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Help for a new homeowner and water in the basement!!!

Posted by Lynn on March 23rd, 2001 09:55 PM

I have read many of the posts on water in the basement on this site, but I did not find exact answers to my questions. I am a new homeowner... so bear with my elementary knowledge...but this week we had a noreaster here in New Jersey and the basement of my 75 year old house (I just closed last week) was full of water. The water appears to be coming up from under the house, and there are numerous cracks in the concrete floor. The walls were not wet, with the exception of one spot in the laundry room, (that being the only place the sellers disclosed a water issue - call me a sucker) But my question is this...what causes water to come in from under the house? Can I patch the cracks in the concrete floor or do I need to resolve where the water is coming from first? I know the gutters are not properly diverted from the house, and there is driveway and concrete walkway surrounding the foundation on three sides (a little PVC piping under the drivway and walkway would have been great, as it is we will have to dig all that up to properly divert the gutters) but could the improper drainage of the gutters be the primary cause of the water, or, since the water appears to be coming from under the house, is it something else? I have read references here to French drains and sump pumps, could someone give me a rudimentary explanation of each? What kind of professional do I consult for drainage issues? I know this post is long, but I need to know how to proceed with fixing this...I have already had boxes of books ruined by the water...

Thanks in advance for your help...
Lynn in Teaneck, NJ

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