There is a WHAT under my house?!?

Lilavati

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#1
These were the first words I said to my contractor after listening to the message he left me upon installing a sump in the basement.

The phrase to which they reply is "You have a river under your house, girl."


He was only somewhat exaggerating. Its not undermining the foundations or anything, but there is a body of flowing ground water several feet under the floor of my basement. It appears that when the house was built, it was built on a natural spring . .. which combined with the run off from the road in front of the house, the slope of the land, and the creek in the backyard means that I have an underground stream. Which would be kinda cool, IF it wasn't under my house. I suppose it could come in handy during the zombie apocalypse . . . we can dig a well in the basement.

He's pretty confident that we can redirect the water to do no harm (and its not currently harming the house, it just backs up in heavy rain and gives me water in the basement, which the sump should fix. The people who built the place after WWII (namely, the military) must have known, because there also big pipes under the house to direct the water (that was part of what he found while digging out the sump).

Ah, the joys of home ownership.
 

Fran101

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#2
THAT IS SO **** COOL!!!

I say keep it lol What if you guys move it and come to find that this spring was some kind of crazy lucky fountain of youth or something?

or maybe you were a beaver in a past life lol
 

CharlieDog

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#3
Wowwwww.

I dunno. On one hand that's pretty awesome. On the other as an almost new homeowner, I'd be pissed.
 

Shai

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#4
As you said...that would be awesome if it wasn't under your house...lol

If there's a zombie apocalypse, however, I am moving in.
 

Snark

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#6
A friend found out her house was built over a wet weather creek... they had to install two sump pumps to keep the basement dry, and it's a fairly small house.

Another friend incorporated a spring into her basement - set up a fish pond.
 
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#7
Well, that tells you that the former owners knew the basement flooded and that there's very little probability that it has been dry since the last incident they disclosed.

I would totally have spring water being pumped up into my house though.
 
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#8
Another friend incorporated a spring into her basement - set up a fish pond.
OOOH! DO THAT!

I had a dream when I was really little, that a creek ran through my bedroom. It was awesome, there were fish and a little bridge and everything. It was very cartoony. But you could DO it!! :D
 

Doberluv

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#9
I'm totally seeing teak wood all over the walls and a fancy dehumidifying system, an arched foot bridge, rockery, and maybe even a little wading pool.

You could use this water for your house water if it's any good. I loved my spring water in my last place. It, however didn't come up under my house, but far up on the hill. At least it seems it hasn't undermined the structure.

Seriously, this is really infuriating. The previous owners had to know. If they didn't disclose this and they knew about it, you could sue them. I hope you don't have too much expense in dealing with this.
 

Lilavati

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#10
I'm totally seeing teak wood all over the walls and a fancy dehumidifying system, an arched foot bridge, rockery, and maybe even a little wading pool.

You could use this water for your house water if it's any good. I loved my spring water in my last place. It, however didn't come up under my house, but far up on the hill. At least it seems it hasn't undermined the structure.

Seriously, this is really infuriating. The previous owners had to know. If they didn't disclose this and they knew about it, you could sue them. I hope you don't have too much expense in dealing with this.

Well, they had to know about the flooding. My handyman/contractor does not think that they knew the ultimate reason it happened (the "river") I specifically asked him that. He said that he hadn't even expected it until he saw it, and he does this sort of thing all the time.

I'm tempted by the fish pond, but I'm not sure the water would actually be drinkable, jokes about wells aside. Some of that water is almost certainly run off from the major road fronting the house. Unless we could figure out exactly where the spring is, the water we brought up would be contaminated by that run off. Also, we're just about 10 miles from DC, perhaps 3 from the Potomac . . . I don't have great faith in the groundwater here period. As someone at work remarked, you should probably be glad your handyman said "you have a river under your house" and not "You have a nuclear waste dump under your house."
 

Doberluv

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#11
As someone at work remarked, you should probably be glad your handyman said "you have a river under your house" and not "You have a nuclear waste dump under your house."
No kidding! Yeah, I guess that whole area can be pretty polluted. Well...It will be best to divert that water and not have it in or under your house at all. Indoor water features require special construction and systems to prevent damage from the humidity etc. I hope it won't cost and arm and a leg. Does insurance cover something like this?
 

Lilavati

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#12
No kidding! Yeah, I guess that whole area can be pretty polluted. Well...It will be best to divert that water and not have it in or under your house at all. Indoor water features require special construction and systems to prevent damage from the humidity etc. I hope it won't cost and arm and a leg. Does insurance cover something like this?
As a practical matter, I don't think it can be diverted. When the house was built, it appears that they layered gravel, huge rocks and big pipes under the house to keep it moving. The foundations are largely sitting on top of that, at least as far as I understand what Rob (my contractor/handyman) is telling me.

We get flooding in the basement when that water rises out of its "bed" and comes up through the outdoor drain that takes water from the French drain surrounding the house and puts it into that flow. So we've put in a sump pump to take up the water that "escapes" or "overflows" the "steam" before it can come up the drain, flood the outdoor stairwell, and come into the house. The pump puts the water into the county sewer system . . . which is about he only way to get it away from the house altogether.

Now, we see if this works.
 

smkie

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#13
I had a river under the hobbit house. Which is why when the sump pump went out I called the landlord and told him "what do I have to do sing row row row your boat?" You could have housed hippos down there. Moisture was the main thing and I am sure your house is built a whole lot better than that shack was. STill...I know what it is like. I would watch that sump pump.
 

Lilavati

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#14
I had a river under the hobbit house. Which is why when the sump pump went out I called the landlord and told him "what do I have to do sing row row row your boat?" You could have housed hippos down there. Moisture was the main thing and I am sure your house is built a whole lot better than that shack was. STill...I know what it is like. I would watch that sump pump.
We have a back up pump (smaller, but it would buy time). A generator and a flood sensor (to summon me if water gets into the basement) are on the list to get. We know that it can fail . . . at least the house is built like a bunker. If the water got higher, it would destroy stuff, and theoretically could force us to remodel the basement . . . but its unlikely (crosses fingers) to damage the house itself.

This is just something we have to live with . .. as I've noted to some friends, compared to where we lived before, this is a minor inconvenience.
 
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