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Old 11-27-2006, 01:10 AM   #1
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Basement remodelling - moisture questions

I am in the process of remodelling our basement. Our home is about 2 yrs old. I did not think that I had a moisture problem, except that on occasion, leaves would plug up the footing drain in a window well and water would come in the window. So I am going to address this issue outside. However, after reading many of the threads on this site, I am wondering about other issues.

A little background. I have a single-story home with a full basement (about 2300 sq ft) with 9ft ceilings. About 6-8 in of the foundation walls are exposed on the outside. The walls are poured and have a spray-on coating on the outside. I have 1 larger crack (2-3mm wide) across the whole floor that has been there since it was poured, and I have recently filled that in and painted waterproofing paint over it as well as many of the other much smaller cracks. There were some hairline cracks in the walls stemming from two of the windows and I have sealed them as well. All of this was a precaution. I have never had moisture through any of these.

I keep a dehumidifier running to keep it at 60% humidity, and it runs much of the year. It can collect 45 pints in a couple days in the summer at peak humid times. I don't know if this is abnormal or not, but there are no return vents on the 92% efficient furnace/AC in the basement, and that could contribute. Any thoughts would be appreciated on this.
Here is the issue. We have a 12x20 area with carpet remnant layed over 6mil poly. When we started moving things around to build the walls, I noticed that the concrete under this sheeting is darker than the rest of the floor. After pulling a section back for a while, the color has lightened. There is no actual condensation under it, and it has been in place for about 2 yrs. After reading some messages and my DIY books, I am somewhat concerned.

I have asked my builder about this, and he did not think there was any problem. The floor is 4 in thick concrete with pea gravel from the bottom to the top of the footings and there is drainage tile around the outside and inside perimeter of the footing leading to a sump pump. The pump runs normally a few times a day, rain or shine.

Should I be concerned with this issue? Do I need to waterproof the whole floor to prevent moisture? I can't imagine that there is that much moisture under the floor with the drainage available under the floor. Could something not be working properly? Please help, as we are in the process of framing, and don't want to go too much further if there is something that needs addressing.


Last edited by budde97; 11-27-2006 at 01:20 AM. Reason: grammatical errors
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Old 12-04-2006, 04:30 AM   #2
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damp basement

first question? Are you in an area where there is radon? If so get it fixed and this fix will definitely help with the moisture problem. The company that did ours filled in all basement cracks, installed everything for $880. There are systems that can be installed to return fresh air and pull out damp air, but are expensive. We still use our dehumidifier but alot less water. Good luck


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Old 12-04-2006, 08:12 AM   #3
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Basement remodelling - moisture questions

If the contractor built it as he said (with dual drain tile - not too common in most areas), you should not have a major water problem.

Since you have a pump than is consistanly running a couple of times a day, that is a sign you have some water and the drain tile system is collecting some water from the site as it is intended to do. The most effective way to minimize interior basement mpisture is to have gutters, long downspout extensions and drainage away from the house.

Your wall cracks starting at the windows are probably shrickage cracks that could have been minimized with a minimal amount of horizontal reinforcement and lower slump (drier) concrete. - The difference between a poured residential basement and a commercial project.

Drain tile inside the footings is rare, but it is far more effective in reducing moisture under the slab than exterior tile. The darker areas had moisture and dried out when air was circulated. You probably do not have a vapor barrier (poly) under the floor slab. You did not mention whether there was also pea rock under the slab (probably not).

Your slab has some moisture in it. The surface dries out when you get air circulation. You will have to be selective when you go to chose a flooring system and a floor covering material. You have a minor source of moisture and no way for the basement floor to dry unless you have air circulation.

Time is the only way to tell if your floor will remain dry enough for your needs.

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