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Old 08-06-2013, 11:45 AM   #1
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Wet crawlspace fix


Hi all,
So I'm trying to stop water welling up into a crawl space (raised foundation) after heavy rain (fortunately not too often in my climate). This looks to be beyond my ability, so I'm hiring contractors. The solution they proposed involves digging a trench around the house and ~1-2 feet below the foundation wall, then filling with concrete, to basically provide an additional barrier to stop subsurface water intrusion. See attached photos for an idea.

Does anyone have experience with that type of fix? Does it work? Any concern about damage to the foundation?

Thanks in advance!
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Wet crawlspace fix-20130701_133442.jpg   Wet crawlspace fix-20130701_141017.jpg  

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Old 08-06-2013, 01:08 PM   #2
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WHOA !!!!!!!!! you don't want anyone digging below your foundation at all ! BOTH fric & frac are contractors & proposed this ? ? ? are they really ' waterproofing ' contractors OR jack-leg wanna-be's from craig's list ?

generally speaking, you're never going to stop the water HOWEVER you can manage it,,, trench alongside the footer slightly above it ay a couple ",,, put in a sloped drainage pipe & lead that to a sump into which a zoeller m-53 pump has been installed,,, if that doesn't work, you may need a system inside the crawl space attached to the exterior sump

prior to backfilling & compacting, waterproof the exposed foundation w/( we use sika/sonneborn hlm5000 [no financial interest] ) protect that membrane w/waffleboard ( also sika/sonneborn )

we'll let some other chime in then i'll be back

pri

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Old 08-06-2013, 01:32 PM   #3
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Yes, that was my first thought too. However, these folks are licensed contractors who come highly rated on Angieslist and assured me there would be no damage to the foundation. I don't think they dig under the foundation per se, rather alongside it.

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Old 08-06-2013, 01:43 PM   #4
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1st off, 1 doesn't need a license to be a ' waterproofer ', need insurance, OR even know what you're doing,,, a/l's reviews are a good indication yet i know of no pro who'd pour conc to stop wtr,,,

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Old 08-06-2013, 03:09 PM   #5
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You have adequate gutters and downspouts clean and flowing? Sometimes simple solutions work out pretty well.

I have found them the culprit in so many properties I was asked to renovate. Or bid on.

Sometimes the lay of the land is not your friend. See if you can change it if basic drainage is the issue.

Don't start digging around the foundation and essentially further lowering the path and the speed water can seek low ground without talking with someone coherent.

You would be surprised at how few of us have any patience with the likes of Angie's List. I am glad she is making money with the postings and the service. None of my clients ever would have subscribed to Angie's List though. Actually asking around your local area is going to get your further. Most on AL seem to be handymen, that have few licensing, bonding and insurance requirements. Nothing wrong with chopping them down a notch I guess. I guess AL rates nannies at the same time too?

Angie's List is for those that do not want to do their own homework and want to trust the whining types that thought they could play general or even responsible sub-contractors and then complain labor they got from the box stores they had no idea about how to even ask for a comprehensible bid.

Last edited by user1007; 08-06-2013 at 03:18 PM.
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Old 08-06-2013, 03:28 PM   #6
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Something just plan looks wrong in that pictures guys.
Turn it sidewise and look again.
It looks like there a multi ft. high grade just outside the foundation.
Which would make the house like it was sitting in a pond.
Need a picture further back to see the whole picture.
From those pictures there's no even a way to back fill the hole without it covering up the non water proofed parging or Stucco.
Just blows me away every time I see exposed wires and pipes run line that just waiting to be damaged or frozen.
What's up with the bug hole in the wall?
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Old 08-06-2013, 04:54 PM   #7
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For some reason this website rotated the photos by 90 degrees, as JoeCaption noticed. These photos are not of my property, but they were given to me be the contractor to show similar jobs.

Anyway, yes we tried downspouts first and that didn't help. It's sub-surface water intrusion. The crawl space floor is maybe 18 inches below grade.

Unlike Virginia, it doesn't freeze here and rain is infrequent, but winter storms will put an inch of rain down, and that's enough to have standing water in the crawl space.

As for Angieslist- well I just use it as a starting point. Most people are reluctant to disclose they have crawlspace/basement issues, so it's hard to get references.
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Old 08-06-2013, 05:06 PM   #8
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I had much the same problem as you. My lot is very flat ... With minimal slant. I first dug a French drain on the high side of the house, which drained into a sump 4-5' deep.

A sump pump there pumps the collected water to the front lawn approx 100' in front if the house ... Which us only about 4-5 inches lower than at the house. But at least it's not coming back.

That helped immensely, but did not completely solve the problem.

I then found the low point in thd crawlspace, cut out a section of flooring, and dug another 4-5 deep hole for another sump pump.

Having less than 2' headroom made the next part a lot of fun: dug trenches leading to the sump in the crawlspace.

The trenches and the sump were lined with gravel. In the trenches I used two inch pipe, with random holes drilled in it.

The sump connects to the line going way out to the front.

A lot of work...but problem solved.
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Old 08-06-2013, 06:32 PM   #9
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it shirley would be a great help if you listed your location as this site asks no one knows where your ' here ' is

being a licensed contractor is no substitute of knowing how to ' waterproof ' structures,,, we work for licensed contractors ( genl & specialty ) &, rarely, h/o's,,, not knowing wtr runs downhill is a common gene amongst them all
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Old 08-06-2013, 07:15 PM   #10
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East of Downtown Los Angeles.

The contractors bill themselves as a waterproofing/restoration company.

Interior French Drain+Sump pump is an option. I would prefer a more permanent solution. Thunderstorm=potential power failure=no sump=wet crawlspace. Battery backups only last 30 minutes or so.
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Old 08-06-2013, 07:31 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by itsreallyconc View Post
1st off, 1 doesn't need a license to be a ' waterproofer ', need insurance, OR even know what you're doing,,, a/l's reviews are a good indication yet i know of no pro who'd pour conc to stop wtr,,, that sounds like something joecaption or jomama would do lessee what other opinions get posted
Was the license on a collar around his neck?
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Old 08-06-2013, 08:12 PM   #12
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maybe it works in kalee-fornia but no pro i know ever tried to solve a problem using that method
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Old 08-07-2013, 05:30 AM   #13
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this may be tangental to this thread but a moderator/bot/humorless poster w/juice has threatened me w/expulsion,,, seems his/it's perception of my referral to joe caption & jomama's popular waterproofing choice can/may/could/was construed as a personal insult to both/either of these men ( sorry if you're gender-sensitive ),,, my opinion of them is they are both respected posters w/varied & extensive experience,,, if either is offended by that recent post ? get over it - it weren't personal, guys ! ! !

just wish they'd get a job so i apologize to them,,, to anyone else who was offended, how could you be upset - nothing's personal !
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Old 08-07-2013, 05:48 AM   #14
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I would think your contractors' solution would trap as much water next to your foundation as it would keep it away
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Old 08-07-2013, 06:02 AM   #15
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I've never once suggested using concrete as a back fill to fix a foundation or crawl space leak.
Anyone taking the time to insult other posters that they know nothing about and not just spending there time sharing your expertise with the O/P does nothing to help out the O/P which is what were suppose to be doing here.

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