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gregt848 07-30-2008 12:05 PM

French Drain Solution? Any Help Would Be Great!
I wanted to see if i could get a little more info or detail out of anyone. I have read through numerous posts and done my fair share of research, but just wanted to know if what I have learned would correct my problem. Down the road, I am planning on rennovating my basement to use as a familyroom/laundry room. Currently it is somewhat finished although it is not used at all. The problem I have, and what I want to correct before I begin the remodel, is with high humidity/moisture. Having lived in the house for four years, the basement has never gotten water, but always has high humidity. A meter shows that the humidity level is high. If I continuously run a dehumidifier, I can get the level down to say 60%, but as soon as it stops or isn't running, it goes back to high. Even during dry spells in the summer it still registers high humidity. Regarding my property, by Looking at the house from the street, there are somewhat steps. The house to the left sits a couple of feet higher than my house, where the house to the right is a few feet (up to four or five feet in some spots) below mine. In the back of my property, it also has a substantial drop. To the house on the left and right, this is not a gradualy slope but yet almost like a wall. One reason I do not get any water in my basement, is because when it rains the water travels down the street and collects at the lowest points Flowing right by my house. I am very close to the top of the hill. When I posted previously a few people suggested that the waterseal on the exterior either failed or was never installed. (house was built early 50's) Having just installed a new patio and deck on the back of the house i would rather not dig out the foundation to apply a waterproof membrane. I am looking for another solution that would solve the problem. Where I notice the efflorence and staining mainly is not really on that foundation wall with the patio and deck, anyhow. I have read a great deal about installing a french drain around the perimeter. Do you think this would correct thre moisture problem? I have read a lot about french drains and people installing themm at the high part of the slope and then running them to a distant low point, but nothing about it correcting moisture only bad yard drainage and water in the basement. Any input? Is there a way to determine where the moisture is coming in? maybe most of the humidity is coming from one part of the foundation? Not sure just looking for some advice and direction. I was planning on installing a new lawn and brick walkway in the fall, so obviously I want to do the french drain first if i am going to have to dig up the lawn. Where I see the most efflorance and staining is on the right side of the house (the lower side) , but on the other side of the foundation wall is an attached garage, so even if I wanted to dig the foundation to apply the waterproofing membrane I couldn't because the garage is there. Do you think a french drain might correct the moisture problem? If so would I put it on three sides of the house and channel it to the back yard? Do you have any other suggestions or tips? I really apprieciate any advice or input. Maybe I have a high water? Is there a way to determine this and does that factor into the plan.

47_47 07-30-2008 02:27 PM

A french drain is used to direct surface or run-off water away from low spots. If you are not getting water into the basement, I'd say this will not help.

Does either neighbor have a high humidity level in their basements? I'd first investigate where the source of the humidity is. Since you will be refinishing this area, I'd remove a few small sections of the existing work, one layer at a time. They may have incorrectly installed vapor barriers/insulation and you may have undetected water seepage. Securely tape small pieces of plastic to the masonry walls and floors. Wait a few days and remove the plastic. You will get condensation on the face of the plastic where the moisture is coming from.

Also check dryer and furnace venting.

buletbob 08-01-2008 09:16 PM

I agree with 47 47 try those suggestions first. If the water table was high then you neighbor next door on the low side would be flooded?. BOB

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