5 answers

HELP! Damp Carpet in My Basement, but No Leaks!

Hi mamas...I have never posed a question here, but have seen lots of wonderful advice, so I'm hoping for some good feedback! I have lived in my home for almost 14 yrs and we finished the basement ourselves about 7 years ago. We have wood siding on part of it and it is carpeted from one end to the other. The problem is, whenever it rains, we get water just in the floor. I'm pretty sure water is seeping in through the concrete, since concrete is porous and we did not know to seal it when we finished the basement (would have been a nice tip to have then!) It is only in one small area, but the bigger issue is that I run a home daycare and worry about the mold/mildew factor!!! I shampoo regularly and we recently went and bought a dehumidifier (due to our egress window filling and gushing in...another issue that has NEVER happened!) The daycare is in the basement (it is a very nice set up w/ the window and sprinkler system in place) My husband, who is very handy and can fix just about anything, thinks that there may not have been a drain tile put in when the house was built...a very important feature! He thinks this because the day our window filled up in literally 20 minutes time, our sump pump had only an inch of water and never kicked on...and it should have been full due to the amount of rain we had gotten.

Anyway, my question is, what do I do?? We have good home owners insurance, but we currently have no agent, he quit and we just never got another one...so I'm sure there is an 800# to call, but would I have a claim?? (Replacing the carpet and wood work is not a financial option for us right now!) Do I need an agent?? I am concerned because I do not want there to be colds or allergies due to mildew...thankfully, there is no smell and we keep on top of keeping it clean, but we hope to sell in a year or two and I'm pretty sure we would need to have this remedied before we did that anyway! Any help or advice would be appreciated! Thanks, ladies!

What can I do next?

More Answers

We had seepage through our floor and found out that insurance does not cover seepage. So, it cost about $6000 but we called Permaseal to install drain tile and we are so happy we did. We got absolutely no water this summer when every other house in our neighborhood flooded. It is guaranteed for the life of the home, so that was good peace of mind for us too.

Also, I know that Cook County has been recently been designated a disaster area so there are federal funds to help with repair costs. I would call your village to see what the process is and if they can help. It's a huge investment but worth it to have a healthy home.

I hope this helps. Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

I would call someone who knows about homes in your area first and ask for advice. I'm suprised there isn't a moisture barrier of some sort. Once you find out exactly what the problems are and how to fix them... THEN I would call insurance.

What home insurance company do you have? That makes a differance because they all cover things differantly. You can file a claim on your insurance and they will send someone out to look at the house. But some companies penalize you for filing,, you might lose a claim free discount, etc. Whether something is covered or not, usually depends on the cause. If it's earth shift, wear and tear, or maintenance issue - probably not. Insurance isn't meant to maintain your home. If it's construction defect they would usually cover but go after the contractor - in this case - you don't want that! If there is a broken pipe, they will usually fix the damage but not pay for the pipe repair - again - they only fix damage due to a covered peril. You need to find out what the peril was.
You should
1) find out what the root cause of the leaking is.
2) find an agent to talk to. If you call a 1-800 number , that is an automatic claim filed. They don't give advice, they just take the info and turn it in - that's filing a claim. You need an agent to advise you.
3) Then ask your agent if that cause is covered and what your deductible will be, along with, what are the ramifications to your policy - (loss of discounts, etc) If deductible is $2000 and the repair is $2500, may not be worth it if you lose a $200 discount for the next 3 years.

Can you tell I do this for a living? :) Message me if you need anything at all.

you can have a plumber come and check the drain tiles - they take a camera and go in the sub pump hole and they can see if any are crushed or damaged.

Also, you do NOT have to seal a concrete basement, only a basement that is the old fashioned dug into the dirt kind or the kind that is a crawl space that isn't finished.

Unfortunately I have had my basement flood 4 times the first year our house was built so I learned a LOT about basements and flooding that year. The builder decided nothing was wrong in the long term but I didn't agree. We do have one crushed drain tile but it's not one that should matter honestly.

I wouldn't necessarily call your insurance compaany - your rates will probably go up just because you inquired on calming it. Istead, you may have to pull up the carpet and check for cracks in the concrete. Chances are that there is a crack without a doubt in the floor or wall. We had a crack in the wall and chisled it out to form a square and then applied expanding quick drying cement and that stopped the leak in no time. Because the wall was finished, we did have to tear down that wall (it was wet inside so it was a good thing we did anyway). So, figure out where the water is coming from and try to fix it. You can probably hire a handyman or have your husband do it. The secreit is to make sure you make a square, not a "V", otherwise when the cement expands, it will just pop right back out.

Good luck!

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