Controlling water and keeping that basement and crawlspace dry - Around the House® Home Improvement

Episode 1399

Controlling water and keeping that basement and crawlspace dry

Across the US and worldwide the rainy season happens during different times of the year. In most places you are either just coming out of it or just going into it. How do you control the water to keep your home dry? Do you have water in the crawlspace? How about a wet and damp basement? Or that backyard patio covered in ground water for months at a time. We talk about DIY solutions or if you are hiring what you should be looking for to control water around your home. Some of these tips could save you tens of thousands of dollars if a contractor is trying to send you the wrong direction.

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Transcript
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[00:00:28] Eric Goranson: Maybe you got that backyard. It's mushy marshy. Maybe that flat patio is getting underwater. We can fix that to all in today's show. Now make sure you follow us at around the house online.com or be around the house show on all our social media platforms.

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[00:00:48] Intro: There is a lot to know that we've got you covered. This is around the house.

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[00:01:09] Eric Goranson: Look for around the house show on Facebook or Instagram or around the house with Eric G. And then if you're over on Facebook, we have our own closed group called around the house. And you can find a, a group over there where you can discuss projects, get some advice. And, uh, you'll probably even see some HGTV, DIY network stars over there helping you through that project.

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[00:01:50] Eric Goranson: So many people it's kind of rainy season, we're getting storms, you know, all that stuff that's been shown up on the news even, uh, California was getting a bunch of water this last [00:02:00] week and they needed it. So I wanted to talk about controlling water around your home. Now this just isn't, uh, you know, keeping the, the storm drains clean out in the street.

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[00:02:43] Eric Goranson: now, if you think about it, if you have a gutter system that's up there and it goes down the downspouts and it drops right next to the foundation, maybe it's kicking it out a couple feet, but you know, it's a very typical system that you see out there. Now that system is putting every time you get an inch [00:03:00] rain, you could get 50 to a hundred gallons of water dropped right there at that single point.

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[00:03:27] Eric Goranson: I'm not just talking about, you know, going out to the street and hooking into that storm drain system. I'm talking about going into like three inch abs PV. Or a polypipe that's gonna get this water away from the home and it needs to go at least 10 feet. Why is that? Well, if you think about water, it's like an upside down cone.

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[00:04:12] Eric Goranson: Right. Cuz you don't want it to wash back into the house again. So by doing that and you can do this as a DIY project. What I've done is I'll go in there, dig a tranch and I'll use, you know, abs as a very inexpensive and easy used product. You can drop that into that cutter, into. Elbow over. And then you wanna have that drained correctly where you've got some slope.

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[00:04:56] Eric Goranson: So the water can go out onto your. Or when it's, you [00:05:00] know, there's no water pressure there, it sets back down. So you can mow over the top fit or you can put a dry well in, and there's a couple different ways to do it. If you do a dry, well, there's a, a procedure with that. You kind of need to do some figuring how much dry well you need.

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[00:05:33] Eric Goranson: Well, in that way, the water has a place to go and soak back down into the earth. So that's one way to do it. The other way is, is you could actually keep it going underground. So you make it hard. 10 feet out, and then you continue out and you can create your own little drain field. So then after that 10 feet, you transition over into a perforated pipe.

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[00:06:14] Eric Goranson: And you've got a really good drain field there. That's not a bad way to go. And that way you're returning that water back and you don't have to control it on the surface. So that's one thing to do. Now, another thing that you gotta be careful with that though, is you wanna make sure if you've already got a, a clay swampy yard that might not be the best place to put it.

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[00:06:54] Eric Goranson: So I don't want you to put this whole system in and then turn around and look at it. Go, uh, oh, I got a nastygram [00:07:00] from the city saying I have water running into the street. They don't like that. So it's something you gotta take into account. Maybe it's okay. In your. Maybe it's not. So it's something to consider.

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[00:07:31] Eric Goranson: If somebody gets hurt, that could be its own. So something to consider, but really controlling that water, getting it away from the house. That's the first thing that I tell people to work on. If they have a water or moisture issue in the basement, because that's really controlling that point load. Now, one of the things I don't like is storing that, and you could do little rain barrels, but you gotta watch it.

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[00:08:17] Eric Goranson: All of a sudden you're putting that load right there and you've cracked your foundation wall. And now you've got a chance of that actually busting through the foundation wall and any in the basement when it's full. You don't wanna do that. So be very conscientious about what you do, and if you're gonna put in a water system like that, you're gonna store it, get with your structural engineer to make sure that you create the right footing, the right pad to spread that out.

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[00:09:02] Eric Goranson: So I've seen a lot of damage by that. And then the last thing is, is when we're dealing with these gutters and downspouts in many areas, it's illegal to drop that into your sewer system. Depending on your area, that would be against the loss. So don't go drop that into, you know, that clean out or something like that.

