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Old 07-07-2008, 09:09 AM   #1
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Various Home Projects Basement Reno


Hello,
I am getting ready to start a few home projects. Will be getting underway soon, applying for permits and doing research to begin. Big fan of this site and wanted to get some opinions. Have already read through numerous posts and consider myself decent at home projects. I have already remodeled a bathroom and built a deck. Suprisely they both came out great. The next two projects are a basement rennovation and doing some work on the second floor. I will post pictures throughout because I know they do justice. My first questions are about the basement. I have read many of the posts on the forum about this topic, but wanted some direct responses. Located in Mass., The basement does not get any water even after heavy rains, have lived here for 4 years always dry, yet there is a ton of moisture. Humity levels are high and you could run a dehumidifier continuously. The walls have the efflorance (sp?) on them. I except the fact i will probably need to continue with the dehumidifer, but as I gut and redo the basement, I would like to take all the correct steps to either eliminate the moisture, prevent it, or at least control it minimize it the best I can. I have the downspouts running away from the house, and the grade seems to be good on the exterior. The walls inside that are visable currently, look like they have drylok on them now, but it is not working. (peeling bubbling and efflorence coming through). How can I correct this? want are the best products to use? any advice...
Greg

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Old 07-07-2008, 02:48 PM   #2
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Various Home Projects Basement Reno


Check the grade outside of the foundation where you see the staining on the interior of the foundation. Must be sloped away from the foundation. You could water proof the exterior of the foundation, That will help with the walls but you will still get the humidity coming up through the floor if no vapor barrier was installed when the floor was installed. ( I doubt that it was )
You say that the basement has been dry. except for the staining. Then try re-waterproofing the interior of the foundation. make sure you clean the interior good. wire brushing and powerwashing. then recoat.

I would tend to think that the waterproofing on the exterior is starting to fail. Where you see the staining on the foundation the waterproofing could of been jeopardized by gravel, rock, rubbing due to the freeze and thaw cycle that the north east in counters each year.

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Old 07-07-2008, 03:54 PM   #3
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Various Home Projects Basement Reno


Do you have a high water table? Your next project may be to install a french drain....
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Old 07-08-2008, 08:10 AM   #4
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Various Home Projects Basement Reno


Thanks for the fast responses. To answer the questions and provide more detail. The houses on the street are almost like steps, where I am closer to the top. My neighbor to one side is a few feet higher than me and on the other side, they are almost three or four feet plus below me. Not sure if this means I have high water table or not, but when it rains heavily the water just runs down the street and the people at the bottom get killed. I think that is why I never got any standing water or even puddles. It just flows right on by. Now my yard is slightly sloped, (not super drastic, but visable) where I notice alot of the staining, peeling and efflorence is on the lower side of the slope. where is moisture presence elsewhere in the basement, but not as severe. The specific wall is against the garage, so the wall is not nessesarily outside. The garage possible was added on. Where would you put a french drain? Along the back of the house, (not the wall with the peeling) there is a new patio and deck that I would rather leave in tact. Any more advice or solutions would be great.
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Old 07-10-2008, 01:48 PM   #5
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Various Home Projects Basement Reno


I spent a great deal of time researching french drains off and on over the last few days. Many excellent articles and success stories on askthebuilder.com. So do you think that will resolve some of my moisture issues? It makes sense that ground water would be diverted to another area. Like I mentioned the moisture/humidity is steadily high even when the weather has been dry or rain free for a while. Alot of applications seem to eliminate water in the basement, but I never get standing water even after those rare freak storms, just the moisture. Is there a way you can tell if the water table is high? As I stated before I am situated on a slope. What would be a good plan for a french drain if this would benefit me in my circumstance. From what I can see (some walls are enclosed) the efflorence and moisture is on the lower side of the slope, yet on the other side is an attached garage, so the drain could not go right on the outside of the wall. On the back of the house is a deck/patio. Also, Are you allowed to direct your downspouts into the drains. Do you think it is worth investing the time and labor. I Really apprieciate the help, advice, and info.
thanks,
Greg
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Old 07-10-2008, 03:28 PM   #6
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Various Home Projects Basement Reno


I purchased a house a couple years ago myself and it too had a water problem. Our house is positioned on the side of a hill where the ground covers the basement in the front of the house and the back of the house is a walk out basement. We still had water coming in the walls year round. I heard there are springs under the street in front.

That being said, I have done a lot of research on the different options. I don't sell any of these systems so take it and do what you want with it.

What I have learned.

There is basically two thought processes to solving the water problem, attack from inside or outside the basement.

Different methods I saw.

1. Excavate around the foundation of the house.

2. Apply water sealer like DryLok - The block needs to be completely dry for it to even start tot seal. That only seamed like a bandaid to me as the water still gets into the block.

3. French Drain and Sump pump. Water still gets into the walls and you still have some moisture.

4. Drilling small holes at the bottom of the wall around the paramiter and install a track to channel the water to the sump pump.

What I decided to do was prevent the water from even getting to my walls. I rented a backhoe and excavated around the foundation down to the bottom of the footing. Tarred the walls and installed rigid exterior insulation. Placed a rigid perforated pipe at the bottom of the ditch, and covered with gravel. Half way up I placed another perforated pipe to divert the water. Covered with gravel and sand.

All together it cost a couple thousand and a lot of hard work but I saved about $8000 and have a completely dry basement.

If you are planning on refinishing your basement, don't cut corners. Solve the problem at the source.

Good Luck,

Stephen
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Old 07-10-2008, 04:51 PM   #7
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Various Home Projects Basement Reno


Quote:
Originally Posted by gregt848 View Post
I spent a great deal of time researching french drains off and on over the last few days. Many excellent articles and success stories on askthebuilder.com. So do you think that will resolve some of my moisture issues? It makes sense that ground water would be diverted to another area. Like I mentioned the moisture/humidity is steadily high even when the weather has been dry or rain free for a while. Alot of applications seem to eliminate water in the basement, but I never get standing water even after those rare freak storms, just the moisture. Is there a way you can tell if the water table is high? As I stated before I am situated on a slope. What would be a good plan for a french drain if this would benefit me in my circumstance. From what I can see (some walls are enclosed) the efflorence and moisture is on the lower side of the slope, yet on the other side is an attached garage, so the drain could not go right on the outside of the wall. On the back of the house is a deck/patio. Also, Are you allowed to direct your downspouts into the drains. Do you think it is worth investing the time and labor. I Really apprieciate the help, advice, and info.
thanks,
Greg
Your saying you do not have water coming into the basement. Then the original water proofing on the foundation If installed is starting to fail. the humidity is from the wet walls. you need to get the walls dry. excavate the outside foundation and install a water proof membrane from grade to bottom of footing. BOB

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