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Too_Many_Tools
10-31-2009, 02:59 AM
I recently talked to an old friend who has had a home shop in his basement for years.

He mentioned that in the last few years, he has had water entering his once dry basement causing all kinds of problems...one of them obviously being rust. Apparently the weather/climate has changed to where in his once dry basement he now has to vaccum water seepage up a couple times of year.

I would like to hear from those of you who have to battle water/moisture in your basement shops...what do you do to keep the monster at bay?

Is it normal for a basement to be dry for years and then leak water?

He is now wondering whether or not he can continue to have his shop in the basement or if a new location will need to be found...what do you think?

Thanks for whatever info you can provide.

TMT

darryl
10-31-2009, 03:37 AM
Some investigation might be in order. Where is the water coming from- has the water table risen in the last few years- has a drain clogged, has a sidewalk settled towards the house and rain is channeling to the foundation- is there a leak in a pipe in a hidden space- has a crack developed in the floor or a gap been created between the floor and the foundation walls- sump pit clogged

I mentioned a clogged drain- this could easily be a drain from a gutter which should be channeling water away from the house before it enters the ground. Maybe such a drain is clogged and water is running down the side of the foundation and making its way in. This happened to me, in part because the pipe which was supposed to lead water away had been chopped to smithereens by a lawnmower.

Too_Many_Tools
10-31-2009, 03:53 AM
Some investigation might be in order. Where is the water coming from- has the water table risen in the last few years- has a drain clogged, has a sidewalk settled towards the house and rain is channeling to the foundation- is there a leak in a pipe in a hidden space- has a crack developed in the floor or a gap been created between the floor and the foundation walls- sump pit clogged

I mentioned a clogged drain- this could easily be a drain from a gutter which should be channeling water away from the house before it enters the ground. Maybe such a drain is clogged and water is running down the side of the foundation and making its way in. This happened to me, in part because the pipe which was supposed to lead water away had been chopped to smithereens by a lawnmower.

From what I have been told, it is because of a general rise of the local water table.

When I asked, he said that most of the neighbors around his location are also having water ingress problems...apparently some homes whose sump pumps never ran for years are now running 24/7.

darryl
10-31-2009, 04:26 AM
Hmm. I would ask the city to investigate that, probably the waterworks department. They might actually want to know about things like this since it could easily affect sewer and drainage systems. There might be something they would do about it.

Is this hillside, or flat land, lake bottom long ago dried up, etc-

Is it possible that local development has resulted in drainage water being 'fielded' sort of upstream from your friends area?

Black_Moons
10-31-2009, 05:52 AM
I have a similar problem, no floods for years then all of a sudden its a once a year thing for a few days then twice a year. bought the shopvac with the built in water pump (after making my own that eventualy blew up after 120+ hours of runtime.. continious runtime). I need to get off my lazy ass and buy a sump pump and make a hole or two. Only happens when theres massive rains for a few days... I live at the bottom of a small hill, and water comes down as like a small stream down my driveway, so I make little ruts in the driveway to direct the water into the ditch and to my neighbors place (Whose had the soil around his house dug up and replaced with more and more gravel and drainage pipe about 3 times in 6 years, But thats not my problem, Hes downhill of me so its impossable for him to direct the water back. :P)

But yea, as for how to deal with it... dehumidifyer after shopvacing up as much as you can seems to help dry it out quick... and generaly keeping the temp constant so even if there is a puddle (Everything IS on leveling feet and off the ground right? And all your tools and material on shelfs? :P) it won't condense on your machines.

SteveF
10-31-2009, 07:28 AM
He should investigate his gutters and drains. Gutters are easy to check, and he needs to install some if he doesn't have any. Footers drains will clog over time. I had a house where the basement was dry and then started to have problems. One footer drain went under the gravel driveway and the pipe had collapsed. The other drain was discovered by a tree and clogged by root growth. Both were dug up and fixed and the problem resolved.

