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Old 08-11-2009, 09:50 AM   #1
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Wet basement floor


Hey guys,

Got a damp basement in a 100yo house. Stone block foundation walls, most of the basement is a dry concrete slab, but one end is what looks like a combination of bricks and stones set in dirt, and always damp when it rains. The water definitely comes up from the floor, no wall leaks. Part of the problem was outside drainage - I live downhill from a large (at least 150'x150') parking lot. because of the slope, the downhill corner of the lot ended with a 20' tall retaining wall, and most of the drainage flowed out cracks in the wall right next to my house. They've just finished repairing the wall and routing the drainage around my house in a pipe, but I'm still seeing a little moisture on the dirt side of the basement.

The boiler is located over there, and it's currently pulled to be replaced in another week or two - so it is occurring to me that I could try to seal this floor up a little. I've come up with a game plan from reading around the net some, but I want to run it buy some folks and make sure I'm not missing anything.

The damp area is 8'x8' and enclosed on 3 sides by foundation walls. A previous owner poured concrete along the insides of the stone block in this area (probably an attempt to hold back the flood..) so the walls are sealed and solid. The 4th side transitions to concrete and is consistently dry.

I'm thinking I should first lay a moisture barrier of heavy plastic on the floor and a few feet up the walls, caulking it to the cement to seal in the damp area. On the 4th side I'm slightly stumped ... Maybe a PT board tapconned to the concrete floor to act as an edge, moisture barrier coming up the side of it.

On top of the plastic, to protect it from the new boiler and foot traffic, I was thinking about throwing down an inch or so of sand, then laying cheap pavers.

Because of the small area I've got the whole thing priced out to about $200, so it's not like I'm throwing a ton of money at the idea.. But I'd like to make sure it isn't going to cause bigger problems. Any thoughts?

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Old 08-11-2009, 11:39 AM   #2
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Wet basement floor


this thread's getting beat to death read some of the previous posts & you should learn wtr can't be permanently stopped from inside, only managed,,, i'd suspect you're getting hyraulic leaks due to water taking the path of least resistance,,, this differs from hydrostatic ( water table ) as the problem's restrict'd to a small area,, good luck !

ps - downspouts can't hurt but won't resolve the problem impo.


Last edited by stadry; 08-11-2009 at 11:48 AM.
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Old 08-11-2009, 11:46 AM   #3
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Wet basement floor


Thanks for replying. Read plenty of previous posts, though I'll check again. Just didn't find anyone trying or suggesting the combo of elements that I want to use here. Got the plastic idea from people talking about covering dirt floors in crawlspaces. Sand is my own thought - other posts said cover plastic in crawlspaces with gravel to anchor it down. Hoped someone would know if I was overlooking something.

Downspouts shouldn't be a problem.. I have gutters all around and downspouts all pipe water away from the house (on the downhill sides, too - no gutter places any water uphill from the house.

I guess from the "you'll be fine" you're not spotting any obvious flaws in the plan. Thanks
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Old 08-11-2009, 11:50 AM   #4
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Wet basement floor


crawlspaces need vapor membranes but YOU'VE GOT LEAKING WTR... your method'll create a lake,,, forget the sand - get taller blocks


you'll note i edited the response
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Old 08-11-2009, 11:55 AM   #5
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Hmm.. But I don't really have water flowing in or anything. If it rains, the ground gets damp, the humidity goes up and the basement stinks.. I'm hoping to just isolate the water from the living space. Is water sitting under the vapor barrier going to really hurt anything? Guess that's what I really want to know.
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Old 08-11-2009, 03:34 PM   #6
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look, conc's porous & sucks up wtr like a sponge ( capillary action ),,, once it starts, it proves the 3rd law of leaky bsmts - wtr rushes to fill a void,,, are you running a dehumidifier ? ? ? clorox:wtr 1:1 works as good as anything to disinfect walls & floors.

wtr sitting under a plastic sheet won't hurt anything BUT will be a great place for bacteria & creepy crawlers to hatch if you don't believe me, try drylock - that won't work either but, at least, you can prove it to yourself
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Old 08-11-2009, 03:41 PM   #7
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Yeah, I run a dehumidifier. It helps, but wish I didn't have to pay all the electric for that beast. OK - you've given me some things to consider - thanks.
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Old 08-11-2009, 04:15 PM   #8
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I would give it some time to see if the repairs made are effective or not. Maybe a week, or longer. Depends on the soil conditions, distance to drain field, etc., to know if it works. Be safe, G

Last edited by Gary in WA; 08-11-2009 at 04:20 PM.
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Old 08-12-2009, 08:22 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GBAR in WA View Post
I would give it some time to see if the repairs made are effective or not. Maybe a week, or longer. Depends on the soil conditions, distance to drain field, etc., to know if it works. Be safe, G
With the comments I've been getting, I guess this is what I'll do. It's very possible the soil is still overly saturated from the years of poor drainage.

Thanks for the advice everyone.
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Old 08-12-2009, 05:19 PM   #10
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Wet basement floor


Ayuh,... At only 8x8,... I'd mix,+ pour Concrete over your plastic to set the boiler on.... 4" otta do it...

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