Wet Basements wet floor

Published on April 13th, 2017 | by Henri


Moisture problems after rain or snow

Water buildup where drain used to be

Q.  We recently had some weather move through the area. An inch of snow. In the middle of basement a large puddle has appeared from the ground where a drain once was but has been closed and carpet laid. We have a sump pump and a perimeter drainage system installed. There is no evidence of a leak or any kind of stream. Could water be coming up via the closed drain? Any help would be greatly appreciated.

A.  How was the drain closed? Perhaps the drain was not solidly sealed and hydraulic pressure forced water up around it. It is hard to explain for sure because the sump pump and perimeter drainage system should capture any water build-up and relieve the hydraulic pressure. Unless this recurs frequently, there seems to be little to be concerned about. But if it is a frequent problem, you may want to have a licensed plumber investigate.

Musty smell comes back after costly repairs

Q.  I have a three-year-old home that has had moisture problems ever since it was built. Last year we found a drain line broken under the slab. Cost $30,000 to repair and remodel. Now a month later we have a new musky smell and the hardwood floor is showing moisture content of 16- 18 % . We had a month of heavy rain (24″ in 24 hrs), no visible signs of flooding. I am concerned water wicked up between brick wall to floor (house is on slab) or could be getting condensation from house wrap not installed properly. Any advice will be appreciated.

A. Thirty thousand dollars to repair a broken drain line under a slab? Do you, by any chance, mean $3,000?

Unfortunately, your situation is too complex to be determined off site. An environmental engineer is the person to contact to investigate why you have such a musty problem.

Once the problem is found and solved, you may get rid of any lingering mustiness by spraying Nok-Out (www.nokout.com) or Magic Zymes (www.magic-zymes.com) in the air and any affected surfaces. You may also want to keep small open containers of Magic Zymes in bathrooms and kitchen to keep the air fresh. We keep an attractive oval small glass container of Magic Zymes in our bathroom for that purpose. As the liquid evaporates, we add more water. It seems to work well.

Both of these products work well at eliminating all types of odors; Nok-Out has a chlorine base whereas Magic Zymes does not.

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