of the back wall. the water was running form there right into the basement.

if your gutters or drainbox are clogged the water might be overflowing and flowing down your wall into your basement.

there's a fool on every corner when you're trying to get home.

kingtaco's picture

bozoloper wrote:
also, check to make sure your down spouts are draining correctly.

Hmm. That's a possibility too. The downspout comes down the side of the house and then goes into the wall right above there the water comes in heaviest. It could be having problems after it goes into the wall.

bozoloper's picture

kingtaco wrote:
bozoloper wrote:
also, check to make sure your down spouts are draining correctly.

Hmm. That's a possibility too. The downspout comes down the side of the house and then goes into the wall right above there the water comes in heaviest. It could be having problems after it goes into the wall.

yeah, i'd give that thorough check. find where the drain pipe enters your basement and see if it is leaking from that, or if water is coming in around the pipe.

there's a fool on every corner when you're trying to get home.

Kat's picture

Our groundwater pipe leaked on that side (we have an alleyway and one exposed side of the house too) Happened a few times. The pipes are old and crumbly. It was also coming through the windows of the man cave but Nunzio fixed that too.

Stock's picture

Just remember that you can not water proof anything from inside, you can only manage water that is coming in. Check foundation points on the exterior (pointing, sidewalk cracks, busted alley ways etc...) Next down spouts and gutters. These two items account for 99% of the water that works it's way into your basement.

DO NOT let companies sell you basement waterproofing systems, they don't work and cost about 10k.

"Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."

- Benjamin Franklin

kingtaco's picture

Stock wrote:
DO NOT let companies sell you basement waterproofing systems, they don't work and cost about 10k.

Yikes, OK. I just left a message with a company that does exactly that. I'll avoid their call back until I can get the pipe checked.

kingtaco's picture

Stock wrote:
DO NOT let companies sell you basement waterproofing systems, they don't work and cost about 10k.

Yikes, OK. I just left a message with a company that does exactly that. I'll avoid their call back until I can get the pipe checked.

kingtaco's picture

Kat wrote:
It was also coming through the windows of the man cave but Nunzio fixed that too.

Is Nunzio someone I can hire? I'm new to the hood, don't know anyone, and my handiness level is slightly above "Is Able to Hang a Picture Without Hurting Himself".

camera215's picture

kingtaco wrote:
Stock wrote:
DO NOT let companies sell you basement waterproofing systems, they don't work and cost about 10k.

Yikes, OK. I just left a message with a company that does exactly that. I'll avoid their call back until I can get the pipe checked.

If they're like so many Philly contractors, you won't have to worry about a call back. ;)

Kat's picture

LOL - Nunzio is my husband :) I don't hire him out...yet. The only reason he fixed ours is because his bar/man cave was getting wet. We have about 700 home projects that are about 3/4 finished. They should be done around the year 2077. He's not going anywhere until he at least finishes the bedroom which was started (seriously) in 2005. Stock (here on Ftown.us) probably knows a bunch of people you can call.

And welcome to the hood. :)

kingtaco's picture

Kat wrote:
I don't hire him out...yet.

Ahh. That's too bad. Anyone have any leads on someone that could look at my downspout or my alleyway's concrete?