Main site > MoneySavingExpert.com Forums > Essential Money > House Buying, Renting & Selling > Flooded cellar - cause and solution (Page 1)

IMPORTANT! This is MoneySavingExpert's open forum - anyone can post

Please exercise caution & report any spam, illegal, offensive, racist, libellous post to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com

  • Be nice to all MoneySavers
  • All the best tips go in the MoneySavingExpert weekly email

    Plus all the new guides, deals & loopholes

  • No spam/referral links
or Login with Facebook
Flooded cellar - cause and solution
Closed Thread
Views: 7,999
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
# 1
Jowo
Old 26-02-2010, 4:40 PM
Fantastically Fervent MoneySaving Super Fan
 
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 8,001
Default Flooded cellar - cause and solution

For first time in six years, my cellar (old coal store for Victorian house) flooded with an inch of water. Water looked fairly clean/clear. Immediate neighbours did not have this problem but one of them has a tanked cellar anyway.

As there was so much junk in the cellar, I couldn't really identify the origins. Plumber said it is unlikely to have come out of the drain/gulley that is in there and there is unlikely to be a blockage in those pipes. It also didn't come from water pipes which run across the ceiling and were dry.

A neighbour told me there is a stream or spring that runs past the back of all the properties, first I've heard of this - Not detailed on property survey and the previous owner told my solicitor before purchase that the cellar never flooded while he lived there. I suppose the drain in place indicates that it was prone to flooding. Though there's been heavy rain in the past weeks, its gone through torrential rain in the years past without so much as a damp patch.

So what is the likely cause (ground water seeping in?) and how can I best investigate its source?

What are my options, including getting the cellar tanked and likely costs to prevent this happening again?

What kind of specialists or organisations do you recommend look into it?
Jowo is offline
Report Post
# 2
G_M
Old 26-02-2010, 9:51 PM
Deliciously Dedicated Diehard MoneySaving Devotee
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 25,089
Default

Well you seem to have identified the possible causes: stream; ground water; leaking pipes;

Only a surveyor would be able to determine which - certainly noone here who's never seen the celler.
G_M is offline
Report Post
The Following User Says Thank You to G_M For This Useful Post: Show me >>
# 3
PasturesNew
Old 26-02-2010, 10:17 PM
Deliciously Dedicated Diehard MoneySaving Devotee
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: SW UK
Posts: 47,268
Default

With all the snow/rain that's been about in the past weeks/months, it could be the water table's risen.

If your floor is just earth, you could try digging down and seeing how far down the water table is (I'm thinking one hole, about the size of a baked bean can, not major digging). I'd leave the hole there and keep monitoring it ... I'd not go down more than a foot.
PasturesNew is online now
Report Post
The Following User Says Thank You to PasturesNew For This Useful Post: Show me >>
# 4
David Aldred
Old 27-02-2010, 9:55 AM
MoneySaving Stalwart
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Thornton Cleveleys, Lancashire
Posts: 366
Smile Leaking cellar

Hi Jowo,
If it were leakage from a foul drain it usually really does stink. Leakage from surface water / grey water drains can be checked with dyes and water main leakage can be tested for by your local water board for traces of the additives that go in mains water or you could send a sample to www.ukanalytical.com who will test it for you.

Ruling such leakage out you should be aware that changes in the local water table can occur from things that other people do outside your control such as an adjoining property tanking their cellar, a new house build / estate / extension, people digging up land drains on their property etc.

The drain in the cellar floor could back up if it is blocked along it's length or the rate of flow can cause the drains to become surcharged or in some cases if there is no return valve in the pipe it can begin to back-flow. Again all things to be checked.

At the end of the day there is a defect and leakage has occurred. Options with regard to structural waterproofing if you wish to do so (and you don't have to if you are content to let it flood every now and again if this is a transient occurrence) are once drain / leakage issues have been identified / resolved where possible to either hold the moisture back (tanking) or let the moisture come in behind / beneath a membrane and then drain it away.

Both systems have adavantages and disadvantages and if you hold the moisture back be aware you could push it soemwhere that was previously dry and if that is an adjoining property you could be held liable. You can have a read of British Standard BS8102 at a main library online (as you can with all the British Standards) which deals with such systems and the following manufacturer's have good info on their web sites:

Safeguard Chemicals www.safeguardeurope.com

Wykamol Group www.wykamol.com

Sovereign Chemicals www.sovereignchemicals.com

If you have anyone look at it even if you don't take their advice ensure they are CSSW qualified which stands for Certified Surveyor in Structural Waterproofing. Hope this helps, kindest regards David Aldred Independent damp and timber surveyor
David Aldred is offline
Report Post
The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to David Aldred For This Useful Post: Show me >>
# 5
Jowo
Old 27-02-2010, 10:48 AM
Fantastically Fervent MoneySaving Super Fan
 
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 8,001
Default

very helpful, thanks guys.
Jowo is offline
Report Post
# 6
Jowo
Old 21-04-2010, 3:06 PM
Fantastically Fervent MoneySaving Super Fan
 
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 8,001
Default

How off putting is it to buyers for a cellar in a house with one recorded flood of ground water in the past 6 years? It's something that made my heart sink but the independent damp surveyor I had in didn't think it was anything unusual.