Steve.

bborr01
10-31-2009, 09:22 AM
The slope/grade of the soil around the house makes a big difference too. I also had a problem with water entering my basement. I noticed that the soil sloped away from the basement walls at 6 or 8 feet from the wall, but sloped toward the walls from 6 or 8 feet away. The soil had settled from when the basement walls were backfilled. Even with gutters, I still got water in the basement.

Then when I built a shop, I had the excavator bring some of the topsoil and fill abound the house to slope away from the basement walls. Now the only time I ever get any water in is when the soil gets saturated from torrential rains like we have been having the last couple of days. (over 3 inches yesterday alone)

Brian

Forrest Addy
10-31-2009, 09:34 AM
Odd coincisence. An old fellow up the street complained to anyone who would listen that his garage was always muddy. It's and old structure dating from the thirties sitting on concrete piers with a dirt floor. It was never muddy before because it was raised a bit above the general terrain. Make a long story short a couple winters ago a car sliding on ice bumped a fire hydrant which cracked a fitting underground. The water found its way into an underground seepage end eventually to the slope on which old Alvin's garage sat. The city, apparantly tracking distict by district wondered where the extra 300 gallons per day was going found the leak, dug it up and fized it ;last summer. So now it's the wet season and Alvin has a dry garage.

That hydrant was 400 feet away from where the leak surfaced. I bet the water department of your community will want to know about a sudden raise it the water table in your neighborhood. It may be from a new parking lot a block away but it may also be city water. Leaks are not alwyas manifested in in record of a system whose demand is increased by development.

rockrat
10-31-2009, 10:30 AM
I would agree with the others on investigating the reason for the water level change but if it continues to be an unknown source of an issue, bigger methods will probably be needed.

De-humidifiers have a set collection rate. When I worked at Oasis, we made de-humidifiers and rated them at xx gal per hour. I dont remember the exact amounts.

A friend of mine had basement water issues and we put 2 large dehumidifiers (220v) in his basement and ran the drains for them to the sump. That made a difference and by adding a fan, we were able to circulate the air more and get the cave dried out.

Last I talked to him, after about a week of listening to the units kick on and off, the cycles slowed and now he doesnt run the fan and only hears one of the units kick on at a time.

His sump pump still runs quite a bit but he is happy with where he is now.

We investigated other methods. Digging around the foundation and adding more drain pipe, installing a plastic/foam board with drain vertical cuts around the exterior basement walls, a sump pump in opposite corners and even running a 1/2 mile of drain pipe to a small creek (permits required).

In my grandfathers house, as a last resort, they dug around the inside of the basement walls, installed drain pipe, replaced the concrete as a little trough and then once it was set up for a month, they came back and drilled holes through the trough into the drain pipe. That pipe ran to a sump pump that has a continuous run rating. The walls would weep water so bad that you could watch the drops roll down into the trough. The basement never flooded again but what a pain in the a$$.

Good luck, I hope they find a broken water pipe not far away and fix the problem for him.

rock~

goose
10-31-2009, 10:54 AM
he said that most of the neighbors around his location are also having water ingress problems...apparently some homes whose sump pumps never ran for years are now running 24/7.


Water tables rise and fall, over the course of seasons, or decades. Nothing he can do about that. Has there been any large construction nearby in recent memory? New office buildings, residential sub divisions, or just earth moving in general can also affect the water table.
My cousin was convinced he had a dry basement; new construction, stupid black goop "waterproofing" on the foundation, and the neighbors never reported any water problems in years past. He put in wall-to-wall carpet throughout the house, including the basement. Guess what happens that spring? Record rains. His entire finished basement became one big water bed.


Gary

Black_Moons
10-31-2009, 04:53 PM
I know the sollution
Drill a well, get off city water and start wasteing as much water as you can. Especialy if your on city sewage.
Drop your water table! j/k.

Rich Carlstedt
10-31-2009, 08:58 PM
Hey TMT
you don't say where you are located.
The comments by Forrest and others are critical to follow up in.
New construction anywhere near your buddy is a dead give away.
look at local streams and rivers. If they have not had a corresponding rise in levels, you have a local problem.

