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Old 12-29-2009, 09:33 AM   #16
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At a crossroads in my basement project - waterproofing help needed


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Q - Does Basement Systems drill "weep holes" into the block foundation when installing the WaterGuard system? That's what I meant by "inviting water in".

A - Yes, we do drill wep holes in block foundations because the water tends to be trapped inside the hollow blocks. I guess we can pretty much say in that case that we water is already in, slowly seeping through and the weeping holes are meant to let it out.

Q - I have so little water that comes in, if that water sits there stagnant UNDER the WaterGuard, that's where I wonder if it will mold/smell.

That is why we install the sump pump in the lowest corner of the basement, and before we lay the drain tiles we test to see if all the water that gets in the trench will be able to run into the sump to minimize the chances of that ever happening.

So far, I've talked to two people who have the system installed (and have had it for 3+ years) and are very happy.

Our local dealer will be happy to give you references of their own and we invite you to contact them all.
Thanks again for your answers. I will be asking them for references.

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Old 02-21-2010, 09:51 PM   #17
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At a crossroads in my basement project - waterproofing help needed


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Hi Callisto



First of all, let me clarify that the DryTrak system you mentioned is designed exclusively for monolithic foundations, and as we can see in the picture, it is clearly not the case here. So, the best system for you would be the WaterGuard.
Why is that if I can ask? So the system would not work for a brick block wall, but rather you have to look for an in ground drain tile/sump system with a brick block wall? I'm in the same situation as Callisto and would appreciate any feedback. Thanks
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Old 02-22-2010, 12:26 AM   #18
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At a crossroads in my basement project - waterproofing help needed


not going to get involved w/stepping on another contractor's sale as we've sold/installed both his interior systems + we'll excavate & stop wtr intrusion that way - whichever's best for the situation is what we recommend HOWEVER its the customer's home/$$$ so they're free to select.

our local ' Basement Systems ' guy's a friend,,, i respect him & he runs a good biz,,, we're there to solve problems & he's there to sell sump pumps,,, i'll let someone else decide who's right bsmt sys came up more w/a marketing
plan than anything new in the basement waterproofing trade area,,, their ' cove system ' isn't new but it sure looked new in their brochure.

don't shoot the guy who's trying to resolve a problem created by inadequate building code a quik word about the ' inviting water in ' part - you'll never stop moisture drilling weep holes NOR will you prevent block rot, wall damage, & eventual wall collapse/replacement by allowing soil-acid rich water to pass thru your home's very fine foundation walls you may've sold the house before it happens but it will happen.

quik point - we've got masonary block fnd walls & there's a leak in 1 corner promoting the growth of the nastiest blk mold spire you ever saw i spray it w/bleach ever 6mos or so,,, at 67 & 65, we'll move sooner to a 1story,,, prior to moving, i'll dig in a dry well - clean the walls w/my aurand, & coat w/epoxy thereby allowing me to honestly disclose the problem/repr as rqd by law

as always, caveat emptor - your home - your choice

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Old 02-22-2010, 12:38 AM   #19
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At a crossroads in my basement project - waterproofing help needed


oh - here's a ps,,, we're finishing up 1 this am which's a full footer excavation, exterior waterproofing ( 35lf ) w/sonolastic, protection course of pvc miradrain/delta drain, toe drain leading to sump w/12'riser for pump access when it finally needs replacing - ONLY ZOELLER PUMPS, EVER, btw.

why the sump & pump ? if we stop wtr where its entering steve's bsmt now, it'll only find another weak point & penetrate there next - cost of this project's $8.5k - 3days work hand dig & backfill - 3 men,,, 3 GREAT men !

as implied previously, tom's bsmt systems would never bld this system due to liability,,, if the interior sys ***** the bed, its only because the pump stopped working - not their problem,,, as said, they're there to sell pumps - we're there to fix things,,, just a different mindset !
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Old 02-22-2010, 01:13 PM   #20
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At a crossroads in my basement project - waterproofing help needed


See, that's how I see the weep holes thing - you're inviting MORE water in your basement. That's just how it appears to me.

I haven't made a decision yet...I'm going to sit on it for one more year and see how it goes.
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Old 02-23-2010, 08:19 AM   #21
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At a crossroads in my basement project - waterproofing help needed


Fixing any leak has to be done from the outside. You have water coming in at the footing of your foundation which tell me you need to fix repair or replace you weeping tile. Once you have dug out the dirt around the house and repaired the weeping tile i would cover the walls with "Blueskin". This is a "peel and stick" membrane that will prevent water from coming in through the mortar joints. Apply this from the bottom of the foundation and work your way up the wall with a 2 inch overlap.
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Old 02-23-2010, 08:28 AM   #22
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At a crossroads in my basement project - waterproofing help needed


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Fixing any leak has to be done from the outside. You have water coming in at the footing of your foundation which tell me you need to fix repair or replace you weeping tile. Once you have dug out the dirt around the house and repaired the weeping tile i would cover the walls with "Blueskin". This is a "peel and stick" membrane that will prevent water from coming in through the mortar joints. Apply this from the bottom of the foundation and work your way up the wall with a 2 inch overlap.
See, that's my problem. I can't bear the idea of digging around my entire foundation. I have landscaping on two sides of the house.

