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wet basement, drain tile or landscape?

Posted by Travis on August 6th, 2001 11:34 AM

4 of 7 people found this post helpful

So I've just moved in this house built in 1997.
The basement is finished (carpet and dry wall put up)
and the carpet in an area along the east wall is
wet. The previous owner disclosed water he had water
problems the last two springs (but not the first in
1998), but claimed it was fixed with some re-landscaping.

I'm about to spend over $3000 to do landscaping in
an attempt to correct the problem. The landscaper
making the bid pointed out several reasons why the
apparent do-it your-selfer job the previous owner
tried quite likely had no effect whatsoever is re-routing
draining water. Judging from the exterior slope it
does seem that re-sloping everything away from the
house could do a lot of good.

My conundrum is this. I've heard that another likely
scenario is that the drainage tile (8 feet down along
the entire back wall in my case) is not functioning
properly (i.e. broken, crushed, blocked, etc.).
To fix this I'm told is a costly problem (around
$10,000 )since it
involves extrememe care with a back-hoe (care not to
accidentally push in the foundation while digging).

But why spend the $3000 on re-sloping first if it
is bad tiling? Which comes to my question. Can one
check whether the tiling is any good before digging
down 8 feet and spending ten grand? Or doesn't it
matter if the drain tile is crushed and blocked if
slopage solves the problem anyway? I'm wondering
if they can stick a roto-router type thing through
the drain tile starting from the basement sump-basket
in an effort to check that all the tile is clear.
Or is there some other way to check the tile before
proceeding further. There is a window well with drain
tile at the bottom. Is it possible that this connects
with the tile around the house and I could hook up a
garden hose to it and see if water flows around and
into the sump basket in an effort to see if the tile is
clear? It seems that there would be a less expensive option
in determining whether the tile is damaged before spending
the big bucks to dig down and fix it. Can anyone help?

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