I don't buy a dry basement for years, and then you have problems.
Yeah, if you get a 9 inch rainfall all of a sudden, but to many variables
Check the weather bureau and compare the 'wet year" to the dry ones.
You might have the city check the storm drains in the street.
They Vacuum them out every year here, just for that reason

J Tiers
10-31-2009, 10:09 PM
What's the basement made of?

A lot of older homes here have limestone basements. You can't keep one of those dry no matter what. The limestone just sucks the water out of the soil and into the basement like a pump.... well, maybe limestone just sucks.......'

We rented a house like that once, even a dehumidifier didn't help much. If it rained, we had rivers.

Then when we went house hunting, my wife would keep the agent busy, I'd head for the basement. If it was wet, or wet and moldy smelling, it was time to leave, no arguments accepted.

Now we are just below the top of a hill, with a concrete basement, made of some dark concrete that dulls carbide drills in a few seconds. It's been pretty much dry with a very few re-grading issues to keep water from coming in the windows in frog-chokers.

With most water tables falling fast, it is rare to have them rising.... Sometimes construction will block the drainage off a non-permeable layer some distance down, and cause a backup. The construction might be quite a distance away and still have the effect.

tryfred
11-01-2009, 11:01 PM
I spent most of the month of September busting my butt waterproofing (not damp proofing …there is a difference) my basement in order to accommodate a workshop. As most everyone here has stated the first thing to do is determine why the water is coming in and then to address that issue. I had all of the issues …grading, blocked pipes, cracked walls, gutter pipes … you name it. I live on a hill and have no sump pump and now never will.
I rented an excavator and dugout along the walls to just below the footer on the high side of the hill. Next, I installed a perimeter drain of perforated pipe just below the footer and ran it out further down the hill.
After scraping/cleaning and patching the walls I applied a product called Paraseal. It’s a HDPE film with a bentonite backing…not cheap by any means but really great stuff…easy to work with and so far working very well..
I then installed all new gutter/window well drains in another completely separate drain system from the perimeter drains. I did most of the work myself…. it is mostly done with a remaining wall left for next summer.
Now… why you would ask did I not finish the project? You folks will understand… although my wife still wonders.
Well, there I am sitting on the excavator …with a really big hole in the ground along my basement wall and thinking… this would be a great opportunity to install an outside entrance…right into the workshop area. I did not have time to do this and get everything else done so part of the project was put on hold. You all know how these projects can get out of hand…
Then I thought how it would be a piece of cake to get the Heavy 10 out of the garage and into the basement workshop and the mill/drill …that would not be a problem at all …why I could…I could get a …. hey wait a minute …..I could get a Bridgeport Mill like I’ve always wanted in …oh oh now I did it. Well you know how projects get out of hand…
The new (to me) Bridgeport is now in the garage waiting on a tear down/paint job this winter...another project to tackle…

But Honey…. look how dry the basement is…and by next winter you’ll be able to park your car in the garage again…with an outside entrance I won’t be tracking dirt through the house…no…it won’t take long …just a quick little project….

rockrat
11-02-2009, 09:44 AM
it won’t take long …just a quick little project….

Famous last words! :)

Cant tell you how many times I have said that exact same phrase. It does however sound as though you have a warm shop location now.
rock~

Doozer
11-02-2009, 11:18 AM
tryfred-
I like the basement entrance idea. Consider a long, shallow pitch concrete ramp instead of stairs if you have room. It would be nice to roll a Bridgeport down there on pipes or use a pallet jack. And a floor drain at the bottom of the ramp of course. I wish I had one. I built a motorcycle in my basement, now I have to take it all apart to get it out.

--Doozer

Carld
11-02-2009, 11:28 AM
I have an earth berm home and shop on the top of a hill and I use a dehumidifier in both to keep humidity under control.

If the humidity problem has recently become an issue when before it wasn't I would be concerned a water or sewer line was leaking causing the problem in the area. Water tables don't rise without some condition causing it. What has changed in the area to cause the water table to rise? Most water tables are dropping, not rising.