Last winter, after a snowstorm followed by heavy rain, for the first time in more 100 years, our basement flooded with 4 to 5 inches of water. Every time I would pump it out with a portable sump pump I purchased, it filled again. It took almost two weeks to finally dry up.
Our plumbing company said it was because the water table in our area rose 5 feet. Everyone in the area was having the same experience, so the plumber is probably right. Every time we have heavy rain now, we can see spots on the cellar floor getting damp, and sometimes the angled cellar door actually gets a puddle.
The basement is unfinished, but it has workbenches, and we have our washer and dryer down there.
The walls are fieldstone with some kind of mortar. The floor is about 1-2 inches of cement or some type of concrete surface. Our downspouts are clear and run at least 10 feet from the house.
Never miss a local story.
The house is about 130 years old, and when we sell it, we assume it will be torn down because of its age and condition, so we don’t want to spend a lot of money.
Any idea why the water is still appearing and what we can do? My husband doesn’t think this will ever happen again.
I hope your husband is right. I wonder if the intensity of the flooding and the water ponding in it for several weeks created damage that makes your basement more susceptible to flooding.
That damage might not be readily apparent. The rise in the water table that your plumber points to might have undermined part of the floor enough to let water pool there, for example.
There might be a crack in the foundation below the soil line outside that directs water into the basement when there is enough of it and it doesn’t drain properly.
In my semifinished basement, which has a sophisticated system of perimeter and french drains leading to a sump, there is, under the laundry sink, one very small spot where water from the outside collects during winter months when there is heavy rain or melting snow.
It doesn’t happen in the other nine months, and the water drains harmlessly into a channel cut for it that flows into the sump.
Rather than spend a lot of money on trying to mitigate the situation, I’d keep an eye on it and keep valuables out of harm’s way. You might raise the appliances on concrete platforms to keep water from getting into the motors.