As you may remember, this past spring after our huge snow banks melted we had water come into our unfinished basement. It was so sad to see it come in. Thankfully, nothing was really harmed by the water and we then started trying to figure out what was best to do about it.
Right now we just use the basement for laundry and storage, but we’d love to add a few bedrooms and office space down there one day. So water in the basement, even if it was only once in a blue moon, was not good.
After getting lots of advice and having a few wet basement professionals out to assess the problem, we came up with a two tiered solution:
1. Regrade our backyard so it slopes away from the back foundation wall instead of into it to prevent any water sitting close to the house.
2. Add interior drains underneath the floor to route any water out of the house and into the sump hole when the water table is high.
So just before summer started we regraded the backyard. Dan’s brother came over with his backhoe and did all the heavy lifting for us which was so nice, adding soil close to the house to raise it and digging out away from our house to give the water a path around the house.
Our backyard is sloped with a big hill behind us so it was important to us to help prevent the water from reaching the house as much as possible when the snow melts in the spring. We were also able to remove the large old stump that was here when we bought the place in the process.
After the initial regrading Dan and I spent the next week adding more top soil, leveling and reseeding. It was a lot of work but has been so worth it! The grass has taken off pretty well and we are glad to have such a big project behind us.
The second part of the solution was adding interior drains around the perimeter of our house, which was recommended by both of the wet basement professionals for our situation.
Because our house’s foundation is built on bedrock, when the water table gets really high the water pressure builds up and starts pushing on the foundation and the water starts coming in wherever it can (which for us was all along the back wall of the house where the block foundation meets the floor).
So with the interior drains in place, the water is directed into the sump hole and pumped away from the house, giving the water somewhere to go so the water pressure doesn’t build up.
After getting a couple quotes for the job we went with a local company that we had heard good things about and they completed the job while we were away at the cottage this summer.
They jack hammered up the original foundation around the inside perimeter of the house, added gravel, drains and the plastic protective layer before redoing the concrete floor over it.
It was a big expense but one that we felt was so worth it to help keep water out of our basement in the years to come as we finish the space. We plan to replace our sump pump with something a little more heavy duty and then we should be as ready as we can for whatever comes next spring.
Have you ever had water in your house?