PDA

View Full Version : Drainage Problem


GravelyGuy
06-18-2009, 11:36 AM
The customer is having problems with water leaking into the basement window after heavy rain. I went out and looked at the area after a light rain and I didn't notice water collecting anywhere too bad. You can see that the grade should be fixed along the house and the gutters are probably clogged. Does anyone know what the black pipes are down in the window well? I couldn't get down in there and really look at them, too many wolf spiders in the area for my taste. How would you guys go about fixing this problem?

White Gardens
06-18-2009, 11:45 AM
In an Egress window like that, I would assume that it is a drain pipe for the window well.

It's looks like there is no grate on it, so I'm guessing it's clogged. If the water is coming in the window then hopefully your clog is somewhere close to the window and not further away. It might be an easy fix of just getting a small pipe snake and rooting out the pipe.

Try to contact the local builder of the home and see if you can figure out where the pipe goes. That would help you figure out how they did the drainage for the footings.

Does the basement have a sump pump ???

You might want to think about going to the property during a big rain to observe how the water drains on the property.

GravelyGuy
06-18-2009, 11:05 PM
I've never seen a drain the bottom of a window well. I'll have to see if that's what it is. I need to get more info from the homeowner.

Thank you.

AGLA
06-19-2009, 08:10 AM
Check to see if other water sources use the same drainage system as the window well. If other downspouts or surface drains are putting water into that system, there could be a backup that actually puts water into that window well.

GravelyGuy
06-23-2009, 12:51 AM
Builder went bankrupt and the homeowner has no idea what the pipes are. I will have to climb in there and investigate.

White Gardens
06-23-2009, 01:59 AM
Ya, let us know what you find.

Dreams To Designs
06-23-2009, 10:58 AM
I'm thinking those pipes were an attempt at a french drain. Likely they are just vertical towards the footing and likely the pipe is slotted. It was an attempt at keeping the window wells from filling up with water. Address all your other issues as well, including the grade and piping the downspounts 15'+ away from the foundation, but you may ahve to address these window wells with proper french drains, pipe to open air(not likely, due to depth), or pumping that water away. You can also attempt some sort of cover over the window well that would keep most of the rainwater out, but not be fastened in a way that would restrict or impede egress.

Do some test bores with a post hole digger and determine the permeability of the area's soil. That will give you a better understanding for any type of drains you will need. You'll need to get that water away from not only the window, but the foundation as well. It may cause water seepage through the wall at a later date.

Kirk

White Gardens
06-24-2009, 10:10 PM
Every egress window, in our area, that I've seen, has a drain in the bottom similar to that one. It looks like it's missing the grate cap though.

Is there one, or two pipes?

Looking at the pic, you can see a small branch with leaves sitting on top of the pipe, and I wouldn't be surprised if a bunch of debris has been sucked into the drain.

I would try a simple pipe snake first to see if there is a clog somewhere.

Also, is there a sump-pump in the basement, or outside in a pit. I wouldn't be surprised if all the footing drains run into it, including the egress window drain.

The unfortunate thing is that the builder used corrugated black drain pipe, instead of PVP. The PVC is much easier to root out.

Stillwater
06-25-2009, 02:31 AM
AHH....I am surprised no one has suggested a "Window Well Cover"

AGLA
06-25-2009, 08:50 AM
What do you expect the cover to do?

There are gutters.

It won't make the rim of the well waterproof if surface water pours in. It won't stop seeping of the walls of the well or at the bottom of the walls.

Stillwater
06-25-2009, 09:41 AM
Agla, I am not far from you, I am on the island, I expect the cover to do the same thing those sheets of plywood and tarp is doing the same thing well covers do on any other w/well on cape cod. but that is a oversized window well anyway larger than a standard cover. he also has presure treated wood for retaining walls and that is most likely part of the issue. and those drains most likely go nowhere they are in a bed of gravel with concrete pored around them thats all those are.

AGLA
06-25-2009, 02:14 PM
The window is not flooding from the rain water that lands in the well or water coming off of the roof (gutter) and landing in the well. The water has to either be pouring over the edge or seeping in lower down. In either case a cover is not going to change it.

That is all I'm saying.

The area near the well might slope toward it bringing water over the edge or infiltrating in behind the timber..

What also happens a lot is that the backfill around the foundation is more porous than the rest of the soil farther away or the undistrbed soil that made the slope of the foundation hole. That lets the water go down and then follow the surface of that undisturbed soil right back to the foundation. That may or may not be the case here.

A third possibility is that there are other drains on the same system that is at the bottom of the well and it is either blocked farther down or can't handle the volume and backs up in the pipe until it is higher that the top of that drain way down in the bottom of that well. The water-letter-outer becomes the water-letter-inner.

