There has been a lot of rain in Pittsburgh lately. I’ve found that I’ve been getting a number of calls from folks having garage or basement water damage. In all cases, I’m asked is there anything that can be done about this? And can I possibly take care of this problem for them? Seems that people understand that this is not directly a plumbing problem; however, there just might be a “plumbing” solution for this!
Tracking Down the Problem
In most cases, garage or basement water damage is typically caused by outside water seeping in through the concrete block. This could simply be due to a clogged rain gutter that is overflowing. Once the gutter is cleaned, the problem usually goes away. A lot of times, it’s just due to heavy rain. When you get a number of heavy rain back to back to back, a lot of unpleasant things can happen.
For instance, if the heavy rain occurs during a winter warm up, the frozen ground isn’t able to absorb a lot of the rain. When this happens, the rainwater needs a place to go, such as into your basement or garage! If the ground can’t absorb it, the porous concrete block can provide a nice path right into your home. Also, in Pittsburgh, we tend to have a number of days of heavy rain, especially in the early summer months. And with that, the soil water table can actually get too high. One of our customers said he had water coming into his garage from the seam at the base of the concrete block wall where the concrete floor slab butts up to it!
Other Causes for Water Leaking In
There can be other causes for rain water leaking into your basement. It can sneak in underneath a garage door. Perhaps the glass block window isn’t properly sealed. Or it could even be from some sort of condensation, such as a leaky pipe or your water heater. The key is to track down the source of the water first, before applying any possible solutions. The “fix” may not be a difficult as you might think!
There are a number of different ways to attempt to solve this problem. Many of these solutions can be applied without the assistance of a plumber. Different products exist on the market that can be used to seal up your concrete block basement/garage walls typically referred to as Basement & Masonry WaterProofers.
These products usually work pretty well in getting rid of the problem if properly applied. But in a lot of cases, the problem can still persist. It might go away for a while, but then reoccur. If you try sealing up your block walls on your own with no success, you can always call in a professional to help.
One customer had water coming into his garage from the base of the concrete wall at the edge of the concrete slab. Sealing the wall near the base probably just wouldn’t work. In this case, or any case where sealing the block wall up just doesn’t work, there is a good plumbing solution that Proudfoot can help with!
The French Drain System
A narrow trench can be cut into the garage or basement concrete floor along the inside perimeter. It is dug out and backfilled with some rock and gravel. Then a french drain is installed and covered with grating that would be flush with the concrete floor.
This french drain system has proper sloping to carry the seeping water back into a new concrete floor sump pit. This sump would gather the damage inducing water. With a newly added pump, the water can be pumped to an outside location through a pipe. Although this can be a somewhat costly solution, it will work if properly installed. And if you call Proudfoot today, we would make sure installation is secure. We have done this many times for different customers, always to their satisfaction. Imagine, no more garage or basement water damage!
What Are You Waiting For?
So, if you have garage or basement water damage, and have tried the sealing without success, please get in contact with us. If it’s a problem that we cannot help you with, we at least can steer you in a direction from which you can obtain help. And if we do the work for you, it will be done to your satisfaction! So give us a call at 1-412-461-2198 or contact us here. Especially if you don’t like running water where it’s not supposed to be running!