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Best way to repair water seepage coming from concrete basement floor?

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Posted by: from Toronto
4/27/2015 at 1:08:41 PM

I have a 1.5 story 1950s house in Scarborough, close to the Bluffs. I have been trying to re-finish our 80% finished basement but have an issue with the concrete slab in our basement. Brief history, 2 years ago the floor drain back up due to a collapsed sewer line/tree roots in sewer, new carpeting then installed and then water issues due to crack on foundation wall which was fixed by exterior waterproofing. A portion of weeping tile was replaced (old clay ones were clear).

On the basement floor about half a foot away from the exterior wall (same wall from foundation crack), there's a 2ft x 2ft square that appears to have been repaired with concrete, before we had purchased the house in 2008. Since we had the waterproofing done to the side of the foundation in May 2014, we have had several heavy downpours and I had noticed water seeping up through these seams from this concrete repair in the floor. Since then, whenever we've had a heavy rainfall, I've checked to see if there's been water coming up at these joints, there has been no water seeping through and it's been dry ever since. I've also had the company that did the waterproofing do a water test and water has not come through the foundation at the time or through seams of concrete repair on the floor.

My question is, what could be underneath this concrete repair? Where is this water coming from and how do I deal with the water coming up at the joints (if it ever occurs again)?

I've had some drainage contractors saying that it may be a catch basin or an old sump pit that was sealed. If it is/was a sump pit, how can I get this part of the concrete floor repaired as I'd like to finish this area of the basement finished because this was once living space and would like to avoid having to install a sump pump.

Spring 2015: It's been almost a year since I've had the waterproofing done and with the ground thawing and couple of heavy rainfalls, water made it through these seams in the floor. I've gone through one summer/winter with no water until now. What can be done to solve this problem? One contractor suggested to break open the floor and fill it in with gravel and pour concrete over, another suggested to install weeping tile and tie it to a drain. Another contractor said the best way is to replace the entire basement floor!

Looking for advice on the best course of action without breaking the bank.

Best way to repair water seepage coming from concrete basement floor?
Best way to repair water seepage coming from concrete basement floor?
Best way to repair water seepage coming from concrete basement floor?
REPLIES (5)
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Date/Time5/3/2015 at 10:07:41 PM

Hi Gerry,

Sorry to be the one to break the news to you but the only way to see what you are dealing with is to open up the 2 X 2 area as one contractor suggested. That is pretty much the exact size of my sump pit and is probably also what yours is. The waterproofing contractors may have opened up the route to this sump pit when they fixed your weepers. If this is the case, you may have to re activate the sump system to get the water away from the house.

The cause of these leaks is water getting past your exterior weepers and under your slab into the drainage layer. Since it continually gets under the slab with no escape route, pressure builds until it pushes through whatever openings it can. It is possible that another sump pit installed in your mechanical room could allow the water in this drainage layer to escape and be pumped away from your house. A 1/2 inch hole drilled through the slab into the drainage layer could prove this theory and be easily patched. You could do this yourself to check things out but the repairs should be done by the pros. Lots of good ones on here so you could also put this in the "post your project" area and get some local contractors to have a look.

Good luck with it!

Jim Kuzma

Kettleby Handyman

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Gerry in Toronto
Date/Time5/3/2015 at 10:39:11 PM

Thanks for your response Jim, much appreciated.

Well, this weekend, I broke open the concrete patch in the floor and found some sort of 2" metal pipe/drain underneath. The inside of the pipe was stuffed with some sort of rag. The area around the neck of the pipe was moist as well as the sand or clay underneath. I'm almost positive that the water came through this pipe. Is this normal to have a pipe or drain here? I suspect that there was so much water absorbed by the sand or clay that water made it's way through the seams of the concrete patch. I put a wire coat hangar through the pipe to see how far it went and it went in about 2 feet then hit a dead stop. What could that pipe/drain be and why would it be there? I'm guessing that pipe would have extended out as far as or through the footing. I'm kind of surprised that the waterproofing company didn't see this pipe when they dug down to waterproof the exterior of the house since they replaced about six feet of weeping tile. I'd rather not have a sump pit, especially in this area which I am trying to finish, but is it possible for the waterproofing company to excavate again and block from the outside?

Do I have any other options? Hoping I can get the best course of action, because I want to finish the basement for my two young kids.


Best way to repair water seepage coming from concrete basement floor?
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Date/Time5/3/2015 at 11:08:01 PM

Hi Gerry,

It sounds like my suspicions are true. It is the original sump for your house and the coat hanger is hitting the "T" fitting that attaches to your external weepers. Now that you have a better idea, you can put your problem in the "post your project" section so some local contractors can have a look and suggest some different options for you. Whatever you choose is probably going to Involve a sump pump and pit so it won't be cheap.

There are a few things you should do yourself like ensuring your landscaping slopes away from your house and that your evestrough downspouts extend away from the foundation. The more water you can keep out of the weepers, the better off you are.

Call in the pros and get it done right. You don't want to create a situation where you are creating mould conditions in a kids play room.

Good luck!

Jim Kuzma

Kettleby Handyman

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Gerry in Toronto
Date/Time5/4/2015 at 2:00:58 PM

Thanks Jim for the reply.

I attached couple of pics of that exposed metal pipe/drain that I'm referring to so you can have a good look. I didn't dig any further down, it was mostly filled with sand or clay and my guess is that it was an older pit that was filled in before I purchased the house and now I'm paying for it. We could not have known that it was there prior to purchase because that area was covered with carpet as the entire basement was about 80-90% finished. There is weeping tile around the foundation of the home, mostly clay because I actually saw it when the waterproofing crew excavated. I took pictures during the excavation which showed me the condition of the weeping tile which I had take a picture of and it looked clear as you can see in the picture. In one of the pictures I had taken of the excavation, you can clearly see a pipe that was exposed (to the right of electrical conduit). This pipe is exactly in line to where that pipe in the floor appears. I still don't know what that pipe is for, but I'm pretty sure that's it's connected somehow. Note, there was no window well at the time of the dig.


Best way to repair water seepage coming from concrete basement floor?

Best way to repair water seepage coming from concrete basement floor?
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Gerry in Toronto
Date/Time5/4/2015 at 9:02:35 PM

I ran a water test over the area on the outside of the house where I thought that exposed pipe was underground and sure enough, water did come trickling through the pipe. Why that pipe is there is beyond me.

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