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Question

Dear Lon,

In the basement in our newly constructed house, we have started to notice seepage along all of the walls and in several locations on the floor, and our sump - pump seems to come on quite frequently.

What can we do?

Rochester, MI

Answer

It is very common for houses under construction to have damp basements. Remember, the house has been open to the elements for quite a while. Also, the basement floor and foundation walls will have a tremendous amount of water in them until they dry out.

Start by making sure the terrain is sloped away from the house with at least a one-inch-per-foot slope for 4 to 6 feet. Also, confirm that the gutters are properly discharging water.

Ask your builder to check those damp areas, which may be rod hole leaks. Those are easy to repair from inside.

Finally, install an alternate energy backup sump pump. Anyone who has a sump pump that operates frequently or even periodically should know that the sump pump is your last line of defense against basement flooding.