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Lightbulb Water leaking from a block wall garage...

Okay - out here in the sunny socal we've had non-stop rain for the last few weeks.

Now...it seems that my subterrainian garage has sprung a small leak. Now...the leak is small and it is on the back wall - behind the back wall at the ceiling level of the garage is my backyard. Attached is a pic showing the front and giving the idea...You see that gravel area on the side - that's the wrap around of the backyard and at the same height as the backyard in relation to the garage there. The next photo is the garage (with the old owner's stuff in it) and that back wall there is where the leak is - in the lower left corner on the back wall.





So - the question is - what do I do? I could just plug the hole and hope that stops it but I'm worried then what will happen when it fills up with water again as I'm sure will continue to happen when the yard gets saturated the way it is. Another idea I had was to engineer an actual drainage hose by making the hole large enough to put a fitting into and then running a hose from it to the exit of the garage. All in all the leak isn't terrible and it hasn't damaged anything in the garage but I don't think it's supposed to be there and the idea of water erosion bothers me a bit.

ideas?

Thanks!

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Old 01-09-2005, 03:25 PM
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Is that a poured or a block wall you've got there?
Having seen a bssement wall collapse from saturated ground, I'd say you might just want to look into removing the water and installing the means for it to drain out in the future.
Digging a hole staight down to see if you hit constant "ground water" there would be a start; it'd be easy to pump out with a Little Giant or similar pump, or install a standpipe made of 1 1/2" PVC surrounded by gravel that you could hook a self-priming (pool) pump to to draw out as the need arises.
The ultimate permanent answer would be to dig aroung the foundation and install drain tile that empty out at the front where it's low.
Old 01-09-2005, 05:31 PM
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Doing some calling around to resident know-it-alls and the general consensus seems to be that I need to install some drainage in the back. The ground isn't hard back there so digging a trench and installing a drainage pipe along side the house shouldn't be too difficult - plus I haven't got anything to dig around there so it's just dirt....

Still have to wait for it to stop raining though...

It's a poured concrete wall.
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Old 01-09-2005, 05:56 PM
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That is a much more common issue in the Northeast than El Sugundo...

Anyway.

2 problems

#1. I'll bet a good portion of your roof is draining into the backyard, making problem #2 worse.

#2. You are supposed to have rock/gravel fill along the foundation walls. At the bottom is supposed to be a drain, connect to the storm drain system. I am guessing that this either does not exist or it is damaged.

You need to figure out how to better drain the concrete back area so that it gets out to the street. You might consider gutters along the back edge of the house, which are set to drain to the street. You need to

You have to think about the fact that the retaining walls around your foundation are like the walls of a pool.

Nothing sounds cheap....
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Old 01-09-2005, 06:10 PM
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After you get some concrete poured, let it set, PM me with a good shipping adress and I will get you some concrete sealant that fills in the pores with something that facilitates complete cure then something else in the formula that seals it from moisture. I have used it and it works great - industrial stuff you can't get in HD or Lowes. Let me know the square footage.
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Old 01-09-2005, 06:17 PM
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I wasn't actually planning on pouring any new concrete but thanks.

At the moment my plans are to dig a trench around the garage to put in some drainage gravel and a drainage pipe. Also and actually the first thing I'll do is put in some gutters around the offending area and redirect the water off the root. I may have some time this week to do it after the rain stops on Tuesday (predicted).

I feel pretty good that those two projects will help to reduce the problem greatly.

Thanks James and company.
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Old 01-09-2005, 06:59 PM
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My house in So. Cal is like Mikes. Garage is below grade. However, I have concrete instead of gravel. The concrete extends almost to the property line where it goes upward to the next door neighbor.

Whenever it rains for several days (rare in So. Cal but not this year), the ground becomes saturated and the water pressure eventually causes water seepage into the garage and part of the "basement" (the foundation is on a stepped footprint) on the same level. This is not good because this lower floor contains our bedrooms, etc.

My short term hope is that the next door neighbors, who are adding on, will add a substantial amount of cement to their property for a driveway/parking area and thus reduce the area the rain saturates. Am I going to be disappointed?

The long term (and probably correct fix, I believe) is to install the proper french drain along the garage/house facing the water source. That brings up a question. Do I have to install the drain pipe at the garage floor level? Do I have to? That's what, 9 feet below grade (and concrete)? Help.

