our basement (which you don't get the privilege of viewing until later ;-) leaks like a sieve. part of the problem is the fact that the concrete foundation is crap and part of he problem is the ground around the manor slopes TOWARDS the basement. in addition, the ground here is very dense, full of rocks and hard packed. so all of the water that can get into the basement, does. oh yeah, it's a moist climate we have here, and lots of rain!!!
we have a sump pump that does it's job well. last winter the pipe outside froze when the cold weather hit, i woke up one morning and the poor pump was grinding away, but not moving any water, so i bought a flexible hose to replace it and would go down to the basement every night, unattach the hose from the pump, blow the water out of the hose and unplug the sump pump...i know, i know... not a great use of time or nerves.
when my step-dad ted was here in june, i was relaying my woes to him and telling him that i hated relying on the sump pump because when the power goes out, it's usually crap weather so the basement fills with water, up to a foot + at times. i hate power outages, i am constantly checking the basement. our generator is hooked up now so i am not so worried, but is is a pain all round.
he suggested that i could dig down below the footing of the foundation and run a 3" pvc drain pipe out to drop off at the front where our driveway is. this would provide permanent, passive drainage.
unsupervised one morning, ted started the task at hand. we had a busy summer/fall so i never got back to it... now i am getting back to it. a couple of weeks ago i went out to start again, you can see the beginnings in the pic below.
ted dug down about 2 1/2 feet. my plan is to get a drainage trench dug to his level before the ground freezes for good, i should have until Jan 01. here are the tools: rock rake from my grandmother's, trenching tool that ted brought the head for with him in his visit, small shovel, pick, large shovel
i first ran a line about halfway and then began to go further, about 3 " deep:
here is another view. the hose on the left is the sump pump hose that i lengthened for the summer (previous owner left TONS of flexible pvc behind), the one on the right is our gray water outflow (which i also lengthened, it used to spill into the front yard and smelled terrific after several days of dishes, now it goes to the ditch on the road)
here they are going downhill past my first pass:
and finally down the slope of the hill at the front:
this is our driveway, you can see that the hill is pretty steep:
i went out one more day to make another pass, then it snowed 10 inches. after a couple of warm days a melting, i went back at 'er last week.
the drag about this project is the trench will be over 50' long - here is a better view:
looking down our driveway, the end of the trench will be the red circle:
back to work, fist step, pickaxe about a 10 foot swath, 3" deep:
next, use the trenching tool to gather it all up in a pile:
this tool is awesome, like an indestructible ice cream scoop with a handle. ted got it at Lee Vally Tools :
i dig the loose dirt out with the big shovel and move on down the line:
by now i have realized that the trench needs to be a bit wider than the large shovel for this to work properly, so the trench needs to be wider, it's nice and straight though!!
back at the ranch, the hoses come out of the foundation in one hot mess (that blanket is insulation, when i get this all working properly, i am going to build up the soil around the foundation, for now, it's ghetto):
i at LEAST, diverted the sump hose into the trench to get it running downhill, no more blowing out the hose this year!!!
i disconnected some of the gray water hose and put it into the trench too, when i am not working on the trench, running water will help me along:
here is a different view of the diverted hoses:
and here is a view of the overall progress so far:
not bad, but a long way to go, both out and down. this is heavy work! at least by the time the ground is frozen, all water will run downhill and no more freezing. next year i will complete the trench and install a permanent pipe that will drain the basement without a sump pump forever. stay tuned for updates!!!