Holes in baseboard heating = foundation water drainage?

2 Replies

The past couple of weeks have been... educational... I am a new landlord, just purchased and occupy a 4plex. Tenants in one of my units were gone for a week and came back to standing water in two of their bedrooms. We got the water shut off, home warranty company called, plumbers deployed, and water mitigation company put to work. Home insurance company was put to work, and contractors were lined up to do the repairs. Long story short, copper piping replaced with 40 feet of pex piping, two feet of drywall/insulation removed from 3 out of 4 walls in two bedrooms (where we discovered more nails that were put into section of piping from when previous owners installed trim during a reno), and things have been progressing.

The water mitigation company has now expressed concerns that moisture may be seeping into the wood strut wall foundation from the outside (their numbers of saturation went up during a rain storm). I ran a hose under a window on the wall where numbers went up for an hour and they are coming back tonight to take another reading. If they come back with confirmation that water can hit the walls from the outside - what should I do? Is it as simple as putting asphalt sealer along the base of that wall and calling it a day? Or are we talking digging out a trench around the perimeter of the property to spray foam and dig French drains? Things have escalated from a simple leak to a huge project and I'm starting to feel like we are in pretty deep...

Any insight is appreciated.

Hi @Jeremy Bartlett ,

Just responded to your request. If you’ve confirmed your fears of water infiltration, yes, you do need to do something outside. But it may not be as bad as you think. I’ve had good luck with grading and gutters if you have the room to do it right. 

How much space do you have around your building? Is the lot fairly level? Or is it heavily sloping?

If you can provide more info, I might have a solution...

BTW, welcome to BP! 

And to the wonderful world of (Oh Sh*#!!) landlording.

Hey Scott thanks for reaching out:

We have confirmed that there is external water coming into the property - but do not think that we need to replace the exterior wall. I have been recommended by a local contracting company to install a sump pump 8.5 ft down to get water away from the property - at around $8-$9K. Does that sound accurate to you? They are charging $5200 just to dig the hole! I feel like it is pretty extreme and am curious if we can get away with just putting asphalt sealer around the edges of the property to get through the winter?

The property slopes slightly to the North, and has a pretty dramatic drop in grade on the N side of the property for about 4 ft.

Let me know what you think!