Around 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, another one of the monsoon-like storms passed through. Just as we were about to drive off to pick Katherine up from work so she wouldn't have to bike home in the rain, we went down to the basement to check on the leak. At first things seemed fine, then as we were heading back to the stairs, Taylor asked me what the noise was coming from the front of the basement. I thought it was just the rain outside, but we were in for quite a surprise!
Water was pouring through the hole at a rate faster than I could carry the buckets to the backyard! Eventually the storm let up some and we were able to get it under control, but this was definitely the worst it's been. Looking out in the front yard after the storm, we could see that the corner had developed into a fair size sink hole where the water just pulled the soil right through the wall. While PECO should be coming out in a few days to inspect the wood conduit, I decided to install a bypass around the old downspout drain to help keep water away from the foundation. At the same time I noticed that the ground in the front garden varied in slope from level to actually sloping toward the house, so water was just puddling up near the wall. After a quick trip to Home Depot, we arrived home with an elbow and a length of downspout pipe, along with seven bags of topsoil. Starting on the left side near the leak, I dug about a foot deep to mix the new soil in. To get the recommended 1/2" per foot slope, we had to raise the back by about three inches, showing that this is going to take a lot more soil to do the whole yard! After I'd exhausted the supply of new soil building up the slope on the left two feet, I cut and installed the new downspout pipe.
If this becomes a permanent solution we'll need to plant some good foliage around there to make it a bit less conspicuous!