Working Sump Pump in a Leaky Basement: What is Wrong? : Basement Files

Working Sump Pump in a Leaky Basement: What is Wrong?

leaky basement

I am frequently approached by customers puzzled by the fact that their basements, despite having a good working sump pump and sometimes even a backup, still leaks.

Aren’t sump pumps supposed to prevent leaks?
Yes they are, in part.
The truth is that, the sump pump alone, in one corner of the basement will not keep it dry if there is nothing to divert the water to that sump pit.
To keep your basement dry, all the water around the foundation needs to be intercepted and collected by a good, working drainage system.  Water is pretty tricky, If you don’t intercept it and divert properly, it will follow the path of least resistance and find its way into the basement.
If your house is not too old, chances are that you have a french drain or weeping tile buried by the foundation footing to collect the water. However, if the sump pump and backup system are working and you are still getting water in the basement, your french drain is clearly not working.
It is clogged, improperly installed or simply collapsed.
When that happens, a lot of homeowners are told by contractors to install additional pumps in the leaky corners of the basement. In our experience, only homes set in specially high water tables or built over underground springs really need more that one sump pit and sump pump system.
The vast majority of basement leaks can be solved with a good drainage system and a powerfull sump pump system.
In other words, until you get that drainage problem fixed, no amount of sump pumps will give you a guaranteed dry basement.
The good news is that, thanks to new basement waterproofing technologies, a new drainage system can be installed without digging out the foundations
Modern internal perimeter drainage systems can be installed inside the basement, along the internal perimeter of the basement walls, with much less disruption and for about half of the cost of conventional french drains.

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