I wonder how much it costs, per side, to do this kind of waterproofing.
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Old 02-23-2010, 08:50 AM   #23
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At a crossroads in my basement project - waterproofing help needed


The hardest part of the job is the dig...the rest is easy...the weeping tile can be done in about 2-3 hours..the Blueskin if never done before is a 2 person job and can be done in 3-4 hours.
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Old 02-23-2010, 08:53 AM   #24
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At a crossroads in my basement project - waterproofing help needed


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The hardest part of the job is the dig...the rest is easy...the weeping tile can be done in about 2-3 hours..the Blueskin if never done before is a 2 person job and can be done in 3-4 hours.
The hardest part for me is tearing up my yard and undoing three years of hard work/landscaping.

I'm half-tempted to hydraulic cement the rest of the basement where the wall meets the floor and see what happens. It seems to be holding in the one area I did last fall.
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Old 02-23-2010, 09:31 AM   #25
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At a crossroads in my basement project - waterproofing help needed


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The hardest part for me is tearing up my yard and undoing three years of hard work/landscaping.

I'm half-tempted to hydraulic cement the rest of the basement where the wall meets the floor and see what happens. It seems to be holding in the one area I did last fall.

I hate to sound like a downer, but I don't think you'll see any kind of long term solutions from your approaches. The hydraulic will either fail in short order, or the water will eventually seep in above or around it.

You mentioned the water coming in is minimal. As someone who does some conventional fndtn. repair, I'd say the seepage in your pics is far from minimal. The one wall is in fairly tough shape as well. The wall thats about 5 feet from the WH w/ 2 basement windows in it has some serious deflection. Is this the wall that was repaired at the sale? If so, how did they "fix" it?

I have to agree w/ IRC & the others on this one, the exterior is the only long term repair for what you have there. The plastic channel is nothing more than a very expensive band-aid IMO. It's really set way too high to be effective at controlling ground water as well.

Like I said earlier, I don't want to be negative about this, but there is no way I would ever recommend that a customer spend the money to finish a basement in that condition. Sorry to say, but it's either gonna cost you the money to repair the exterior of the foundation now, or it's gonna cost alot more later when you add the cost of demoing all your interior work as well.

Best of luck in w/e you choose.
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Old 02-23-2010, 09:57 AM   #26
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At a crossroads in my basement project - waterproofing help needed


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I hate to sound like a downer, but I don't think you'll see any kind of long term solutions from your approaches. The hydraulic will either fail in short order, or the water will eventually seep in above or around it.

You mentioned the water coming in is minimal. As someone who does some conventional fndtn. repair, I'd say the seepage in your pics is far from minimal. The one wall is in fairly tough shape as well. The wall thats about 5 feet from the WH w/ 2 basement windows in it has some serious deflection. Is this the wall that was repaired at the sale? If so, how did they "fix" it?

I have to agree w/ IRC & the others on this one, the exterior is the only long term repair for what you have there. The plastic channel is nothing more than a very expensive band-aid IMO. It's really set way too high to be effective at controlling ground water as well.

Like I said earlier, I don't want to be negative about this, but there is no way I would ever recommend that a customer spend the money to finish a basement in that condition. Sorry to say, but it's either gonna cost you the money to repair the exterior of the foundation now, or it's gonna cost alot more later when you add the cost of demoing all your interior work as well.

Best of luck in w/e you choose.
Thank you. I don't mind you being negative. I'm used to it. However, I am no longer intimidated by my basement or people's response to it. I'm used to contractors and the like trying to scare the crap out of me about my house. Simply put, I'm just not that worried about it.

Yes, the foundation has cracks. The cracks have been patched. One wall was fixed when I bought the house from the bank (it was a foreclosure). However, due to the small size of the house, just about any expense that needs to be taken to fix the basement, I can afford. Walls can be fixed or pushed back. I have many options. That's kinda the point of this thread...advice.

I really have no intention of finishing the basement. I just want it clean and waterproofed. I believe that can be accomplished with an interior drain system. I just don't know that I want to spend $5,000 on a system that lets MORE water into my basement. I'm just not sold on it yet. I might have to make my peace with an exterior system if someone can prove to me the system/method is better and will 100% solve the problem.

What's funny is that I see a lot of people say that such-and-such will fail, yet in all the reading I've done online (and I've done tons), no one has ever mentioned trying hydraulic cement for small leaks and having it fail. Many people are happy with their interior drain system and the water has not caused the walls to collapse (never heard of this happening, as itsreallyconc said). Also, in all the reading I've done, a lot people will say "this won't work" or "this will fail" yet I see no one saying "this DID fail". You see my point? A lot of people are just so quick to say something will happen, but I see little evidence of it.

Thanks for your advice jomama45, I appreciate it. I'm taking all advice (but not anyone's scare tactics) into consideration.
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Old 02-23-2010, 10:53 AM   #27
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At a crossroads in my basement project - waterproofing help needed


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Yes, the foundation has cracks. The cracks have been patched. One wall was fixed when I bought the house from the bank (it was a foreclosure). However, due to the small size of the house, just about any expense that needs to be taken to fix the basement, I can afford. Walls can be fixed or pushed back. I have many options. That's kinda the point of this thread...advice.


I'm still interested to hear how they "fixed" the wall. If they merely tuckpointed the interior, that didn't address the problem at all, other than from an aesthetic veiwpoint.


I really have no intention of finishing the basement. I just want it clean and waterproofed. I believe that can be accomplished with an interior drain system. I just don't know that I want to spend $5,000 on a system that lets MORE water into my basement. I'm just not sold on it yet. I might have to make my peace with an exterior system if someone can prove to me the system/method is better and will 100% solve the problem.

I guess that I didn't read the OP clearly, I thought you wanted to finish the basement. You could try the hydraulic cement as you can always monitor it in teh long term. My point was don't go throwing "good money after bad" by finishing a basement in this condition.

What's funny is that I see a lot of people say that such-and-such will fail, yet in all the reading I've done online (and I've done tons), no one has ever mentioned trying hydraulic cement for small leaks and having it fail. Many people are happy with their interior drain system and the water has not caused the walls to collapse (never heard of this happening, as itsreallyconc said). Also, in all the reading I've done, a lot people will say "this won't work" or "this will fail" yet I see no one saying "this DID fail". You see my point? A lot of people are just so quick to say something will happen, but I see little evidence of it.

It depends on how you define fail. If using hyd. cenment @ the floor to wall joint merely redirects the water to leak somewhere else, your not really getting ahead. I've seen a few wall that have literally failed, meaning the block were laying on the basement floor. Many years fo failing block walls with no repair. Not common by any means, but it does happen. I'm fairly sure IRC has a few pics somewhere on here of this situation. I'm not saying your walls will fall over anytime soon, but they sure won't get any better with the heavy soils against them and no efficient drainage system in place. My rcmdtn. would be to start budgetiing for the long term repair.

Thanks for your advice jomama45, I appreciate it. I'm taking all advice (but not anyone's scare tactics) into consideration.

I'm definately not a scare tactic kind of contractor. I've told many customers with fndtn. problems that they can buy a few years w/o repair. Generally, people just want ot get it done so that they can go on with finishing their basement, they're tired of worrying about rains, sick of the excess dampness/mold/humidity, etc... But most of all, these jobs 75% of the time come along at the sale of a home. I can tell you that there is nothing that turns away prospective buyers faster than a problematic basement. I just looked at one again a few days ago. Prospective buyers pulled out their offer after the home inspecter accessed the basement walls. When there's so many homes on the market, buyers see no need to consider one that has a bad foundation, they just move on.

I realize you probably don't plan on moving anytime soon, but the point I'm getting at is that it will not get any cheaper. I would reccommend having the basement fixed when funds permit & enjoy it rather than be forced to have the repairs made at sale & not enjoy years of a dry, stable basement.

If you have your mind set on the interior containment approach, you may want ot take a look at this site as well:

http://www.mtidry.com/basement/

Best of luck.
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Old 02-23-2010, 11:05 AM   #28
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At a crossroads in my basement project - waterproofing help needed


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I'm definately not a scare tactic kind of contractor. I've told many customers with fndtn. problems that they can buy a few years w/o repair. Generally, people just want ot get it done so that they can go on with finishing their basement, they're tired of worrying about rains, sick of the excess dampness/mold/humidity, etc... But most of all, these jobs 75% of the time come along at the sale of a home. I can tell you that there is nothing that turns away prospective buyers faster than a problematic basement. I just looked at one again a few days ago. Prospective buyers pulled out their offer after the home inspecter accessed the basement walls. When there's so many homes on the market, buyers see no need to consider one that has a bad foundation, they just move on.

I realize you probably don't plan on moving anytime soon, but the point I'm getting at is that it will not get any cheaper. I would reccommend having the basement fixed when funds permit & enjoy it rather than be forced to have the repairs made at sale & not enjoy years of a dry, stable basement.

If you have your mind set on the interior containment approach, you may want ot take a look at this site as well:

http://www.mtidry.com/basement/

Best of luck.
I didn't take you to be one of those scare tactic types, just pointing out that I'm far past being scared of any contractor at this point. I know a bought a piece of crap house, LOL, it was all I could afford. It used to keep me up at night, worrying about it, but four years in, I'm just no longer scared of my basement.

The one wall that WAS fixed was trenched out and pushed back. A brace was set for a few days then removed. I couldn't tell you much else, to be honest. It appears there is a layer of styrofoam on the outside, though I have no idea what good that's doing. It's certainly not holding water back. The repair was made for stability, not waterproofing. If I knew now what I knew then...I would have told that bank to fix the entire foundation and waterproof it before I bought it, BUT I didn't know anything back then. Plus, all the walls were covered with paneling and I had no idea just how bad those walls were and of course, didn't check.

There is NO WAY I'd finish a basement like this. I have no intention of putting drywall or framing back down there ever again. I kinda just want a cleaned-up rec room of sorts. A place where my boyfriend can play drums. A place for me to be crafty without making a mess.

I'm not worried about my walls collapsing. I'm sure I'd have a little advance notice they were caving in on me as I'm down there all the time.

Thanks again for your input. I really do appreciate it.
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Old 03-02-2010, 10:07 PM   #29
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At a crossroads in my basement project - waterproofing help needed


my two cents...

i've been waterproofing basement for 20 years now.

two ways water gets in....either down the foundation wall from poor grading (usually pooling within 5' from the house), clogged gutters or leaders not extended at least 5'....the only other way is from ground water, water table, underground streams, etc...when you mentioned only on the heavy rains and where the floor meets the wall...my mind went to water table.

if it is stemming from below the house, the only PERMANENT way of stopping the water is to put an interior french drain. you can do it from the outside, will cost you about double to triple...kiss your wonderful landscaping that you did and NO ONE will give you a guarantee of no water in the basement...if they do, they are rolling the dice.

i DO NOT like the basement systems way of waterproofing....first of all, their pipe sits on the footing and is not pitched...no bueno. you have to have whatever pipe you use (i only use PVC, not that PE-corrugated crap) pitched to the sump...second, ask the basement systems guy what happens when the bottom cinder block is filled with cement which most of the time they are...third, i only bleed the blocks when water is squirting out of the wall or if the wall looks REALLY BAD....as easy as POROUS cinder blocks fill up with water is as easy as water exits when the water table subsides...of course with everything, there are some exceptions. if the bottom cinder block is filled...go into the next course and anchor some flashing on the wall as a deflective device.

as for the triple sump pump....look at the capacity of the backup pumps....i install 1/3 horsepower pumps and my battery backup pump is also 1/3...both put out 3000 gph at 5'. going with an smaller pump as a backup is like having a donut as a spare on an SUV.

for your size basement...you should not pay anymore than $6000. and that's with the backup pump.

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Old 03-03-2010, 05:56 PM   #30
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my two cents...

i've been waterproofing basement for 20 years now.

two ways water gets in....either down the foundation wall from poor grading (usually pooling within 5' from the house), clogged gutters or leaders not extended at least 5'....the only other way is from ground water, water table, underground streams, etc...when you mentioned only on the heavy rains and where the floor meets the wall...my mind went to water table.

if it is stemming from below the house, the only PERMANENT way of stopping the water is to put an interior french drain. you can do it from the outside, will cost you about double to triple...kiss your wonderful landscaping that you did and NO ONE will give you a guarantee of no water in the basement...if they do, they are rolling the dice.

i DO NOT like the basement systems way of waterproofing....first of all, their pipe sits on the footing and is not pitched...no bueno. you have to have whatever pipe you use (i only use PVC, not that PE-corrugated crap) pitched to the sump...second, ask the basement systems guy what happens when the bottom cinder block is filled with cement which most of the time they are...third, i only bleed the blocks when water is squirting out of the wall or if the wall looks REALLY BAD....as easy as POROUS cinder blocks fill up with water is as easy as water exits when the water table subsides...of course with everything, there are some exceptions. if the bottom cinder block is filled...go into the next course and anchor some flashing on the wall as a deflective device.

as for the triple sump pump....look at the capacity of the backup pumps....i install 1/3 horsepower pumps and my battery backup pump is also 1/3...both put out 3000 gph at 5'. going with an smaller pump as a backup is like having a donut as a spare on an SUV.

for your size basement...you should not pay anymore than $6000. and that's with the backup pump.
Thank you for your honest opinion. I appreciate it.

What do think will be the problems, specifically, if I have a Basement Systems solution put it?

I've always though it strange that the pipes aren't pitched, either. How will water move towards the sump if the pipe is level with the ground?

I have a feeling no matter what, Basement Systems will only do things one way. I'm pretty sure they are trained for only one type of install solution for the interior drainage systems.

Again, thank you. I appreciate it.

Let me know when you're in Iowa...

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