Alternative Building Method - Underground waterproofing
Lets say a guy was going to build a house in a part of the country where building permits were not needed. Lets say this guy was going to build a house using an underground alternative building method. This method may or may not be called "PSP" or Post, Sheathing, Polyethylene.
This calls for the sinking of posts into the ground much like a post/frame building. Using 2x material for the sheathing you then use a thick polyethylene plastic sheeting for the moisture barrier to prevent water from entering the house.
This guy doesn't really like the idea of an ant being able to put a hole in his water proof house so he's trying to think of a better waterproofing system.
Ok enough with this "guy"
I'm trying to think of a better way to water proof. I have found products meant to waterproof concrete foundations but I'm wondering how application would work on lumber? Many of the products i've found are either sprayed on to concrete or use a spray and then have a membrane sheeting attached ontop of that. I am unfamiliar with any of these methods but am curious as to how far I could stretch their intended use.
I'm wanting to apply this myself so any system that requires spraying a tar based product wouldn't work for me. I'm wondering if a product such as one that you torch onto a foundation would adhere to lumber (yeah i know...torch...wood...) or if i could use something like a surface bonding cement and skim coat the lumber to give the membrane something closer to it's intended use to adhere to.
I've also thought about using pond liner.
I'm just brainstorming here so any options you can think of would be appreciated. And I already know I'm an idiot but that never stopped me before. :)
A little additional information... Over the water proofing membrane...whatever I end up using will be rigid foam insulation so worrying about rocks puncturing is not a big issue to me.
how about rhino truck bed liner? can be sprayed on, will take the shape of the wall, easy to repair, holds up to lateral loads, resistant to water ..... not sure on cost
have spec'd this product for roof top decks over living space. So far no problems ......
just an out of the box thought
$50 and up underground house Idea from Mike Oler (sp?) ?
Seems like you are trying to reinvent a rounder wheel here? Are you sure adapting any of the number of underground building techniques and their drainage and waterproofing strategy would not be more useful to you?
And I cannot imagine you are not going to be subject to some permits like for sewage connection or septic, etc.
its the one Mae-ling was referring to
The $50 and up underground house is where my idea stems from.
I'm also combining it with a more "real world" construction view point I've gotten from Earth-Sheltered Houses by Rob Roy
As for the permits there are no building permits required for putting up a building but there are Sewer/septic permits required as well as an annual fee. You are correct.
How vapor/moisture retardant is closed cell spray foam insulation?
Basically the $50 and up book says to just use a water proofing material with back filled directly against it. Using design theories to prevent water from backing up against the uphill side of the building to begin with.
I'd like to have a better water proofing material then just 6 or 8-mil polystyrene with addition to french drains, etc to help any water escape it's downward pressure.
Gaining knowledge from Rob Roy's book is the idea that even though earth is a constant temperature year round you still need to insulate your building to prevent any heating or cooling you do need to do to escape into the soil.
I really like the idea of a pond liner. The depth (from front of house how far it goes into the hill) is 30 feet and the overall width is 60 feet. There are 45 mil pond liners available in widths up to 50 feet and lengths up to 100 feet. I wouldn't need something this large but the idea of a seamless barrier is appealing. I wonder how difficult placing a 4x8 sheet of rigid foam insulation with dirt back filled against it would be while trying to maintain a snug fit with the liner?
Would an asphalt/tar based sealer like used on concrete foundations even adhere to lumber?
Pitch, 'n Drainage,...
I'm no building scientist, but I've always wondered why we bother waterproofing the outside of buried concrete walls. Concrete cracks, and it's very difficult for anything adhered to the concrete to cope with cracks. That leaves things like pond liners, which are expensive and the manufacture of which isn't terribly environmentally friendly. And as noted, they can still fail and then repairs become a real pain.
So... on the outside of the buried hardwall, use normal mitigation techniques like grading, gravel against the wall, french drains etc. But no actual waterproof barrier -- don't bother trying to stop water getting in because it's going to get in anyway.
On the inside, use the standard basement-style perimeter drain that drains to daylight (with an earth-sheltered home, I'd want the floor slab above grade on at least one side) or if you have to, a sump pump. Then apply an inexpensive vapor barrier to the inside of the concrete wall, such as common 6 mil plastic. Stand up partition walls around the perimeter leaving a 2" gap and ventilate this gap: in dry climates like the West, vent it to the outside like an attic. In humid climates like the South and East, ventilate it to the interior like a modern crawlspace so the A/C can dehumidify it.
Now. In climates with a heating season, insulate your partition walls and apply another vapor barrier to the interior before hanging drywall. (In warm and humid places like the South, the earth sheltering is probably all the insulation you need.) In places that are both humid and have cold winters like the Northeast, maybe vent the intermediate insulation space to the interior during A/C season and to the outside during winter?
So... am I crazy?
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