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Regrading Yard


macnoke03

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I have a little bit of water seeping into my unfinished basement from the ground level when it rains really hard. I think the issue is with the grading of the yard on that side of the house. Does anybody have any experience with this kind of project? Do's and dont's, advice, etc.

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You sure it is grading and not a hairline crack in the basement? Poured concrete or cinderblock? Do you know where the water is coming in, can you see it running in?

I'm pretty confident it's not from a crack in the basement. It actually happens in a couple different spots. It comes through at the top of the concrete basement wall at the ground level outside. It doesn't pour in or anything, but it's enough for it to run down the concrete wall in the basement and create a little stream of water on the floor.

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I'm pretty confident it's not from a crack in the basement. It actually happens in a couple different spots. It comes through at the top of the concrete basement wall at the ground level outside. It doesn't pour in or anything, but it's enough for it to run down the concrete wall in the basement and create a little stream of water on the floor.

So the dirt on the outside of your how goes to the top of your concrete? That sounds odd. Your soil level should be 12 inches minimum below the top of your concrete.

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So the dirt on the outside of your how goes to the top of your concrete? That sounds odd. Your soil level should be 12 inches minimum below the top of your concrete.

I live on a street that has a pretty decent slope to it. The side of the house with the problem is the side on the high end of the slope. From inside the basement I couldn't really tell you where the ground level is exactly in relation to the top of the concrete wall. At the top of the concrete wall there is like a wood baseboard running across the top of the concrete and then above that is the underside of the wood planks that make up the floor on the next level. The water is coming in in the area between the piece of wood running on top of the concrete and the planks of the floor.

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No, all I see is brick from top to bottom.

I'm no expert, but that doesn't sound so good to me. My understanding is that there should be concrete visible all the way around, for the purpose of serving as a barrier to water, critters, etc. Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but brickwork isn't as impermeable as concrete is to water. Little cracks can let water through.

How old is your house? Are you aware of any grading work that might have been done long after it was originally built?

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I'm no expert, but that doesn't sound so good to me. My understanding is that there should be concrete visible all the way around, for the purpose of serving as a barrier to water, critters, etc. Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but brickwork isn't as impermeable as concrete is to water. Little cracks can let water through.

How old is your house? Are you aware of any grading work that might have been done long after it was originally built?

It was built in the mid 60's. I am not aware of any work done in the past.

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if your yard is properly graded, cracks in the foundation shouldn't matter. You will never stop the flow of water. if you have water hitting your foundation, it will always leak. Doesn't matter what product you buy.

I would find a guy who does bobcat and tractor work and hire him for the day. There is quite a learning curve with operating machinery and establishing grades.

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if your yard is properly graded, cracks in the foundation shouldn't matter. You will never stop the flow of water. if you have water hitting your foundation, it will always leak. Doesn't matter what product you buy.
This is 100% correct. However it might not be the area immediately next to the foundation that is the problem. Look uphill to see where water is coming from and see if you can divert it. Also most basement problems occur from improperly daylighted downspouts. Burying the downspouts and running the water via pvc to a remote location may work in your situation.
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This is 100% correct. However it might not be the area immediately next to the foundation that is the problem. Look uphill to see where water is coming from and see if you can divert it. Also most basement problems occur from improperly daylighted downspouts. Burying the downspouts and running the water via pvc to a remote location may work in your situation.

My downspouts connect directly into some black plastic tubing that run underground.

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My downspouts connect directly into some black plastic tubing that run underground.
That's good. Make sure your gutters are clear and flowing properly.

Sounds like a grading issue, and it sounds like the water is coming from some distance. You need to grade so there is a low point 10 or so feet (or further is possible) from your house as opposed to just piling more dirt up against it. Many times the water that gets into the basement is traveling underground.

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I live on a street that has a pretty decent slope to it. The side of the house with the problem is the side on the high end of the slope. From inside the basement I couldn't really tell you where the ground level is exactly in relation to the top of the concrete wall. At the top of the concrete wall there is like a wood baseboard running across the top of the concrete and then above that is the underside of the wood planks that make up the floor on the next level. The water is coming in in the area between the piece of wood running on top of the concrete and the planks of the floor.

If it's coming in between the foundation and the sill plate then you likely have a crack in a mortar joint in the brickwork. If so, then regrading isn't going to make much of a difference.

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Yep. Which means the plate could be rotting depending on what's there and how long the water has been getting in. If the plate has indeed been buried by dirt and such for all this time,that doesn't help either.

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