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Building Homes or Extensions/interior wall has water leaking in heavy rain

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Question
Hi,

When we get a heavy rain, we end up with water entering our lower level of our split level home.  The water comes out under the baseboard in our bathroom which is an interior wall.  Any idea where the water/rain is getting to that level?  Thanks!  It's pretty wet today.....

Answer
Hi Bobette, without knowing all the particulars I can give you some possibilities.  First of all chances are that you have a plumbing pipe going down through your slab somewhere in the bathroom wall..when the ground water rises it comes up alongside the pipe and seeps from under the base moulding. To prevent this, homes with basements/daylight basements have a perimeter drain around the foundation down at the footing level.  The accumulating water is then piped away from the building thus preventing the water from coming up through the slab.  If this problem just started happening then you might have something clogging your footing drain system, preventing it from working properly.  Apparently your house is on a hillside or a slope lot, hence the split level.  Somewhere on the downhill side of the house there should be some kind of drain opening, either a pipe or a bubbler.  If you have had recent landscaping work done someone may have driven over and collapsed your pipe or covered the pipe up with dirt.  It's also possible that over the years roots and dirt have filtered into your drain system ( which consists of a trench filled with crushed or river rock and a 4-6" perforated pipe to collect the water). If this has happened you may need to have the drain system dug up and redone.  It is also possible that you have a sump pump somewhere that pumps the water out of the footing drain.  If the pump has stopped working this too can allow the ground water to build up under your house.  The first place I would look is on each side of the house, walking down hill until you find an open pipe sticking out.  There is probably one one each side of the house.  If you find the pipes and they appear to be undamaged, you might try to have a Roto-Rooter company snake out the lines and see if there is something clogging the pipe.  Right now that's the best information I can give.  I hope this info helps, please feel free to write again regarding this or other matters, sincerely Bruce Johnson, bejohnsonconsulting.com

Ps..I have assumed that you have checked out the plumbing and its not the culprit..the water would stink if its sewage.

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Bruce E. Johnson

Expertise

I can answer any construction related question in regards to carpentry, concrete, drywall, masonry, structural elements of any type of building, residential or commercial. Interior or exterior.

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Custom Commercial and residential buildings. Churches, theaters, schools and auditoriums. Most recently I am working with the Catholic Church on several design build committees. I have a website related to scheduling and project supervision. Although my expertise is more related to multimillion dollar commercial, educational and theatrical projects my generous credentials in residential and remodelling construction make me a viable source of information regarding all forms of building questions.

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