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Old 06-17-2012, 04:56 PM   #1
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horizontal crack... do i need to "waterproof"?


looks like i may have a situation in my unfinished basement... i found a horizontal crack that's probably about 20ft long... it's at the same height as the bottom of the basement windows... see pics...

- looks like there's a trace amount of deflection in that cracked wall, but you can only see it if you put a long level up against the affected wall.
- block foundation walls
- house was built in 50s
- northeast climate
- the area has a high water table
- french drain and 2 sump pumps installed in 70s (but apparently still works)
- no drainage holes in wall
- very damp/humid def needs a dehumidifier down there
- haven't had any water down there in years (even in irene)

i'm a little worried about this because i'm doing an add-a-level addition and that will add a huge load to the existing foundation...

i suspect the walls are completely saturated with water since the old dry loc paint is chipping all over the place... i was thinking of drilling weep holes into the base of the walls to get all the water out...

after that i'm not sure...

thanks.



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Old 06-17-2012, 10:02 PM   #2
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horizontal crack... do i need to "waterproof"?


Quote:
i'm a little worried about this because i'm doing an add-a-level addition and that will add a huge load to the existing foundation...
ya,, i would be too! but despite the 2nd level the problem exists and is probably going to get worse (it took a lot to crack the wall, it is less effort to move it now, so i think it will get worse). just a guess of course, but looks like you have soil pressure too much for that wall. looks like an interior block wall, filled with rebar & concrete may be in order. i'm not qualified to make recommendations, just an idea that comes to mind. hope others can give you some more thoughts.

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Old 06-17-2012, 10:12 PM   #3
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horizontal crack... do i need to "waterproof"?


i had a couple of guys come in and give me estimates for "waterproofing" and they wanted to charge me 10k... they wanted to dig around the interior perimeter and drain the walls... will that solve or help the issue? i'm thinking no since the soil will continue to push on that wall over the years.
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Old 06-17-2012, 10:43 PM   #4
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horizontal crack... do i need to "waterproof"?


i guess it depends on what causes the soil to push sideways? if you had water coming in through that horizontal crack then maybe the issue could be solved (or at least improved) with proper exterior drainage system.

10K for interior drain? wow. hope i never have this problem...
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Old 06-17-2012, 11:05 PM   #5
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horizontal crack... do i need to "waterproof"?


Do you have an architect for the home addition ... Perhaps he can advise in conjunction with a structural engineer who I assume you'll be needing any way (assuming your permit requirements are similar to ours) ... Worth spending for an extra trip from the engineer to advise given what you are about to spend on the addition. Waterproofing may fix the leak / damp issue but ultimately what caused the crack and is waterproofing going to fix that ... I suspect not.
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Old 06-19-2012, 04:58 PM   #6
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horizontal crack... do i need to "waterproof"?


my architect is confirming that the horizontal crack is indeed an issue... he said it's not too bad but i should keep an eye on it...

looks like i will need to address the water in my block walls... i was thinking of saving myself 10k and just doing it myself in true diy fashion and isn't that why we're all here?

what i'm worried about is this... can i damage the blocks or weaken the wall if i drill the weep holes in the wrong part of the block?

i'm planning on clearing out the basement entirely and just sweeping the water into the sump pumps... this should at least alleviate the hydrostatic pressure that's building on my walls...
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Old 06-19-2012, 08:20 PM   #7
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horizontal crack... do i need to "waterproof"?


You may save $10K in the very short term ... But the worse case is your house falls on your head while you are down there poking holes in the foundation.
I own a construction company and I would never dream of trying to fix structural foundation issues myself as I know enough to know that I don't know enough There are certain things that are perfect for a DIY enthusiast ... This is not one of them. Please consider this seriously and leave it to the experts.
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Old 06-19-2012, 10:33 PM   #8
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Old 06-20-2012, 01:48 AM   #9
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horizontal crack... do i need to "waterproof"?


here are the estimates i have so far...
- united waterproofing 10k
- a1 waterproofing 6k
- quality 1st basement systems 7.5k

all pretty highly rated from angie's list... any comments?

leaning towards quality 1st since they have a lifetime warranty
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Old 06-20-2012, 02:37 AM   #10
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horizontal crack... do i need to "waterproof"?


Is the company Waterproofing that crack going to make sure the wall is also structurally sound to support your addition?

Redirecting the water to interior or exterior drains isn't by itself going to insure that wall won't move as it sits now, let alone with more house sitting on it.

You may have that covered but I don't recall reading that above.
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Old 06-27-2012, 11:11 AM   #11
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horizontal crack... do i need to "waterproof"?


First and foremost, do NOT drill holes in the wall unless you have taken the steps to remove the water. Otherwise, it will just come into your home.

Second, have a structural engineer inspect the foundation wall and conduct a soil test before you build.

Third, have a professional waterproofing company come in and evaluate your water and moisture situation.

Doing these three things will save you headaches (and money) down the line.
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Old 06-28-2012, 01:24 PM   #12
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horizontal crack... do i need to "waterproof"?


The load from your new addition is vertical.

Since the crack runs horizontal, it represents an excessive load laterally, like from water pressure on the grade side of the foundation.

A crack such as this doesn't compromise the ability of the wall in compression, the types of forces the addition will cause (with exception of wind and earthquake).

None the less, I would recommend identifying the cause of the lateral forces on the foundation wall that caused the cracking, most likely hydro static pressure due to water up against the foundation.
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Old 06-28-2012, 01:27 PM   #13
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horizontal crack... do i need to "waterproof"?


Quote:
Originally Posted by danxp View Post
here are the estimates i have so far...
- united waterproofing 10k
- a1 waterproofing 6k
- quality 1st basement systems 7.5k

all pretty highly rated from angie's list... any comments?

leaning towards quality 1st since they have a lifetime warranty
Please provide a description of what they plan on doing.

If they are simply going to seal the crack on the exterior side, I believe it will most likely come back, and larger.

The crack is indication of a problem with loading on the foundation wall. Simply water proofing the crack is a band-aid.

Additionally, in response to weep holes; why do you believe that you need weep holes and where would you (or your contractors) put them. Foundation walls typically are not weeped.
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Old 06-28-2012, 03:34 PM   #14
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horizontal crack... do i need to "waterproof"?


i'm going to hold off on coughing up the 6k for now... i just took a garden hose and flooded the perimeter gap in the basement and the sump pits started to fill and the pumps took the water out to the street... my system currently works as designed...

somebody convinced me to drill the holes myself so i'm going to give it a try with a 1/4" masonry bit... if water shoots over the gap, there'll be no issue as i'll just sweep up the water into the sump pits... my basement is currently unfinished and there isn't anything down there... not even a boiler or furnace yet since it's going to be replaced...
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Old 06-28-2012, 04:13 PM   #15
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horizontal crack... do i need to "waterproof"?


No basement wall should have weep holes to the interior.

I wouldn't drill holes through your foundation for any reason.

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