Groundwater rising

Just about to brave the Covid regs and visit our house in Maine et Loire for the first time in over a year. We’ve had worrying reports of water seeping up through the ceramic tiled kitchen floor. We’re not in a flood plain, in fact are high on a plateau, so could it be rising groundwater after the very heavy and prolonged rain? And if so, what’s the solution? Feeling deeply apprehensive…

Wait and see what the situation is when you visit. If the floor was just damp, more than likely it’s condensation (cold floor, warm moist air). It’s unlikely that water can seep up through tiles or the joints.


That’s what I’m hoping…old stone house, lime render, everything very porous. It seems to be just inside the external door rather than across the whole floor area, so could be condensation :crossed_fingers::crossed_fingers::crossed_fingers:

I sympathise - we have fingers crossed we’ll be able to make it over in a couple of weeks and, like you, have not been to our house in almost a year.

Presently I’m bricking it but Mark is right - you won’t know until you arrive and chances are it it will just be something minor because the place hasn’t been aired for a long time.

Thanks, I hope to be able to post a very relieved update next Monday- otherwise it’ll be a plea for technical help!!

Good luck Anne Don’t forget the wellies :face_with_hand_over_mouth: though I’m sure it will be fine.

Friends had a fright when they visited their holiday home this Spring.
Large wet patch/puddle sounding similar to yours… turned out to be where winter storms had forced rain into the kitchen, over a period of time when the house was empty.

The water lay in a large pool on the new flooring, just inside the back door. (which has since been sucessfully “rainproofed”.)



Hi Anne, welcome to Survive France !

We had a humidity issue in our stone barn one year when it was still a holiday home. We arrived after a damp spring and the start of a hot summer - green mildew on all flat surfaces. It turned out to be high humidity partly due to (like yours) a barn with no / little ventilation.
When we finally arrived here for good in 2018, we bought a dehumidifier with us and in the first three days we had to empty it a few times a day. The humidity was 90%+ when we first arrived.
It may be humidity, or as Stella mentions, it may be water that has found its way in.

I am sure its not something to worry about too much, fixable and don’t let it ruin your time in your French home.

Ha ha - wellies already packed!

Thanks for the reassurance Stella. Here’s hoping it’s a relatively simple solution like that🤞

Fingers crossed for you.

While the owner was dabbling in their kitchen, I raced upstairs to see if the bathroom plumbing was leaking in some way… but NO… phew.

Thanks Peter. We had a slight mildew issue a couple of years ago after a very wet spring, but the water is a whole new level of excitement! Our trusty chap who pops in every few weeks also mentioned our cutlery had rusted, which seems to suggest general high humidity rather than flooding? So packing emergency eating implements as well as the wellies! But will try not to let it spoil our trip… :grimacing:

It can happen, but it generally requires a lot of rainfall over a period of time, and a generally high watertable. I’ve had this in a cellar of a house in the Beaujolais, which was near the top of a hill (limestone), but it followed a period of about a week of prolonged heavy rainfall, and seen it also in a house in the north-east of France built on an underground stream (as we found out afterwards). It came as a surprise to us too. The big difference I noticed at the time between groundwater and other kinds sewage, rain, etc) was the sweetness of the smell!

It could even be a leaking gutter or down pipe. Or a sloping pathway. Years ago, when the house was still just for holidays, we had a huge storm. I opened the front door to have a look, and a wave entered! I tried to stem the flood with towels until I realised that the best thing to do was to simply shut the door. Doh! The path to the house sloped slightly downhill towards the front door and we could tell that water had entered in our absence. Luckily the floor was mostly still ‘paved’ with sand at that time. We’ve had no more problems since we sculpted a raised area in the path and put in a drain to take any water away from the door.

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Thanks Alex, I will inhale when I open the door and hope to smell nothing serious!

UPDATE: On arrival after a 2 hour delay at Eurotunnel due to ‘incorrect documentation’ (not true - more likely faulty website!:rage:) we mopped up the water in the pantry and kitchen, then crashed out. The next morning nothing had reappeared, and when we started cleaning up in the pantry we found a pack of tonic water tins unopened but…completely empty! About 2 litres’worth of liquid. And no more puddles on the floor since. So we are assuming/hoping that somehow the tonic water leaked out of faulty year old tins, and our house isn’t sinking. Has anyone else encountered this bizarre phenomenon??


At least it wasn’t the gin.

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That is really strange! Could they have frozen over the winter and burst?

Too right :rofl: :rofl: :rofl:

That seems most the likely explanation.

I arrived last year after a hot spell which meant that several of the U bends had dried out - the place reeked :nauseated_face: