Leaky basement landsacaping?!?!?!

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by LawnGooch, Jun 26, 2002.

  1. LawnGooch

    LawnGooch LawnSite Member
    Messages: 1

    I just returned from a bid at which the gal asked if we can do anything to help her leaking basement. She wants to remulch her gardnes which run the perimiter of her house, sans driveway and front walkway. I lack house foundation knowledge, but I thought a leaky basement is more often than not the result of cracks well below the ground line. Any suggestion(s) which I can pass along, or is there nothing to do?
  2. KenH

    KenH LawnSite Bronze Member
    from CT
    Messages: 1,622

    You have to check on the grade near the house. Does water sit by the foundation??? It might need to be regraded. Beware, it might also be more complicated as in underground water. If that is the case, drains, etc are in order. There are companies who specialize in this type of work.
  3. LawnLad

    LawnLad LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 738

    I often have customers (or prospective customers) who have problems with their basements. Most of the homes we work at are anywhere from 60 to 90 years old. The old building methods aren't the same when it comes to drainage and water proofing. A basement could be wet for a number of reasons - but typically in our area we see seepage through the walls - so the solution or approach is fairly typical.

    The first thing I advise is that the customer call a plumber to have the storm drain snaked - for the gray water or gutters. It's a good maintenance practice to have the storm drains snaked every couple of years to make sure they're free and clear. It'll cost a couple hundred dollars depending on number of down spouts connections, etc.

    After the storm lines are snaked and the drains are running free and clear - usually the basement dries up a little. However, cracks in the foundation walls will continue to seep water, particularly if you have soil or clay as back fill against the foundation. The only real solution is to water proof the foundation. This will not only seal the walls but will move water away from the walls so that there are not future problems.

    I refer the storm drain cleaning and water proofing to someone who does it on a regular basis. It's not something that I would want to be involved in. Too much liability for me. Besides - many cities require a plumber's permit to do this work.

    Grading away from the foundation may be a partial solution - but the site may already be decently graded - or may not allow for major regrading without affecting the plants or hardscape around the foundation.
  4. robert payer

    robert payer LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 282

    Some good advice was given by Lawnlad.

    When trying to diagnose a problem of any sort remember to keep it simple at first. It is easy to overlook the obvious.

    Have her or your self do a visual inspection from the ground during a heavy rain. See if the gutters can handle the water with out overflowing. Do the gutters also leak?

    I have a riviot missing on the underside of a gutter at my house. I often put a garbage can under the leak as a preventive measure. It is not uncommon for a 30 gallon garbage can to nearly fill up. Some day soon I willl fix that tiny hole.

    Why has she not called a waterproofer. Cost? Or has she?

    Do not any water related promises.
  5. GSJ

    GSJ LawnSite Member
    Messages: 20

    We do about six or eight of these jobs a year. Alot of good advice
    has been given. We usually start with the gutters and work our
    way to the footing. Some are as simple as repairing the gutters
    or tiling out the downspouts. Most of these ideas have been
    covered. It is important that you don't gaurentee a dry basement
    with any work you perform. If the customer wants that they can
    pay a waterproofing company 2 or 3 times what you or I would charge.
  6. Lanelle

    Lanelle LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,361

    Often the best way to see how water is moving and where the problem points are located is to look at the site during a rainstorm. Often the homeowner has no clue about how the water moves on their property.

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