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Help! Water underneath my house!

Apologies if similar has been posted before.
We have a detached house where half of the floor is concrete base (hallway and part of kitchen) and the other half (lounge and rest of kitchen/diner) has a suspended timber floor. We are preparing to have a new kitchen and found water under the floorboards in the none concrete side, a few inches worth. So this was likely to be under the lounge too. The water dries out when we have a dry spell of weather which is great, however any further rainwater seems come straight in and be right underneath our house again! There is a good 4 inches of water in there now, it is literally less than two feet underneath our floorboards. The rainwater drain is fine and has been replaced, it is not the water table (none of our neighbours seem to be having problems and have never found water underneath their house). We are pulling our hair out and don't know where to turn. We suspected there was an issue as our wallpaper has been peeling off in the lounge and we get slugs all the time on our downstairs floors. We are panicking as we cannot seem to solve it, we have a 10 month old baby who is now crawling and it petrifies me that she might get hold of one of the slugs if it creeps in and I don't see it! We have had the water board out and they say there is no issue with surface water drainage and none of the drains are blocked, plus the water is only rainwater, no sewage. Does anyone have any idea what I can do?

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  • spadooshspadoosh Forumite
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    Do you have large fields surrounding your property?

    Has no one mentioned a sump pump to you? Essentially a pump at a low point that kicks in when it detects water, draining to the mains sewerage system.

    It doesn solve the problem of where the water is coming from, just gets rid of the water that has come in.
  • We have fields across the road, however I would have thought that it would affect neighbouring properties too and they haven't had any issues as far as I am aware. I have heard of a sump pump, that might be what we need to go for. It is just baffling. Thankyou for your reply.
  • JackmydadJackmydad Forumite
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    Dig a two foot deep hole in a lot of places and you'll end up with water in the bottom of it.
    Especially after the amount of rain we've had lately.

    How old's the house? Is it on a slope? Is it on a low lying wet area? Or an area known to have lots of underground springs and so on?

    A pump as spadoosh suggests would seem to be one answer at least.
  • dunrovingdunroving Forumite
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    You say that the rainwater drain is fine - does this apply to all the piping from the drain to the edge of the property? My first thought was a broken rainwater pipe under the ground.

    I had similar in my very first house, led to ground heaving (clay soil) and need to tie in the gable end.

    My house had a pond under the floorboards, exact same as yours.

    (Also, you say the drain has been repaired - were you present for this? In my house above, I had a serious falling out with the builder because one of his lads told me he had just gaffer taped thick polythene around the pipe fracture!)
    (Nearly) dunroving
  • FreeBearFreeBear Forumite
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    Get the rain water drains and soakaway looked at as soon as possible. If they are OK, dig a French drain around the whole house and install some drainage to take the water away. You should not be getting water pooling under the floor.

    The fact that you have slugs inside the house suggests that some of the timbers are getting damp and the moisture is wicking up the walls - This needs to be sorted before joists & floorboards start to rot. Please do not get one of these "free" damp & timber surveys done as you will be conned in to spending a fortune on ineffective cures without fixing the root cause.
    Her courage will change the world.

    Treasure the moments that you have. Savour them for as long as you can for they will never come back again.
  • RelievedSheffRelievedSheff PPR Forumite
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    spadoosh wrote: »
    Do you have large fields surrounding your property?

    Has no one mentioned a sump pump to you? Essentially a pump at a low point that kicks in when it detects water, draining to the mains sewerage system.

    It doesn solve the problem of where the water is coming from, just gets rid of the water that has come in.

    Groundwater and land drainage have no right of connection to adoptable sewers!
  • konarkkonark Forumite
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    My cellar is damp and has standing water. My neighbours' cellar is dry as dust , despite being lower than mine. Just saying that sometimes water will find its own course, maybe your house was built over an old stream or pond?
  • edited 15 November 2019 at 10:06PM
    DavesnaveDavesnave Forumite
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    edited 15 November 2019 at 10:06PM
    Groundwater and land drainage have no right of connection to adoptable sewers!
    Yes, but that doesn't mean one cannot use them if it's the most viable solution in the short term. I wouldn't want to dig a soak-away at the moment!

    Konark is right; those with the misfortune to live over an underground spring will maybe suffer this when neighbours don't. Springs may alter course too, so what's now a problem might not have been in the past.
  • We have had problems with water under out house 3 times. The first time it happened:
    1. Our water company came out and checked for leaks in our water system (this was free)
    2. We had a drainage company come out and do a survey, they were mystified as our drains are at the back of our house and the water (and the smell from it) was in the middle and back of the house. We paid for the survey. They suggested a soakaway.
    3. We contacted our house insurance who did trace and access on the problem (we were covered for this on our buildings policy).

    It turned out that the first time we had the problem there was a crack in our drain at the rear of the house. However because the ground out house is built on is on a slight slant, the water was pooling in the middle and front of the house, nowhere near the drains. It was grey water eg from sink bath etc not sewage.

    The insurance company repaired our drain, we paid our excess and that was the end of it for a few years.

    Then it happened again. We contacted the insurance company again for trace and access. They identified an issue with our soil pipe which they said we weren't covered for as it was due to wear and tear. We got the soil pipe fixed by a company of our own choosing and at our own cost, we also asked them to do a survey at the same time. They identified that the problem was coming from the neighbour's house, that slant meant that any water from their blocked drain also pooled under our house. They sorted it, the problem went away...

    Then it happened again. The owners of the house next door were claiming there was no problem at their end. We paid for a drain survey for both our houses privately as we were worried about yet another insurance claim. This time next doors drain had a crack in it. They did repair it once we had evidenced where the problem was coming from, although I was getting worried that they might not and googling for legal/environmental health advice.

    It's been at least 3 years now and all seems to be ok (touch wood).

    So I would suggest
    1. getting your water company to check for any leaks in your water system and
    2. contacting your buildings insurance for trace and access if you are covered for this. If not, find a decent company locally that can do this for you. Get your drains surveyed with a camera if you can.

    Good luck!
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