Thanks,
Sherwood
Old 01-09-2005, 11:00 PM
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Long term, you need more than a small trench, although that will help. You should install a drain in the ground at the lowest level of your gargae wall, then back fill it with large siize gravel. This should be your long term goal.
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Old 01-10-2005, 03:15 AM
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AAARGH... our home has the same issue. Both in the garage as well as the basement. It just baffles me that someone would pour a foundation without proper drainage, and then lanscape around the property in such a way that the water runs TOWARDs the foundation wall.

In our case we addressed one of the factors that red-beard mentions: "I'll bet a good portion of your roof is draining into the backyard"
I've diverted the water from the gutters, but the foundation still weeps when we get a good soaking. Better than it was though... we used to get 5" of water in the basement.

The really scary part for us is the frost heave... if the ground is that soaked it can heave a foundation wall in no time.
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Old 01-10-2005, 05:53 AM
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From another thread flooded basement/pic of me bailing and a sump pump question. :


"My preference is to attack this problem outside the house. If you merely need to redirect swelling ground water away from your foundation then you can go with perforated PVC pipe, GeoTech cloth and 1-2" gravel. Dig a four foot trench around your foundation, drop a foot of gravel, lay pipe with cloth (on an angle), more gravel (6") and cover. The pipe will use gravity to direct water away from your home.

Of course there are MANY variables but this is a common approach."

You can also tie the downspouts into the drainaige system.


"Here's some more info: http://www.askthebuilder.com/070_Li...t_Seepage.shtml

http://www.builderswebsource.com/te...fs/drainage.htm "
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Old 01-10-2005, 06:28 AM
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You need to get the water out that is behind the wall now. Get a rotohammer and drill a hole in the back wall from in the garage at the lowest point, jam a pvc pipe in the hole and attach a garden hose connection, and put a garden hose on it and direct it to the front of your garage. This will drain the water that is behind the wall now. You can deal with the french drain later, and you can plug the hole if you want to later.
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Old 01-10-2005, 08:17 AM
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I had the same problem with my basement! Water was saturating the earth above and next to the basement and soaking through the cinder block walls. I considered a French drain which I think would have worked. I eventually paved the area with concrete and incorporated a grated drain to carry away the water. It wasn't cheap but I am very happy with the results:the basement is bone dry even in the heaviest rains.
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Old 01-10-2005, 09:24 AM
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IIRC, Hydrostatic pressure ????

Read this too quickly, however did you happen to waterproof the wall prior to backfilling?
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Old 01-10-2005, 02:45 PM
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Not IIRc, but apparently some of us share some common H2O issues. Spent the whole day keeping ahead of the water as it was leaking into a closet next on our lower bedroom level (w/wood floors!). There is a miniscule sump pump in the half basement that helps somewhat, but with the torrendial downpour this morning, the water came in faster that the pump could handle. I had a couple of shop vacs to pick up the water, then the power went out. Wonderful. So there I am trying to soak up the water with terry cloth. Not sure I was altogether successful as the water went up to the threshold of the wood floor. Capillary action is pretty effective in transferring water in wood. Will wait and see what wavyness ensues.

My solution? Currently thinking that instead of digging an access from the entire 2nd story entry down to the garage level floor 10 feet below to install the proper french drains, I'll install some long trenches in the garage and basement area (along the wall) to collect the water into a sump where a pump will (hopefully) take it outside. However, I won't be able to do this until it stops raining and it dries out. I was even thinking of busting a hole in the cement floor today to install a sump pump lower than the floor level, but with my luck (and hydrostatic pressure), I was afraid of creating a pressure relief hole for water to enter (sorta like a hole in the bottom of a canoe or paddling upstream w/o a paddle). What do you think?

Still pales in comparison to what happened in the orient last week though.

Yours in wetness,
Sherwood
Old 01-10-2005, 03:32 PM
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Used to pass lots of concrete canoes, everytime I went to the Civil Engineering building (Butterfield).

Of course, they _just_ killed the CE department.

Remember! Mechanical Engineers build weapons systems. Civil Engineers build targets!
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Old 01-10-2005, 05:02 PM
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