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Old 03-13-2013, 08:06 PM   #1
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Waterproofing a basement


We have a house on some land that has sat empty for a while. It has a carport that is open on two sides. (See photos). Beneath this is a basement with metal I-beams supporting the concrete above. After it was purchased water began seeping through the concrete floor and into the basement. This was aggravated by the fact that the concrete has settled an inch or two, so water collects in about a 2x2 area when rain blows in. The basement had ceiling joists with a sheetrock ceiling, the walls have always been cinder block. Termites came in a few years ago and collapsed the ceiling, but all termites are gone now and we have (for the most part) cleaned the basement out. I am trying to figure out if there is a way to waterproof it and use it for storage. Any recommendations are welcome.

Photo 1. Shows the carport and outside entrance to basement. The concrete has settled slightly where the white screen door is, water collects here when it rains heavily and seeps into the basement.

Photo 2 shows what is left of the wooden ceiling joists. This is going to be removed

Photo 3 shows the basement from the outside door. You can see the I beams running across. I've thought about (after some more sweeping/cleaning) getting a pressure washer and doing some major washing, and just leaving the I beams and concrete exposed. Another problem I see, however, is that waferboard was run between the I beams and the concrete above. Not sure how I'll remove that.

Is there any hope in waterproofing this and making it usable? There are no cracks in the concrete, what looks like cracks are termite trails...

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Last edited by Kyle_in_rure; 03-17-2013 at 12:34 PM.
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Old 03-13-2013, 09:52 PM   #2
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Waterproofing a basement


I don't see that any waterproofing is going to perform well. You need to keep the water out from the area above the basement. The concrete is a substantial dead load over what appears to be rotten joists. The wood frame structure that supports the concrete has been comprimised. I suggest that you get a structural engineer in to look at the frame and determine the remediation that is required, and if it is feasible to lift the concrete slab to correct the pitch. good luck.

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Old 03-14-2013, 06:59 PM   #3
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Waterproofing a basement


The metal I-beams alone aren't suitable enough to support the concrete? I had assumed the wooden joists were run just for the drywall.
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Old 03-14-2013, 07:52 PM   #4
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Waterproofing a basement


Maybe an inside perimeter french drain and a sump pump. Short of enclosing that car port and turning it into a garage, its gonna be super hard to prevent seepage. I am thinking also adding a drain in the middle of the carport floor, and running a pipe to the outside would help.
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Old 03-14-2013, 08:34 PM   #5
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Waterproofing a basement


I'm also considering filling it with sand and being done with it.....
I don't understand what made them think installing a basement with an open carport was a good idea.
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Old 03-14-2013, 10:33 PM   #6
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Waterproofing a basement


You should put your location in your profile.

If you are in a temp. zone that gets hot & cold, I could see enough condensation o the bottom of that floor (ceiling) to make you think water was coming in.

You haven't thought of epoxy coating the slab or some other waterproofing?
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Old 03-14-2013, 10:48 PM   #7
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Waterproofing a basement


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Originally Posted by cleveman View Post
You should put your location in your profile.

If you are in a temp. zone that gets hot & cold, I could see enough condensation o the bottom of that floor (ceiling) to make you think water was coming in.

You haven't thought of epoxy coating the slab or some other waterproofing?
It's in the southern US.....hot and cold seasons. I haven't thought much about that to be honest, basements are pretty rare around here and I've never had to waterproof one (go figure). I have thought about getting some self-leveling cement to even out the floor to keep water from collecting.
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Old 03-14-2013, 11:01 PM   #8
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Waterproofing a basement


These types of rooms are rare in my area as well, but they do need to have some insulation on the bottom of the floor (ceiling), or they will drip condensation like crazy.

It would have been optimal to have a flat floor with a slope in some direction. Now, what to do? Have you noticed any slope? You can flatten the floor and get rid of the puddles, but it would be nice to have the whole floor drain.

As others noted, you will want to consider the structural integrity of the floor. Do you regularly park on it? I suppose that is a good redneck test. You may want to load up a pickup with a 500gal water tank in the bed and drive it on there and have the wifey downstairs to see if the floor flexes at all. Get her to take off her jewelry first, if that won't spook her.
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Old 03-14-2013, 11:27 PM   #9
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Waterproofing a basement


I think the slab was originally completely flat, except for the sloped part near the gravel. The floor now slopes slightly around the white screen door (water collects here), I think because the neighbors used to park their car there. Nothing besides an occasional fourwheeler has been parked there in the past ten years.The slab is still solid with no cracks, although the metal I beams have settled slightly.
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Old 03-15-2013, 10:36 AM   #10
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Waterproofing a basement


Problem is that reguardless on what you do with the slab, its still pouress. I was looking at your first picture and thought maybe you could extend the overhangs. I know it sounds like overkill but you need to prevent water from actualling coming into the carport.
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Old 03-15-2013, 02:41 PM   #11
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Waterproofing a basement


Stand back and take a different perspective on this. It's not a floor or slab. It's not a ceiling. IT IS a roof, and should be treated as such. There's a reason you don't see many flat concrete roofs. These can indeed be built as a SYSTEM, but not successfully with only concrete.....................
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Old 03-15-2013, 07:35 PM   #12
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Waterproofing a basement


I'm also trying to figure why the problem wasn't present when my father bought the land twenty years ago.....it had already been built for almost fifteen years.
We didn't notice water coming in until a few years after it was bought.
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Old 03-15-2013, 07:50 PM   #13
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Waterproofing a basement


I'm also wondering why the problem didn't show up sooner; it was clean and dry when my father bought the land, and it had already been built for almost fifteen years
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Old 03-15-2013, 09:45 PM   #14
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Waterproofing a basement


i'm betting that waferboard was supported stay-in-place form at 1 time,,, is that the beginning of some imploding wall(s) about 2 courses up ?

dropped section near the storm door can be successfully leveled w/structural repair as its only ' birdbath ' settling

water & structural problems always show up a ' few years ' after you buy :-)


Last edited by stadry; 03-15-2013 at 09:48 PM.
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Old 03-15-2013, 09:56 PM   #15
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Waterproofing a basement


Quote:
Originally Posted by itsreallyconc View Post
[FONT=Comic Sans MS][SIZE=3]i'm betting that waferboard was supported stay-in-place form at 1 time,,, is that the beginning of some imploding wall(s) about 2 courses
What do you mean exactly?

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