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Old 04-15-2011, 06:23 PM   #1
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idea for indoor basement water irrigation


I have a minor water issue, when there are huge storms some water seeps through between the floor and the wall. I know I should fix that from outside, but given this is so minor I'm hoping to just take care of it from inside. The most water I expect it to ever see is the equivalent of a full ice cream bucket, over the period of multiple hours. We recently had a huge downpour which not only created lot of water but melted most of our snow so this is like the very worse case scenario, and there was a small puddle. So it's not like I'm having litres and litres of water coming in.

I have two ideas, one is to somehow cut a groove in the cement, maybe a few inches deep, and make a "trench" where if any water leaks it stays there. This would lead to a drain area. What tool/method would I use to cut such a groove? I'm thinking something the size of a vertical 2x4, as a groove. Something nice and clean and square.

Another idea, which would be easier especially when it comes to finishing the basement, would be to actually build a small cement wall, to act kinda a as levi so water stays between the foundation wall, and that mini wall and is then drained somewhere. My only concern is if I poor cement on top of existing cement, it wont really be a very good seal right? So water could just go under it. Would this be the case? The advantage is when I finish the basement I could build my wall right on top of this mini wall. This would be easy to do as I could just take a 2x4 and place it against the foundation then have another 2x4 that is a 2x4's width away, and use that as a form.

At one spot or more I'd add drains. I'd probably do the drains first. These would lead to the existing weeping tile drainage.

Think either of these ideas could work ok? I believe #1 was suggested at one point. Just not sure what tool I would need to make those type of cuts. Either way I will need such tool to do the drainage. I'm thinking some kind of masonry blade for a dremel, and a system to keep it stable then a jackhammer to break it up.
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Old 04-15-2011, 06:39 PM   #2
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#3 Hang some grow lights, throw dirt on the floor and make it an herb garden you never have to water?

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Old 04-15-2011, 06:56 PM   #3
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And profit!
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Old 04-15-2011, 06:56 PM   #4
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If you have access to the outside, you should dig down and waterproof the area where its leaking.
I had this problem and it only took a couple of hours to dig down 4 feet.
Once you have the hole dug, paint the surface with some water-proofing and fill er back in.
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Old 04-15-2011, 07:17 PM   #5
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If you have access to the outside, you should dig down and waterproof the area where its leaking.
I had this problem and it only took a couple of hours to dig down 4 feet.
Once you have the hole dug, paint the surface with some water-proofing and fill er back in.
I have to break up a ~3 inch thick cement deck full of rebar and angle iron before I can even start digging. The builders did not mess around with this deck, that's for sure.

That's why I want to avoid having to go there. I know it's the proper way.

On the other hand, a jackhammer does sound like fun.
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Old 04-15-2011, 07:37 PM   #6
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I have to break up a ~3 inch thick cement deck full of rebar and angle iron before I can even start digging. The builders did not mess around with this deck, that's for sure.

That's why I want to avoid having to go there. I know it's the proper way.

On the other hand, a jackhammer does sound like fun.
Take it from me...a jackhammer is only fun when someone else is runnin' it
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Old 04-16-2011, 07:21 AM   #7
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http://www.mtidry.com/basement/
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Old 04-16-2011, 02:06 PM   #8
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I was thinking pretty much something like this, but on a much smaller scale given I don't have a big reoccurring problem, but still enough to cause damage to flooring in the future.

My only concern with removing such a large chunk of concrete right at the wall is the potential structural issues it could cause depending on how the footing is done. With an older house I'm almost thinking the footing is combined with the floor and is not a separate system.

What about systems like these:

http://www.basementsystems.com/basem...s/drytrak.html

Think they work well? It's basically the same concept as my idea #2. I'm also thinking if I go with a solution like drycore flooring, then I may not have to worry so much about minor leaks as well.

Given I don't plan to finish the basement for quite a while, think I will just seal up the joints and monitor it for a few years to see how it goes. Once I regrade my yard and add heat tape to the gutters, it may not even be a problem anymore.


Edit: Another thing, I've heard of people using ridgid foam from wall and even floor and taping it all up. Is this actually a good solution? I'd be worried about the floor sinking in the foam over time. Is this an issue? Now that I think of it that may be my ultimate solution once I finish the basement.

