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MStocks 10-29-2009 11:44 AM

Leaking Basement Wall
I have a house built about 50 years ago. The basement is cinder block wall which is surrouned on 2.5 sides by solid earth. The southeast facing fall is open to the air though, which is where my driveway is. Until recently that wall had a old garage door in the back half of this wall and a doorway in the front (streetside) half. The old garage door was a eyesore and I am finishing the basement and framing walls. I am a relatively new DIYer with framing but have done all the interior walls fine but enlisted the help of my father-in-law for the new wall where the garage door used to be. We took out the old garage door and he built a wall to fill in the hole left by the garage door.

Now my real problem. Whenever we have a semi-heavy/heavy rain this new wall now leaks water underneath the floor plate at the backside corner of the wall he has built. I want to put carpet down in this new room I built there but obviously cant with the water leaking underneath the wall there. When the garage door was up there wasn't a problem with water leaking in so I assume something about the way the wall was built is wrong. What can be done to waterproof the floor here? The concrete slab extends from the floor inside to the outside with about 1ft of concrete outside. Then there is just dirt covered by gravel (my driveway).

Back of House (covered by earth
| Living Area
Front of House (earth covered)

In this crappy diagram (lol) the ground on the back and frontsides of the house slopes a down from the right to left, if that helps.

Hopefully this is enough info. I am at a loss as to what to do here, first post today but been reading things here for a while and has been some great info for me.

concretemasonry 10-29-2009 01:15 PM

I think you could have a drainage problem at the back of your house. The bottom plate should be 6" above the soil. If it is not water could accumulate and leak under the plate (I hope it is treated wood).


MStocks 10-29-2009 06:28 PM

No, my father-in-law didn't put treated lumber down for the bottom plate either which is another reason I'm worried about this wall.

Would taking down the wall and putting it back up be worth the time? If I do this, would there be some kind of thing I have to put down between the bottom plate and the slab to help water proof the wall? I have seen some things online about some waterproofing tape stuff that was shiny backed that a fellow put under a door he was installing to water proof it. Is something like this useful on bottom plates for walls also?

Gary in WA 10-29-2009 09:57 PM

Yes, you need a short (2" if stucco siding) concrete stem wall and a footing underneath. The apron concrete in front of the wall is letting water wick to the living space. Check with your building department as you also need egress window for the basement and/or bedroom down there. Also light and ventilation, heat, electrical, utilities may need outside air source if gas, etc.
Be safe, Gary

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