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My house is 40 years old. I have had basement flooding issues for years. With heavy rain, water comes out of my floors. I have a sump pump that takes care of it. Despite knowing better, Ive been able to ignore it. It hasn't caused any problems. My washer and dryer are the only things down there. However, this morning I started down the stairs and I heard water running. To my dismay, I found a small geyser about 3 inches coming out of the corner of the basement.

I am a little worried because this last summer my garage patio started to get a small crack in it. However, one morning I went to back out of the garage only to find about a 3 foot wide hole had fell in. It was about 6 foot deep. (Thank God for back-up cameras.) I was informed there was an old well there and I had it fixed. Last week another crack appeared in the same spot. I also noticed a crack above a bedroom door at the other end of the house.

The water coming into the basement is about 50 foot from my patio. Should I be worried that the problem is a sink hole and not a water well? Could this problem be diagnosed and fixed for a reasonable amount of money? I have not found a similar problem on the internet.

  • Tell me does your ground slab have any bars inside? And is there something like a "belly" appearing on this slab? – python starter Mar 10 '15 at 18:07
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    Definitely an interesting question, but my gut feeling is that it would be very difficult to answer over the internet, and you're best bet is to have someone come take a look at it. Might be worth contacting your insurance company too. – Steven Mar 10 '15 at 19:04
  • Before assuming the worst, I would work on getting the water away from your house. Maybe this is a bad assumption, but i'm betting you have rain gutter and grade issues around your house which ends up allowing water to flow/settle right up against your foundation. Just a thought. I've had many houses with basement water seepage problems and every time iv'e been able to solve it by just keep water away from the house. That said, the previous comment may be spot on. Get someone to take a look and give an in person opinion. There are a lot of variables. – maplemale Apr 28 '15 at 17:48
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I know that my answer will not be a proper one (ok, you may downvote if you wish...), but my experience tells me that it's a serious problem.
Cracks on walls always tell that something serious is around. My advice is to find a civil engineer/specialist to make a proper judgement of this matter. I strongly reccomend that, and I guess that this question will not be easily resolved here, on DIY SE.

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This is more of a really long comment. In my opinion (and I loved buying homes with basement issues), based on several facts you gave us about the house and surroundings I have to say it looks like your house was built hastily on unsettled land. You have all of the consequences of pouring below grade on unsettled land. I would probably couple that with a rather close proximity to groundwater and you have a recipe for disaster.

The problem with unsettled land, land not compacted, is that you will have pockets of water or holes and these pockets will either put an uneven force or your foundation or will leave no force - both are very bad. Even worse is when there is a force in specific location (concrete cracked/broken or upheaval) and then no force (collapse).

Two things. You need a structural engineer to give you guidance. Someone local that understands local issues. And the second unfortunately is that there is no fix for this. You can bandaid it and get certain things in place to stave off issues but there are no permanent fixes without getting ridiculously expensive.

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Let me add my experience for the next person who reads about this. We live in a 100 year old home. For 20 years we experiences water coming up vigorously about the perimeter wall and by an interior stone wall.
The problems were many. The concrete was poured right on the dirt with no stone; the sump was concrete and INTEGRATED into the floor (requiring water to be on the floor to make it to sump); the floor was cracked and allow moisture up in many places; the soil is clay and rock and doesn't drain.

5+ years ago we trenched the center wall and the low outside walls (floor was sloped to deal with run-off) and added a French drain; we dug a deep sump that the drains to get to. This solved the water problem, but not the moisture problem.

This winter we had the floor dug out and replaced. We added 4-5" of stone, a vapor barrier, some insulation and for grins had PEX run for underfloor heat. The new concrete floor looks great and solved all the moisture issues.

  • This is a great story for you but doesn't answer the question. You can't assume that your fix would just randomly work here. – DMoore Mar 26 at 15:23
  • Not so random. The well issue notwithstanding, the basement has a water problem (para 1). The solution I discuss could help with that. – uSlackr Mar 27 at 17:13

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