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Leak with silt in 100 yr. old brownstone foundation

Posted by Bob on September 5th, 2002 05:23 PM

Hello. Just recently after a heavy rain, I noticed a thin brown film on the floor of my basement which looked & felt silty like clay, (which compromises much of the soil here). The other day we had a huge rainfall over a long period of time, and in the morning I had large amount of brown silt about 3/4" deep on my basement floor more or less in a two foot wide path to the floor drain! I traced the source back to two holes, each fist sized, and few inches off the floor in my foundation, (which were behind a drop sink so I'd never noticed them before), but they were not straight through the wall, but looked more like mini caves with cobwebs and all. The foundation is brownstone with what appears to be mortar holding it together. The house is just over 100 years old and I have never seen anything like this in the six years I've lived here, (only clear water and in other parts of the basement after long periods of heavy rain), so this is definitely new. It is obvious that ground water is seeping inside, but is the silt I am seeing likely to be from the soil, or the deterioration of the brownstones themselves? And in either case, can I plug the holes safely from the inside with cement, or will the water merely wear a new path inside? Also, in order to repair the wall from the outside, I'd have to remove a whole bank of landscaping and lawn, which is over six feet deep at the house, but slopes away downhill about three feet over a span of twenty feet, (a good grade away from the house for drainage I thought!), so I'd like to avoid having to dig that all up if at all possible. Any suggestions or recommendations will be VERY much appreciated. Thanks.

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