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Jayru

Basement Waterproofing?

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Anybody on the board ever gone about doing this or had a company do it? I get a tiny bit of standing water that seeps up from the floor, under heavy rain conditions, in a few spots in the basement. It's never been a concern to me, but now i'm thinking of finishing the basement into a small apartment.

I called the company "B-Dry" and they came out to give a consultation. $6,000. :surprised

They want to dig a whole trench system around all the walls and that just seems like way overkill (and too much money) for a little standing water here and there.

Any suggestions?

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yes ..that is what you probably need to do. You may also need a sump pump. Hard to tell from here. Sometimes you need to trust a pro and hope for the best. Not all contractors are out to screw you. This problem of yours can be a costly fix...

Cheers .. Bruce

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You have to prevent water from getting to your basement walls. This is done by digging around your foundation and either applying a tar base waterproofer or a plastic liner. If you don't have a sump pump then that would be recommended also. There is no cheap alternative. If you try and paint over the cement in the interior the water will still find it's way in.

You can try and prevent water from getting to your foundation walls by landscaping and rain gutters but this will only help a little.

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Do NOT go with a waterproofing service, it's a scam. My brother paid an arm and a leg to do this and it still came back.

You can use UGL Dry-Lok, which works very well, but I have a sump-pump, it's your best option. French drains won't really help in bad leak situations, and it's a bear to retro fit (although it CAN be done).

Do you have a concrete block or poured concrete?

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I have a poured concrete foundation. The water comes up from where the floor meets the walls, not the walls themselves. After a lot of research last night, it's called hydrostatic pressure. The only way to aleviate it would be some kind of drain system i think.

If i put just a sump pump in 1 corner, would that relieve the pressure from the whole basement?

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I think you also have to consider soil type, but curtian drains might be an option. Also make sure the grade of the soil slopes away from the house along with any water from the roof.

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Jayru : .. It is possible that the sump will drain the water. You should take all issues into account. I am a contractor and have fixed this problem a number of times and it is different every time. It is hard to take an xray of what is under your house. Sometimes, we have dug a hole for the sump only to find we now have a gusher and we actualy also needed to divert an underground stream. I strongly suggest you find an expert in your area and get some sound advise on site. Sometimes what may seem to be the most expensive option turns out to be the cheapest. This is usualy because it is the right fix and the cost of doing 2 or 3 wrong ones then the right one becomes very painfull.

Cheers .. Bruce

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I just thought i'd update this thread.

So i had another company come out today, Basement Systems. His pitch was a little more agressive than B-Dry, but honestly, i think their product is better. Instead of digging all the way down into the mud and installing a huge 4" pipe, this company uses an almost plastic gutter aproach that is only set down into the floor, above the footer.

This prevents any mud/setiment from ever cloging the pipe, also it's much less invasive than the B-Dry system, less digging, mess, less of the floor/foundation cut out, etc. Yet it still acomplishes all the things the B-Dry system does. He priced me out for all 4 walls, same as B-Dry did, with an $8500 price tag ($2500 more than B-Dry), but then said i could get away with doing only two and that would aleviate 99% if not all of the problem.

So the end quote was around $4000, lifetime guarantee (for those 2 walls), transferable warranty, etc. And that was with a sump pump, i was going to have B-Dry pitch it into a floor drain already there.

So i think i'm going to do it. What do you guys think?

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Dig a moat and install a draw bridge! Homeland security, you know! Just kidding ya!

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I am a retired contractor and I live in Oregon where we get a few buckets of rain every year , this year from December it rained over 30 days in a row . I agree with gator . As for the '' lifetime guarantee '' Ha Ha yes right. Next year when he is no longer in business , try and collect on it . To properly water proof the basement , tar coat the entire exterior of the concrete wall and at the bottom of the wall , along the foundation , install drain tile and cover with the silt sock. and then cover with about 3' of gravel . Then you can back fill the ditch. The drain tile must go to a drain away from the structure or to a sump with a sump pump. If by chance the slab is over a spring , you will still have problems because the water pressure will find a way into the basement. Gary

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Gary, do you not believe in the interior drain systems?

It seems that it's really my only option as i have two big porches that run the length of the house (front & back), making it impossible to excivate the exterior.

Am i wasting money?

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Just keep in mind you are dealing with a franchise operation and do some checking on the guy who is actually doing the work.How long has he been doing it ,and of course get references . Treat it as if he is doing 4K of work on your Z. The parent company is sound ,thier main HQ is close by my house and the origional founder still runs it.

