Possible solution to wet basement?

I’ve got this problem on my mind, since we’ve had ridiculous amounts of rain up here in north NJ. My basement flooded the other night because the sump pump cut out. It’s fixed now, but in the meantime I may have hit, entirely accidentally, on a possible solution which I’d like to present to you guys.
Right now the water table is very high around here because of the rains. All the neighborhood sump pumps are going. A while ago I filled in a crack between my garage and the driveway with some crushed rock, and didn’t seal it with anything because the driveway’s a mess anyway and I’m aiming to get it redone, at which time everything will be sealed. The crack, while narrow, was rather deep, as I remember being surprised at how much crushed rock it took to get the crack filled up. Now, I notice that the rock is moist, even though there’s an overhang over the garage entrance, so that all the pavement around it is dry. Only the rock is moist. This has to be because it’s taking the moisture in the soil it’s in contact with and bringing it up to the surface.
So, my question is, besides getting the driveway redone, which I realize will probably help my situation, if I were to dig out an area near my foundation and fill it in with this crushed rock, would it do any good? I figure if it can absorb the moisture and bring it to the surface, it might be able to relieve enough pressure to keep the basement dry.
Good idea, or crackpot dream?

I think you’ve basically re-invented the french drain.

My mother’s house is on a hill and all the runoff tends to collect around the high side of the house. On that side, they dug a trench along the foundation and filled it in with crushed rock. At the bottom PVC pipes with holes cut in it allowed the water to drain out of the rock and around to the side of the house where it could continue its way down the hill without harm.

Yah, mon. When you laid the rock pieces, there was plenty of space amongst amd between the individual shards. Most of the time, this is air, but it can fill with water, too. I imagine that over time soil will get in between the spaces, so this drain situation will not last.

My parent’s home had some draining problems, so they hired a contractor, who dug a trench near the wall afflicted, and filled it with a goop of some sort. This is probably impermeable, and it’s inside the “rain shadow” of the house (the eaves of the house drop rain beyond where this hole was dug). I don’t know what good it would do you, as you water comes up from underneath.

That’s the problem with the crushed rock idea - there’s a whole heck of a lot of water, and as soon as the available space in the gravel is filled, water will continue into your basement. And I bet you don’t want to dig under your house and water proof it. :slight_smile: What an idea! Dig a big whole for a new house, but the bottom layer is some sort of impermeable goop instead of concrete. You lay the concerete on top of it.

Thanks to both of you for the answers. I spent a portion of my day looking at how to put in a French drain. I’ll try it in one place just to see if it does what it’s advertised to do as far as draining water. If it does, I’ll undertake something more ambitious.
cdhostage, the places I went did mention the possibility of clogging, but basically said you have to check it regularly to make sure it continues to work. They also suggested using sheeting to keep the soil out. I’ll try it and see. Can’t hurt anyway.