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Northeastern Pennsylvania Scranton, Wilkes-Barre, Pocono area
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Old 12-17-2010, 03:29 PM
 
3 posts, read 4,063 times
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Almost 3 years ago I bought a home that was about 4 years old near Hickory Run State Park. 9 months later right before Christmas our basement flooded with over 2 feet of water from a failed sump pump. After clean up we noticed a visable water line about 4 feet up the wall of the unfinished basement indicating the previous owners had a flood that was not disclosed to us when we bought the place. 4 days ago I had yet another flood almost 2 years to date from the last Apparently eventhough the house is on top of the mountain we have a very high water table and even when we have a lot of rain water doesnt drain properly from the property. A friend was up visiting and said he thinks someone may have been paid under the table to pass the house for construction and to put a basement in when it never should have had one to start and I should contact someone about this to see what can be done. I'm looking for advise as to what route to go as this is a major pain to go through a flood again and lose so many personal items once again as well.
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Old 12-17-2010, 03:40 PM
 
Location: Sunshine N'Blue Skies
13,321 posts, read 21,585,832 times
Reputation: 11689
We had a major water issue that happened to us in NJ. What we did was make our own french drain around the house. We dug down and then put stone. On the other side of that I planted shrubs and
Pachysandra. Trees work, especially a willow tree, for capturing the water before it heads to your basement. Make sure you have a stone ditch with a long pipe going out from the sump pump at the end put stone for the water to filer into.
We never had a flood in the basement again. The previous owners had done a french drain inside, that didn't work at all.
The outside one however caught everything.
I also saw this work in a new development in Forks, Pa. Trees, shrubs, drains of rock are the answer.
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Old 12-17-2010, 04:13 PM
 
Location: Saylorsburg, PA
1,860 posts, read 2,780,293 times
Reputation: 1352
Quote:
Originally Posted by cmcintire1977 View Post
After clean up we noticed a visable water line about 4 feet up the wall of the unfinished basement indicating the previous owners had a flood that was not disclosed to us when we bought the place. 4 days ago I had yet another flood almost 2 years to date from the last. Apparently even though the house is on top of the mountain we have a very high water table and even when we have a lot of rain water doesn't drain properly from the property. A friend was up visiting and said he thinks someone may have been paid under the table to pass the house for construction and to put a basement in when it never should have had one to start and I should contact someone about this to see what can be done. I'm looking for advise as to what route to go as this is a major pain to go through a flood again and lose so many personal items once again as well.
Start with the town municipal building office...find out from them if they know of any similar incidents for the area where your home is located...I'm no pro at this but I would think a geological survey would have to have been done prior to construction of any home in that area to rule out such incidents occurring...do you know who constructed the house?? If not, find out and if you can find out who was the town supervisor at the time responsible for approving the construction and who the actual inspector who approved the house in the 1st place...depending on how old the home is chances are they are no longer in office but you won't know until you start digging...and all this information has to be on record somewhere...if your told you are legally allowed to view the records then you might need to get an attorney on your side...unless filing Freedom of Information Act enables you to gain access to those records...like I said I'm no pro but that's where/how I would start...also check with your neighbors and ask them if they've also had the same type of flooding in their basements also...hope this helps and good luck!!
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Old 12-17-2010, 05:47 PM
 
Location: Albrightsville PA
173 posts, read 544,636 times
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Any house on the mountain is going to get water in the basement due to the high water table if you dont have proper drainage/sump pumps. I know people with crawl spaces and they get water too so just not having a basement would not solve your issue. My basement flooded shortly after i first purchased my house. I had a sump pump but the water just rose out of the sump hole too quickly for the pump to handle. I now have 2 pumps staggered. If the one cannot handle the load, the other kicks in. I have not had a flooded basement in 3 years.