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[00:09:39] Eric Goranson: And then when it rain. It overflows into the river and nobody wants that. All right. We come back. We're gonna talk about cracks in the foundation and leaking just as soon as around the house returned,

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[00:09:55] Intro: So, Hey,

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[00:10:14] Intro: support. Anything you like, cause I'm never going love.

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[00:10:22] Eric Goranson: back to around in the house with Eric G your home improvement source every single week. Thanks for joining us today. Really appreciate you turning into the show. Now, if you wanna see more about around the house or if it's a brand new station or it's a brand new podcast for you. Make sure you can check us out at, around the house online.com.

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[00:10:59] Eric Goranson: That way you [00:11:00] get the stuff during the middle of the week that doesn't show up on the radio show like our midweek special, or when things happen out there in the world that we need to bring up, we'll throw one up there as well. So you don't wanna miss that midweek content. Now, today I've been talking about water and controlling water around your house.

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[00:11:36] Eric Goranson: Uh, you know, where it's coming in from the street and it's leaking around there or sewer line, something like that in the past, people would get in there with like a vinyl, concrete patch and they'd. Get the put knife and put it on. Or if they really wanted to work with it, they would get in with hydraulic cement and they would patch that up.

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[00:12:22] Eric Goranson: Here's how it works. So if you've got a crack, that's leaking your foundation, you go through and clean that crack out really well. Get all the loose stuff out dirt, you know, clean it up nicely. Don't worry about it getting too big. I mean, if it's getting really big, we don't wanna do anything bad there to it, but you just wanna get it cleaned up in the loose stuff out of there.

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[00:13:03] Eric Goranson: So it doesn't suck that out and, uh, you know, follow the directions on the bag. Of course, I've also seen people use a bonding agent on it as well, but basically you're going to go in and push that into the crack and get that fairly tred smooth. Right. You're gonna get it all detailed out and get that smooth.

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[00:13:45] Eric Goranson: So you're gonna drill into that and you're gonna put in a little port, you can pump in this urethane. So this stuff goes in kind of like, well, warm honey. If I was gonna describe the product, it goes in like warm honey. Then you're like, how is that [00:14:00] gonna patch up this wall? Well, here's what it does when you inject that stuff in, it goes in the wall.

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[00:14:33] Eric Goranson: Now, depending on the kit you get, sometimes you'll have these little glue on, uh, ports as well. There's a couple different ways. They do it. Some drill in some glue in. Depending on what you're doing, then you can go through, inject that in there, and then once you're done, you let it set up and then you can go back and, uh, take off those ports, grind them off, cut them off depending on the kit you buy.

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[00:15:19] Eric Goranson: So you don't have to worry about it pushing the, the patch off the wall or the hydraulic cement not working correctly. It's just a really clean way to do it. Now, if this is a big crack, this would be the time that you wanna look at something like carbon fiber or a crack lock to tie those pieces back together, you know?

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[00:15:56] Eric Goranson: So there's a lot of great things you can do with that. And, um, you know, if it's [00:16:00] really, really bad, you can go in there with steel and put some steel supports in there, or, uh, even in horrible situations where it's really failing, I've gone in there and poured a new interior. Concrete wall. And that actually will hold you, leave the old one in there, put the new one in, and that's a lot less expensive than jacking up the house.

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[00:16:39] Eric Goranson: And that is the cold joint between your basement slab, right. And the concrete wall, you know, right where that floor hits the outside wall. Because those were poured at two different times, that wall was poured and the footing was poured. And then they came in and did the floor later. So that's a dry, concrete joint right there.

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[00:17:14] Eric Goranson: I've seen companies charge way too much money for 'em and there's some systems out there that I'm not a really big fan of. So we'll talk about that in a minute, but that water coming through that crack, you are really gonna start seeing some water through there. And if that's starting to happen, I have seen some big problems where water is moving so much into the basement through there because of that crack.

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[00:17:52] Eric Goranson: You gotta really, I I'll tell you a horror story next segment about that because it is a hot mess. So there's a [00:18:00] lot of cool technology to do with that. You know, that you can use to actually fix this and make it. So that's a key right there. Now, one other thing too, and we're gonna talk about sum pumps in all this, but one key.

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[00:18:29] Eric Goranson: It's like a fountain you're pumping it. Water's coming back down through the soil. And so you're just wasting energy and circling. Around and back through, and that's gonna cost you a bunch of money round. The house will be right back after these IOR messages.

