Ground Water Causing Water Hydraulics - July 12th 2005
Q: My daughter has a two level home. The lot is sloped with the left side bottom level under ground. The lower level fireplace is under ground. Four weeks ago during a heavy rain water came in through the fireplace soaking the carpet. We dug down around the outside wall of the fireplace to the perimeter drains to find them both plugged. We had them flushed bringing the water level to the bottom of the footing. Coincidentally a Bob from Langley had a same problem and you referred to it as ground water causing water hydraulics. Since the start of the problem four weeks ago there have been three more heavy rains and water has come through the fireplace floor but at decreasing rates.
My question is could underneath the floor be so saturated water from the plugged drains that it will take a good stretch of good warm weather to stop the water hydraulics as long as the drains are kept clear.
Bill, Port Alberni
A: Homes built on the side of sloping land can be enhanced with water hydraulics during wet periods of the year ie: spring run off or long periods of heavy rain. Water may take up to 2 - 3 weeks to reach your home and as well it may take 2 - 3 weeks to go away with good weather. High water tables have been known to activate springs in some strange places under the right conditions. This may be your problem. After the remedial work that you are doing wait a month and if the water does not stop you may have to look into an inside drainage system.