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I'm no contractor or professional on this subject but, since it seems that everyone agrees you need a sump pump why not just try that first? Maybe this is all you need? If it doesn't work then you start looking into waterproofing the outside.

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Jayru , If you were going to leave the basement a basement then interior drain systime and or a sump pump would be ok. Since you are wanting to make a liveable area in there you will continue to have dampness and the associated oder . Be advised that in most areas of the country . If you are having sleeping quarters there a way of egress directly to the exterior of the house is required. If a window is the method it cannot have a sill higher that 48" form the floor. So a person can exit to the outside . Also on older homes the basement slabs were not poured over a vapor barrier and you may find that moisture may be drawn up from below and also through the walls when the area is heated . Personally I used pressure treated lumber any place where the wood is in contact with the cement. Like when framing the walls around the permiter for sheetrock . If the moisture is not severe , I have had good luck with Dry-lok paint to seal the concrete. It may not completely solve the problem but it will help a great deal. My 2 ¢ One more thing be sure you have a good roof gutter systime to keep rain water form draining close to the foundation .

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Just an update.

So they came and installed the interior drain system today, took about a half a day. Looks good, except for the fact that the drain system is not piched twards the sump, it's level. So i asked how the water will get to the sump if it's level (some areas slightly pitched the wrong way) ? They told me that water will follow the path of least resistance and find it's way to the sump anyway.

I hope this is true I'm going to start framing as soon as the cement dries, if i still get water when it rains i'll be screwed.

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if part of it is pitched the wrong way, wouldn't that make the path of least resistance "the wrong way"?

Never heard of water flowing uphill, no matter where the sump is located.

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It's not sloped the wrong way anything crazy, but it is sloped a tad off level (in the opposite direction) in 1 or 2 spots.

Well i just got off the phone with the service manager. He says that the system is supposed to be installed level on the footer. Even if it is a tad off in a few spots, he assured me water will seek it's own level and fill their system, reaching the pump, before it ever got to the floor.

My guess is i would have a little standing water in the area's where the pitch was a little off, which would have to evaporate.

To me, it seems like the logical thing would be to pitch it, but they say no. I just don't know. Hopefully they know what their doing.

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Last Q: Is there a warranty?

Is that a sarcastic comment or a legimite question? Yes there is one...

But they all (waterproofing companies), state they will only fix the waterproofing problem (if it doesn't work), not repair any damage the water coming in might cause...

I'm planing to start framing an apartment as soon as the cement dries.

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I spent 10 years as a concrete repair contractor (I owned the company) and fixed hundreds of basements that were leaking. I am a believer that there is not one way to fix a leak, there are several. It really depends on what the source of the water is and how it is going into the basement.

I have only seen 2 occasions where the water came in through the slab. It usually comes through the wall or at the cold joint (where the wall meets the slab). On both occasions where the water came through the slab, there was a large water source below the slab. Every other time it came from hydrostatic pressure through the walls.

Without knowing the specific of your problem (that means not seeing the situation in person), it is very difficult to tell you what I would have done. I have never installed a sump and have had a 100% success rate in stopping water (knock on wood that it stays that way). As for digging out the foundation and re-applying a tar coat, gravel, etc., IMO, that only lasts as long as the tar coat stays pliable, which is generally about 3-5 years. When the tar gets brittle, it cracks and you have the same problem all over again. Someone else said that the most expensive option may turn out to be the least expensive and that may very well be true. Lots of times I went in after someone lese "tried" to fix the problem and my job became much more difficult and expensive.

Sorry that I got into this discussion late, but I just ran across the thread.

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But then what are you suggesting i should have done? The water was coming from the cold joint, i had no wall seepage. I have no underground streams/sources of water. It only happened under extended periods of rain where the hydrostatic pressure would force it through the joint. This is why i went with the channel system under the slab at the joint with a sump pump.

Are you saying that's not a good method?

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If it is working, it is a good method. There are lots of ways to fix basements.

You might (remember I haven't seen it) have been able to inject the cold joint with a hydrophillic polyurethane grout. These grouts expand when they encounter water, but remain flexible. It is a messy process, but would have cost less than what you paid.

You could have also tried re-landscaping. Nothing major, just insuring that the ground makes it easier for the water to run away from the foundation. Rain gutters can also help. Keeping water away helps, but isn't always the answer.

Hope that helps. I also hope I haven't cast doubt on what you have done, I was just offering some food for thought.

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