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[00:19:08] Eric Goranson: Welcome back to the round, the house, show yours one stop shop for home improvement stuff all week long. Thanks for joining us. Well, we've been talking about today, just dialing. Water control around your house. That's that water that's trying to get into the basement, crawl space, maybe flood in the backyard and all those different things, because we're getting into that time of year in fall, where this can really happen, you know, in some places, the United States or other countries, what we've got listening, this might be the dry season, but for many of us, this is getting into the damper seasons where we tend to get a little more water.

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[00:19:58] Eric Goranson: What I like to see if you've got [00:20:00] that under control, you've already got your gutters done and you're still getting water coming through there from a, a high water table. There's really only one good way to fix it. And that's to do a below grade French drain. That's gonna collect the water below the slab, drop it into a sum pump so you can pump it out into another space and get that water outta there.

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[00:20:44] Eric Goranson: And what it's do, what it does is it's meant to catch water coming through the foundation wall on the side. And also collect water below grade and it puts it into this trough gutter and goes back to the sum pump [00:21:00] these plastic troughs. I don't like for a couple reasons. First off when you have that trough system around the, the foundation, you now have a weak spot because if you think about it, that foundation wall has got soil pushing in from all sides, right.

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[00:21:35] Eric Goranson: You've got a four inch trough or five inch trough there. That's now a weak point. So I don't like that. Now, second of all, this is where the bigger problem is. And I physically saw this in a house that I was at, and it was probably the worst situation that I've seen in a long time. This was a 1920s house that had a spring out in the yard that was pumping water, basically down [00:22:00] into the basement.

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[00:22:27] Eric Goranson: Where was that dirt coming from? Underneath the foundation. So I got out there and I could see there was a void underneath the foundation wall, which is holding the house. So I got my inspection camera out. I've got one of those cool, uh, inspection cameras, the Milwaukee ones, where you can put the little sneak down and look underneath there.

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[00:23:19] Eric Goranson: That house could've literally sunk eight inches. And then the bigger problem would've been is the front is the middle of the house, had posts on the middle, holding it up. So you would've had the walls. Moved down eight inches, which would've pushed up the center of the floor, eight inches. It would've completely destroyed that house.

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[00:23:57] Eric Goranson: An attorney. You need to go after these guys [00:24:00] and, uh, try to come up with a solution because really you're gonna have to probably come in here and pour a secondary internal foundation just to hold the house up and then try to get concrete underneath that wall. There was gonna have to be some serious work done.

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[00:24:40] Eric Goranson: And then what I'm gonna do is I'm gonna dig down and put in that perforated pipe all around. That perimeter of the foundation. Now, I don't like to do all the cuts at once because I still want that concrete to kind of hold the wall out there for moving. So I'll do you know, sections at a time, come back and do it.[00:25:00]

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[00:25:16] Eric Goranson: So that way, if I have any water there. I'm grabbing it as well. And then I bring it into one or maybe two sump pumps, depending on what I've got going and how big a run it is. Sometimes I'll run it either way, get my pipe sloped correctly so that can collect it and run it down towards the, uh, sump drain.

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[00:25:52] Eric Goranson: Then you're pretty good to go. Then what I like to do is I put a nice sum pump in there, preferably with a battery backup [00:26:00] so that you've got some running capability. If you lose power. And then you're pretty good to go. And then that way you can pump that out into, you know, a storm drain system. And if it's allowed in the city, you could maybe jump it into the, uh, trumpet into your sewer.

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[00:26:33] Eric Goranson: And we were using good pumps. You don't want to use a very inexpensive pump for this because you want that water to get in and get out. Into that sum pump and get out of there. So that's the key, and that really keeps you in a, in a situation where, you know, it's just kind of foolproof. And then I want you to go in and take a look and clean out that, that, uh, sump pump thing every six months per year, make sure you don't have any debris or anything in there.

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[00:27:12] Eric Goranson: Before we go out to break, this was hilarious. I was at a house, walked down to the basement old 18 hundreds house, and I guys got a sump pump running. I'm like, man, where's all this water coming from. It was, he, he was complaining that the pump was running 24 7. Once he plugged it in, it was just running.

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[00:27:47] Eric Goranson: I went out and he had a, uh, piece of periphery to pipe out there for his gutter system be working on. And I just slid it over the one inch pipe that was coming. Of his foundation that was dropping on the water there. So I was putting it out 10 [00:28:00] feet, eight, 10 feet away. It was so hilarious cuz it was about 45 to 60 seconds.

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[00:28:23] Eric Goranson: We come back. We're gonna talk about doing that exterior water. Maybe you got that flooded patio out back or that water that's just slushing in the backyard. We'll talk about that just as soon is around the house returns.[00:29:00]

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[00:29:01] Eric Goranson: back to around the house with Eric to you've got me flying solo today. We're having a great time here in the studio and I hope you are too. Now we've been talking about water, controlling it around your house. This last segment. I wanted to talk about controlling that exterior of water. Maybe you're on a hill and you got water running all the way down your hill, and you're at the bottom and it's running, backing up onto your patio up against the back of your house.

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[00:29:43] Eric Goranson: So there's a couple ways of doing it to take care of it. One of course you wanna have that grading where the water naturally runs away from the house. I wanna see that where the soil, if you can, you know, is higher up against the house and it runs out eight or 10 feet that really will help you get [00:30:00] water, at least on the surface like that rainwater from coming.

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[00:30:21] Eric Goranson: To control it. So here's what I've done. I had one project where the backyard was up against this hill and water just kept running down on the surface. He'd get streams, basically running into his backyard. And so what we did is we dug a trench down about two, two and a half, even three feet deep. And I put that perforated pipe down in there at the bottom, and I ran river rock all the way.

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[00:31:21] Eric Goranson: Away from the house, this case, it was down into a little canyon that went behind into a nature area. So you could drop it over there and let that run down into that naturally. And it fed back to the nature area. So it worked out really well. You could also do that, where it runs into, you know, another storm drain system and gets it away from the house.

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[00:31:58] Eric Goranson: Coming outta your gutter in your storm [00:32:00] drain system, out to the curb, into the street so they could take care of it correctly. That was really good. Cuz I could always just put that stuff in there and then it would run out and go into the street and it would run down the, the curb and into the, into the storm drain system.

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[00:32:34] Eric Goranson: And that works out really well. I would also do that and I would even connect into this system, you know, if I had retaining walls and I've done this before, where I would run that same perforated pipe. On the bottom backside of the retaining wall. So if I had water behind that, pushing that I could grab it and drop it into the system and take it out in way.

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[00:33:17] Eric Goranson: And making sure that you've got that under control. Now, the problem is many times, and this is where it gets bad is you've got that clay layer and somebody planted grass in that clay area. For that I like to go in and bring out. You know, take that top soil out. I mean, it's almost like what, what happened in Chicago bears stadium last week in the football game, uh, you know, where they just had standing water on the field, they had a poor drained system there and that's the same kind of thing.

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[00:34:03] Eric Goranson: So the more you can kind of dewater that the better off you are. So that's a key right there to doing that. And you can create that dewatering system that makes for a nice well drained space. And so we really enjoy that kind of space, but then you gotta figure out where to do with that water. So it might take a pretty good size sum pump when in doubt, if you can naturally move that water without having to use a pump to raise it.

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[00:34:52] Eric Goranson: Maybe you have a broken sprinkler, sprinkler pipe. You've got that broken water main coming in. And, uh, you know, it's, it's a great [00:35:00] example. My neighbor right now, I feel so horrible for 'em. Uh, they have the flag lot behind my house and such great people, but they're fighting. A water main that keeps breaking, cuz it's that 1970s black.

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[00:35:30] Eric Goranson: So they've. between them and the owners before. I think they've had four or five repairs, but it's also 200 feet of digging down the middle of their driveway, which they'd have to repave. So doing that repaving project for them is gonna be an expensive one, but it is putting water out there. And if this was the wet season, we'd have a bigger problem for me right now.

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[00:36:11] Eric Goranson: My driveway's down at the bottom of a hill. So the road is probably, oh, I'd say it's six feet higher than the floor of my garage. and then I've got, you know, 75 feet or so back to my house. Well, what's a nice gentle slope. The problem is, is that driveway all drains down towards my house and then it stops up into a three foot area.

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[00:36:56] Eric Goranson: So it's H be designed. So when I redo. [00:37:00] My, uh, draining system in my garage here. When I redo that front garage area, I'm gonna put one of those metal tr graded trough drains that goes down across the whole front of the garage. So when that water comes down, it gives me a great place to drop it into. And then my backyard is lower than here.

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[00:37:44] Eric Goranson: I drop a sum pump down into that bin because when water we get into these, where we have an inch or two of rain in an hour that overwhelms that system. So I put a sump pump in there, so I don't get water coming into the garage. and that's my temporary fix. So it's [00:38:00] temporary fix for now, but I'm gonna have to repave the entire driveway when I do it, because I've got these big trees, which makes for a bumpy driveway.

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[00:38:32] Eric Goranson: And then of course, the website around the. online.com and message over there. If you've got a question that you wanna have on the show, if you wanna be on the show with a home improvement question, or if you just wanna send me a note, you can do that over and around the house, online.com. There's a really cool contact us page over there.

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[00:39:07] Eric Goranson: So stay tuned and we've got some great new interviews with some great fun people coming up as well. So don't go away. We're gonna go out to break here and come back with. Hour number two, just as soon as around the house returns.

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