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PatinLA 06-22-2008 09:31 PM

Wet climate foundations and wall.
We are planning on building a 2000 sg.ft. home over a full basement in a very damp/wet location. What shoud we do/ not do to ensure a usable dry basement. Location is North of Pittsburgh on the Allegheny River.
Thanks from a newbie in advance

Brik 06-25-2008 11:00 AM

You may always have issues. here is what I did when I built my house...

Poured concrete basement walls
French drain at footer level, gravity fed to a drywell.
Solid drain for all downspouts connected to drywell.
Waterproofing membrane, 3/16" thick black spray applied from 6" above grade to footer.
Drywell about 30' from house with overflow to swale.
All grades away from house toward swale which grades away from house.

Perimiter french drain leading to sump pump.
Sump pump pumps to same drywell outside.

Full disclosure - I am not on a river.
My sump pump only runs due to my AC condensate being dumped into the pit. No water gets into the pit from outside. Thats key. You need to do everything to keep the water out in the first place. Use gravity as much as possible. I would even built a bit out of the ground in your case. Get as far up hill from the river as possible. Your biggest issue will be ground water. You may go through all of this and still not be able to finish your basement.

Good thing is the above steps are really cheap when building. I think all of that cost maybe $2000 to do.

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