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Old 04-16-2011, 04:47 PM   #9
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I know it's more work, but I really like the system I linked to because they have great illustrations on their site to show the process, as well as they sell & ship to homeowners. Most importantly, unlike the system you linked to, the MTI toe board controls the water at the bottom of the floor RATHER than on top of the floor. This 3-4" really is a big benefit in the efficiency of basement drainage.

As for other solutions, again, I really feel like it's best to keep the water out of any living space to begin with. You can easily control the water inside the hollow block wall as well as below the floor.
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Old 04-16-2011, 05:15 PM   #10
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I'm just worried about the stability of cutting the slab completely, all around. Won't that greatly affect the structural stability of the house? Even if I'm pouring new cement after, it's not as strong. I guess the footing is what is taking all of the weight, but I'm still messing with the ground around it. I do agree it looks like a more efficient solution though.

I may just bite the bullet and remove that deck too, fixing it from outside is the best way, but more involved. Removing that deck will also make it easier to run a sub panel to my garage. Once I've dug it up, fixed the issue, then I can build a wood deck.
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Old 04-16-2011, 05:30 PM   #11
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I would do it when it's dry, and the wall has far less lateral load on it. The floor can come out temporarily & safely, especially if it's just in the crawl space. If it's in the full basement section, you may need to brace the lower part of the wall sporadically to resist the soil pressure until the floor patch cures.

As for removing the floor strips, an electric saw is the easiest approach IMO.
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Old 04-16-2011, 10:31 PM   #12
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Either one *could* work. It will all be in the execution. Our house in fact has an ancient built in system like the one you describe. There is Metal conduit that runs around the perimeter of the basement that was clearly intended to catch water and funnel it to the main. It is integral to the floor and there is a channel cast into the concrete that it sits in. We don't have a water problem so I can't tell you how well it functions.

I would not go cutting into your cement floor to make a channel. Besides being a ton of work it would be more difficult than you think to ensure you had the grade right so that it did indeed drain effectively.
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Old 04-17-2011, 09:32 AM   #13
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my friend, you must do this project properly and completely. you can do it from the inside or the outside but you can't do a half a$$ job. if you dig down only where it leaks and waterproof only that area (and the rest of the wall is not waterproofed at all) then the water will just flow around your new waterproofing and find some other entry point.

from the inside is possible but not with the systems you are suggesting. first confirm the foundation & slab is the type you show and not a monolythic or low floor. assuming its as you drew, you need to use electric rottary hammer smash the floor parallel to the wall about 14" away. this should be rough cut with jagged edges along the remaining slab (a smooth cut with a saw will not be good). then dig down a bit a trench. DO NOT GO LOWER THEN THE BASE OF YOUR HOUSE'S FOOTING. use proper gravel, and drain. use the type of drain tubes with slots 350 degrees around, not holes. have some slope and drain to a sump pump. gravel on top using certain type of clean agregate.

intsall sheet drain along the wall, across the top of the footing directing water to the gravel/drain system. technically, the sheet drain should also run up the wall to grade..

pour concrete back to the footing and to the slab (here is where the jagged seam helps

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Old 04-17-2011, 09:38 AM   #14
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build a closet there with no flooring and a mop
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Old 04-17-2011, 12:41 PM   #15
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yes cutting the slab will weaken the structure of the wall. the hydrostatic pressure from outside is pushing on your wall and the 4" concrete slab is what is holding the wall in place at the bottom, keeping the wall from piviting in. your first floor mud sill is what keeps the wall from being pushed in at the top. this is why when houses are being built they will frame the first floor & pour concrete pad before backfilling the exterior foundation. i do not know if this is an issue for you or not.

what kind of foundation wall do you have? is it blocks? if so, do you have bleeder holes drilled in the bottom?

the link you provided is drytrak. i like sheet drain better as sheet drain takes up less space, allows air to pass behind it to dry out footer, much stronger support between wall & floor as the pegs get filled with concrete & become solid and will not collapse, nearly impossible to clog & can be run up the entire height of the wall (useful for leaky foundations, stone foundations, high condensation on walls & protects framing)

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