Two months after the ground water flooding, there are still big damp patches in one end of the cellar (below the entrance at the centre of the house) along the edge of its floor, though the rest has dried out.

I think the reason why the ingress stretched so far across the floor when it happened is because I had lots of junk where it originated so it could not run off very well into the existing gulley and drain (which isn't blocked as far as Dynarod can tell, unhelpfully their camera was too inflexible to do an inspection).

The independent surveyor estimated 1800 plus VAT by a PCA contractor to clean and surface groove the existing floor to provide drain off of surface water to the gulley and chamber, apply Delta MS 20 to the floor surface and a 75mm waterproof screed.

Would this be sufficient to stop it being a deal breaker by a buyer? Should I have more faith that the existing gulley/drain will work in future now I've removed my belongings from its path?

How much would it cost by comparison to tank the cellar, in case a buyer is twitchy about it? It's approx 1.5 metre high by 1 metre wide by 8 metres long.
Jowo is offline
Report Post
# 7
David Aldred
Old 21-04-2010, 8:45 PM
MoneySaving Stalwart
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Thornton Cleveleys, Lancashire
Posts: 366
Smile Flooding cellar / basement

Hi Jowo,
The cellar is non habitable accomodation which you say has a free running drain gulley within the floor. The recommendation by the independent does seem a little odd from what you describe given that the the drain gulley will remain unchanged yet it was insufficient to prevent the cellar flooding previously. In addition although it may be hoped the leakage emerged at the floor / wall joint there is no guarantee that it actually did as you could not see the source from what you describe, meaning their is a risk that the moisture source may be say leakage through the walls and / or backflow of the drain within the floor.

This being the case if you paid the 1800 plus VAT to memebrane the floor and you still had leakage through the walls and / or backflow up through the drain, then flooding may still occur and you would not be best pleased haven't spent all that money to still see water in the cellar I imagine.

If you tank the cellar to only one area such that you are holding water back at one point yet other areas are not tanked you run the risk of changing the dynamics of the way the current problem is behaving resulting in an area that you thought was previously dry and that did not need tanking becoming wet. If this happened to cause a problem in an adjoining house cellar that was previously dry you run the risk of being in the poo from a liability point of view.

The cost of tanking varies wildly from contractor to contractor and for different cellars depending on substrate preperation and many other things such as finish required etc. I have seen quotes varying from 30-200 plus VAT per square metre not taking into account minimum call out charges etc. Of course you could always tank it yourself by purchasing the product from the manufacturer and doing it under their guidance and save yourself the contractors labour and profit depending on how confident you are with building work.

If you are going to sell the property in the not too distant future you may consider not doing anything at all but just letting the situation stand as it has done for many years given that it is non habitable accomodation and the money you would spend on structural waterproofing may not add to the value of the property sufficiently to make it cost effective. Hope this helps, kindest regards David Aldred Independent damp and timber surveyor

Last edited by David Aldred; 21-04-2010 at 8:49 PM.
David Aldred is offline
Report Post
Closed Thread

Bookmarks
 
 




Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

 Forum Jump  

Contact Us - MoneySavingExpert.com - Archive - Privacy Statement - Top

Powered by vBulletin® Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

All times are GMT +1. The time now is 12:56 PM.

 Forum Jump  

Free MoneySaving Email

Top deals: Week of 30 July 2014

Get all this & more in MoneySavingExpert's weekly email full of guides, vouchers and Deals

GET THIS FREE WEEKLY EMAIL Full of deals, guides & it's spam free

Latest News & Blogs

Martin's Twitter Feed

profile

Cheap Travel Money

Find the best online rate for holiday cash with MSE's TravelMoneyMax.

Find the best online rate for your holiday cash with MoneySavingExpert's TravelMoneyMax.

TuneChecker Top Albums

  • VARIOUS ARTISTSNOW THAT'S WHAT I CALL MUSIC! 88
  • ED SHEERANX (DELUXE EDITION)
  • VARIOUS ARTISTSTHE HOUSE THAT GARAGE BUILT - MINISTRY OF SOUND

MSE's Twitter Feed

profile
Always remember anyone can post on the MSE forums, so it can be very different from our opinion.
We use Skimlinks and other affiliated links in some of our boards, for some of our users.