Also check gutters, make sure they are carrying the water away from the house. Plant grass, trees, plants, etc anything around the house that can soak up the water. Also make sure your sump pump is decent size. I have a 1hp and 3/4hp i believe. One pumps 7000gph and the other 5000gph. If you have a 1/4hp that only does 2000gph it wont be able to filter the water out appropiately.
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Old 12-17-2010, 05:51 PM
 
Location: Sunshine N'Blue Skies
13,321 posts, read 21,585,832 times
Reputation: 11689
Yes, it can surely get complicated. But, from the development that was done in Forks, PA I can just say all the legal things mostly gave the owners headaches. ( and it took years, and years)
Out of everyone, I think only a few got a settlement, and it was hardly nothing.
Nothing much came of fixing the properties. A few buckets of dirt here and there.
Sometimes you have to just put your heart into fixing the problem yourself. I did that in my NJ home and my daughter had to do it in her PA home.
See where it is coming from then make the drain, place stone, work your sump pump line outwards and into stone. Plant, and plant again......that will soak up what is entering.
This worked in most of our homes. Best of luck to you......
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Old 12-17-2010, 06:45 PM
 
996 posts, read 967,190 times
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Summering gave solid advice.

Don't bank on making a claim against the contractor who built the house (he may be out of business, etc.)
If you go that route, be prepared to wait a long time (if you succeed), and then the hard part begins - trying to collect on a judgement.

Did you hire a home inspector before you bought the house - if not, you should have. A competent inspector would have found signs of a water problem.
Too late now - but worth mentioning.

You need to take charge and fix the problem yourself if you want to remedy the situation.

Excavation and installation of french drain, tarring, waterproofing of foundation outside walls, and backfilling, grading slope away from foundation will cost a few bucks, but it would not be exhorbinant.

Now is the time to hire an excation contractor - they are hungry for work so you should be able to negotiaite a good price. Work done now before the ground freezes solid may save you from spring flooding.

ps. - I live close to Hickory Run , but I am in Luzerne County on the other side of the river.

Good Luck. PM me if you want a lead on an honest local excavation contractor.
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Old 12-17-2010, 07:18 PM
 
3 posts, read 4,063 times
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Thanks for all the advise. When we bought the place almost 3 years ago they previous owners had not done a thing with the lot. It looked just like the day it was cleared and the house put in. Since we then we had brought in soil and did the slope away from the house and even fixed the sump drain to go further away from the house into the woods. After adding 2 plus inches of soil and trying to evenout things we still get major puddles all around the house when it rains. Even around the septic tank and turkey mound. The end of my driveway even floods out and it almost looks like a moat around my property line by the trees. We have done the shrub thing and all and it does have a french drain. We did have an inspection and all he said was we needed to fix the drainage area from the sump which we did. I am going to contact the municipal building to see what i can find. The place is only going on 7 years old and it is a modular and I know the company it came from and could contact them if needed to find the contractor.
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Old 12-17-2010, 07:19 PM
 
3 posts, read 4,063 times
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Also, there are a few full time houses on my road, but not many and none have a basement which again made me wonder why they ever even put one in mine.
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Old 12-19-2010, 07:20 AM
 
Location: Collegeville PA & Towamensing Trails
513 posts, read 1,017,082 times
Reputation: 279
Quote:
Originally Posted by pocopc View Post
Any house on the mountain is going to get water in the basement due to the high water table if you dont have proper drainage/sump pumps. I know people with crawl spaces and they get water too so just not having a basement would not solve your issue. My basement flooded shortly after i first purchased my house. I had a sump pump but the water just rose out of the sump hole too quickly for the pump to handle. I now have 2 pumps staggered. If the one cannot handle the load, the other kicks in. I have not had a flooded basement in 3 years.

Also check gutters, make sure they are carrying the water away from the house. Plant grass, trees, plants, etc anything around the house that can soak up the water. Also make sure your sump pump is decent size. I have a 1hp and 3/4hp i believe. One pumps 7000gph and the other 5000gph. If you have a 1/4hp that only does 2000gph it wont be able to filter the water out appropiately.
Is your septic system a gravity system or a mound? If gravity, does the high water table also effect your septic system?
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Old 12-19-2010, 01:13 PM
 
Location: Albrightsville PA
173 posts, read 544,636 times
Reputation: 72
not sure on the exact name, but it has 2 tanks and a drain field. It does not have a turkey mound. It has a pump as well.

I have perosnally never had an issue with my septic, but i could see if being an issue if there were cracks or anything in the tanks.

I know someone who had the water coming up thru their sepetic with one of the last storms so i have heard of it before.
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