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Old 01-02-2008, 12:18 PM
 
Location: Florida (SW)
38,439 posts, read 18,196,909 times
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I am not handy and don't know a thing about engineering. Let that be the pre requisite understanding to my 2 cents worth.

My youngest son bought a house in which he said there was a regular stream that flowed thru the basement a regular spelunking underground river...it had always been that way and the house had some serious years on it..over a hundred I believe!!!! He said it wasn't a seasonal flood from snow melt but a stream.

After a while he hired someone to come in and re-engineer the water flow with lots of gravel and crushed rock and dry wells and cement and paint....and it took care of the problem.

I am not sure how much of a problem it was, he bought the house that way and so had generations of others. lol

Last edited by elston; 01-02-2008 at 12:29 PM..
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Old 01-02-2008, 12:24 PM
 
Location: Gorham, Maine
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Many older homes were designed that way, the water flows in and the water flows out. Nobody dreamed of finishing basements for recreational use back then. The problem is when the water doesn't flow out, many times I'll see a disclosure that says the power went off and the sump pump did not work. As some have mentioned there are basement contractors that can correct this. I had one of these homes last year listed and noticed that the Generation X and Y buyers did not like this. The baby boomers understood.
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Old 01-05-2008, 01:20 PM
 
6 posts, read 10,256 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by forest beekeeper View Post
I have seen a number of older farmhouses in Maine built on a slope. Where it looks like they dug a huge trench before building the house. The front of the house looks 'normal' the foundation is about a foot above grade, on the back side of the house the basement floor is at grade and you see a barn door. So that they could walk their horse maybe on flat level ground into their basement. I do not know if that was done for ease of stacking firewood in there, or maybe coal. I am thinking that maybe if they hauled stuff on a buckboard, then they could back it into their basement. But these have been houses where they had no attached barn.

You also see a lot of houses where the barn was built twenty feet away, then later they connected both structures.

We have seen lots of those. It's interesting to think of the horse and buckboard, though. A friend just recommended that we be sure to buy enough land to keep goats and other animals. Part of our intention.
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Old 01-05-2008, 01:24 PM
 
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All interesting points on the two wells, connecting the structures and fixing a problem. I would understand wet basement and even heard reference to it before. Of course my preference would be dry. Seems easier all around.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Bydand View Post
"wet Basement" is when the spring rains come and the snow is melting, the basement floor is wet, sometimes it looks like a frigging pool. Depends on the house, the ground under it, amount of snowpack, and amount of rain. Mine would be considered a wet basement.

Living with one is just making sure the area has some ventilation so mold doesn't start to grow, making sure the sump pump is in good working order BEFORE you need it (hence the pool reference), and if things are left in the basement - make sure they are above the high tide mark LOL.

Some instances it is nothing more than the slope is wrong heading to the basement door and the snow melt and rain runs downhill into the basement instead of away from the house. Sometimes it takes nothing more than a few hours and a shovel to correct the slope and the basement stays dry. I would bet that is the case with the house you are looking at if they say wet, basement. It looks as though the walkway leading to the basement door slopes toward the house a bit, there is plenty of drop in the yard to change that, if it that is indeed the problem. If you like to play with equipment like I do, Grand Rental Station in Presque Isle rents a small backhoe/bucket for $165 for an 8 hour day and you can get some serious work done with the little things.
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Old 01-05-2008, 01:26 PM
 
6 posts, read 10,256 times
Reputation: 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by elston View Post
I am not handy and don't know a thing about engineering. Let that be the pre requisite understanding to my 2 cents worth.

My youngest son bought a house in which he said there was a regular stream that flowed thru the basement a regular spelunking underground river...it had always been that way and the house had some serious years on it..over a hundred I believe!!!! He said it wasn't a seasonal flood from snow melt but a stream.

After a while he hired someone to come in and re-engineer the water flow with lots of gravel and crushed rock and dry wells and cement and paint....and it took care of the problem.

I am not sure how much of a problem it was, he bought the house that way and so had generations of others. lol
Fresh water inside, maybe? It's interesting to think that one would always have access to water without ever leaving their home. I think it would take a lot of nerve and a little genius to build that house.
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Old 01-05-2008, 06:09 PM
 
Location: Central NH
1,004 posts, read 2,014,822 times
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Our old house here in NH had an active dug well in the basement. Our old barn had a walk out basement. We raised our pigs and wintered our chickens in the subterranean part.
Wet basements are a common problem with many homes in New England. There are remedies for these problems but be careful about whom you hire. There are lots of scam artist that will seal some cracks and paint your walls and tell you problem solved. There are also a lot of inexperienced contractors that will bring in heavy equipment and start digging around you foundation to install exterior perforated pipe.
The best solution IMHO is to install an interior drainage system. When properly installed these are fail proof systems - well almost as they require pumps that require electricity. Battery backups are recommended. Here again though, do your research. I have a friend that does this full time with a small crew. They guarantee the system for life. An average size 3 bedroom house can be waterproofed for under $4000 with all the bells and whistles. A typical basement takes 2-3 days. There are a couple other companies in the tri state area that charge more than twice that.
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Old 01-05-2008, 06:13 PM
 
Location: Northern Maine
9,511 posts, read 14,306,716 times
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I know of a grand old home built over a natural spring. It has a large cistern in the cellar that has overflowed for over 100 years. It's clean Maine spring water. They charge a dollar a pint for it down in the cities.

Last edited by Northern Maine Land Man; 01-05-2008 at 06:23 PM..
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