Covering the well for safety is not a bad idea as long as the egress still works. It ooksat least 5' deep and I question whether it is an effective egress for most people as it is.

shovelracer
06-25-2009, 09:26 PM
That is a safety nightmare as is anyways. A nice set of bilco doors would be better and the area drainage could be addressed at the same time. Of course that would cost a lot more than hassling the landscaper everytime water gets in.

GravelyGuy
06-28-2009, 12:42 PM
Okay, I went and cleaned out the gutters the other day and I had a chance to check out those drains. The gutters were very clogged BTW.

There are two pipes as you can see in the the pic. They are both clogged and don't appear to have ever worked like they were intended. The one on the right goes straight down and you can see mud at the bottom of it, totally useless. The other one curved off to the left and I couldn't see the bottom of it, but nothing was flowing through it either. These things would have to be dug up to free them up.

It appeared from looking at the walls in the window well that water was coming in through the sides. If you look at the pictures I posted you can see that the grade slopes toward the window well from the left and front and severely from the right.

I think the simplest thing would be to fix the grade. I may have to add another board around the window weel to make up for the added soil.

Second, add a window well cover, proabably just an acrylic sheet. Do they make cover this size?

Third, redirect the three downspouts (the far right one may be out of pic). I don't think it would need a french drain, but probably just bury the pipes and let them out at the back of the property.

Let me know what you guys think ASAP.

GravelyGuy
06-28-2009, 12:50 PM
I think the water is flowing right in towards the window like this.

White Gardens
06-28-2009, 01:41 PM
Judging the grade with the pictures, you shouldn't have water coming back to the well. But, I'm not there in person, so I'm not for sure.

If you aren't sure of the grade, set up some string lines with a string level to figure the drop in grade, or go rent a lazer to figure it out.

It's been a wet spring, if the grade is correct, then the water is coming from under the surface and seeping into the well.

Hydrodynamics can be very tricky to figure out.

Check the gutters, I'm sure they are clogged and are over-flowing in a heavy rain.

Is there a sump-pump. If there is, and the drainage was done correctly, then the footing drains should run into the sump pump, or discharge away from the property some where.

To start with though, I would try a pipe snake of some sort to see if there is a block close to the well. Then go get a grate to put on top of the drain pipe to keep it from happening again.

GravelyGuy
06-28-2009, 09:08 PM
Judging the grade with the pictures, you shouldn't have water coming back to the well. But, I'm not there in person, so I'm not for sure.

If you aren't sure of the grade, set up some string lines with a string level to figure the drop in grade, or go rent a lazer to figure it out.

It's been a wet spring, if the grade is correct, then the water is coming from under the surface and seeping into the well.

Hydrodynamics can be very tricky to figure out.

Check the gutters, I'm sure they are clogged and are over-flowing in a heavy rain.

Is there a sump-pump. If there is, and the drainage was done correctly, then the footing drains should run into the sump pump, or discharge away from the property some where.

To start with though, I would try a pipe snake of some sort to see if there is a block close to the well. Then go get a grate to put on top of the drain pipe to keep it from happening again.

I cleaned the gutters, they were clogged. Yes the house has a sump pump. What are you saying to clear with the pipe snake?

White Gardens
06-28-2009, 09:33 PM
I cleaned the gutters, they were clogged. Yes the house has a sump pump. What are you saying to clear with the pipe snake?

A pipe snake or "rooter".

You can get one that is small and goes 10 feet, or rent an electrical one that goes 100 feet.

I'm saying to clear the pipe in the window well. Obviously it's clogged, and the water isn't getting to the sump pump.

153240

AGLA
06-28-2009, 10:18 PM
The siding tells the grading story and the grade is clearly is higher on the front jog.

Stillwater
06-29-2009, 01:42 AM
I bet those drains in the w/well are dead ended to a bed of gravel under the concrete pad.

AGLA
06-29-2009, 08:27 AM
Surface grading is the simple solution.

GravelyGuy
06-29-2009, 09:34 AM
Surface grading is the simple solution.

That's what I'm thinking. Any guess on how much soil? Like I said before, I guess I will have to add another board at the top of the window well.

Any tips appreciated.

AGLA
06-29-2009, 05:13 PM
Building code is going to limit you to 8" below the siding for grade. Start with that and make it slope away. If it won't slope dtraight out, make it slope to the side.

You want to make sure that you strip off the sod or the water will follow the same path under your new soil.

GravelyGuy
06-29-2009, 07:38 PM
Building code is going to limit you to 8" below the siding for grade. Start with that and make it slope away. If it won't slope dtraight out, make it slope to the side.

You want to make sure that you strip off the sod or the water will follow the same path under your new soil.

Good info, thanks.