Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Local Area Flooding

It has rained a lot in the Portland area over the past three weeks. All of the Willamette Valley and Costal Range is under a flood watch or warning. And, our basement is taking on water. The basement is leaking in at least 2 places and leaving puddles throughout. The most concerning is the puddle next to the furnace. The new furnace was installed directly on the floor. In hindsight I probably should have asked the installers to raise the furnace 2-3 inches off of the floor. The forecast calls for more heavy rain.

This is the first time in two years that our basement has flooded. The last time it flooded, we didn’t have the gutters on the house yet and water was clearly building up at the foundation. I did hope that with the new gutters keeping water away from the house, that we would not have a leaking basement again. It looked good. It did not leak all of last winter, though last winter was unusually dry. In contrast, this year has been unusually wet and here comes the flood.

The solution? French drains around the exterior of the house? Cutting grooves into the basement floor to channel the water towards the sump-pump? Having the furnace people raise the furnace off the floor? Yes, all of these may help. The reality is that this basement has always leaked, was designed to leak, and we’ll just have to live with it. That’s part of the reason why we added a second story.

Water seeps in on the south side of the basement.

Water seeps in on the north side of the basement next to the furnace.

There is a sump pump right next to the furnace, but not all of the pooling water is draining into the pump area.

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Blogger derek said...

Our basement leaked when we first moved in, we had cracks that were almost 1/2" wide. The draintile didn't go around the whole house. I parged the concrete walls, and covered them with tar, and added the draintile. We haven't had a leak yet, and we've had an average of 1/2" of rain everyday for the last 3 weeks. It would take quite a bit of work to get your basement so it doesn't leak though.

10:54 AM, January 11, 2006  
Blogger Greg Emel said...

Yeah, there are no visible cracks in the foundation. It appears the water just seeps in. That said, sealing the walls like you describe, especially the north side, would seem like a pretty good idea. Thanks.

11:12 AM, January 11, 2006  
Blogger ben said...

Our basement leaks when the water table rises. It simply seeps up through hairline cracks in the floor due to the high pressure, but that's what we get for living next to the creek. One future project is installing a french drain underneath the basement floor which would hopefully relieve the pressure and stop the leaking.

11:28 AM, January 11, 2006  
Blogger Greg Emel said...

@Ben, yeah, that sounds like our basement. I don't know anyone who has put in a French Drain directly under the house, but it certainly makes sense.

11:52 AM, January 11, 2006  

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