A small leak after a big storm doesn’t always spell disaster

Dear Glenn: I have been in my house for over 13 years and have never had an issue with water in the basement. With the recent heavy rains (2 inches in a couple of hours), my basement has developed a small leak where, you guessed it, the wall meets the floor. The water will cover an area of about 5 square feet, so at this point it’s not flooding the basement. You always say on your radio shows to make sure the grading is correct. In my case, it seems that if the grading was not done properly I would have had an issue when we got heavy rains in the past 13 years. Note that my gutters are run out (underground) for over 30 feet from the house. In a recent show, you discussed this issue, and said that it might be a problem with the sump system bleeder lines; my sump pump works fine and is also piped out over 50 feet from the house. I want to get this fixed before it becomes a major issue. Bill, Ann Arbor Dear Bill: Take a deep breath — 2 inches of water in a couple of hours and all you had was a 5 square foot area that was wet. You win. Thirteen years and no wet problems is the standard to look at. Water always wins. You don’t have water winning. Take a look at the roof slope to determine water run-off into downspouts and if the wet side in the basement faces south or west, you’re doing the best without spending thousands. An ultra low temperature Energy Star dehumidifier will help. Set it at 60 degrees humidity.

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