Published on August 13th, 2016 | by Henri


Systems for drying out basements

Q. I have lived in my 40 year old home for over 20 years now and have been plagued by a wet basement on and off throughout those years. The last two years have been worse since the town allowed a builder to build condos in a nearby field. Most of these condos are on slabs due to the high water table in our area.

The town assured homeowners in our development that our water problems would be lessened due to the fact that the builder was required to put in “superior” drainage systems. Well, if that were the case, I would not be writing to you.

I would like your opinion on the basement systems such as WaterGuard, that are installed by a local company. These systems are placed around the inside perimeter of the basement walls and divert water from the footings and block wall to a sump pump. Since I am on a septic system, I will probably have to install a dry well too.

This will be a big expense for me, but if this system will rid me of the water and give me some peace of mind, it will be well worth the cost. I just don’t want to spend the money if it’s not going to help, or if it will make matters worse than what they already are. Your input would be greatly appreciated!

A. The WaterGuard system, and others like it, are quite effective at keeping basements dry. They do not stop leakage, they capture the water and lead it to a sump pump from which it is pumped out to the outside. Just make sure that the grade slopes away from the house so the discharge water does not recirculate back to the basement.

You should not need a drywell. But are you sure that the leakage is due to a high watertable? If it is not, repairing any grade deficiencies that cause surface water to stand against the foundation or drain toward it will usually take care of the great majority of basement leakage.

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