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Old 01-05-2010, 12:58 AM   #1
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Basement Flooding!


Just purchased my first home ~5 months ago.... the basement started flooding about a month ago. It's flooding pretty good and is coming through the wall and where the floor meets the wall.

I had my first estimate tonight and it was $5800 This is not even an option for me.... i'm in my mid 20's, and this is my first home. I"m somewhat handy and have plenty of friends who know what their doing. The problem is that none of us know much about water proofing.

The company that came tonight recommended the following:
  1. Digging a trench around the entire perimeter of the room
  2. Drilling holes through the wall to take water from behind the wall into the trench
  3. Putting drains in the trench that all flow to a sump pump.
  4. Filling the trench w/ concrete while somehow not filling the wholes going through the wall.

This sounds good to me, I had planned on originally doing that except for steps #2 and #4 (this had previously not occurred to me but seems to make sense.)

My goal is to finish this basement completely and turn it into an apartment. So I can't afford for it to leak at least for a decade or so. The Dry Loc and other methods seem more like patch work than actual fixes to the problems. Dryloc just seems like it would could more water pressure outside and eventually trash the walls.

My problems are.... #1 I cannot nearly afford to pay for this. #2 this seems far more complex than originally thought.

What is this type of drainage system called? I've tried googling to get more information so i can do it myself but can't find this exact type of system.

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Old 01-05-2010, 06:38 AM   #2
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Basement Flooding!


New new, or new to you?? If new, the fill around the outside has probably settled leaving a moat around the house. Fix the grading. And make sure gutters/downspouts are working and downspouts dump water at least 6' away from foundation. That will solve or improve 90% of basement water problems, and does not cost a fortune.

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Old 01-05-2010, 06:41 AM   #3
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Basement Flooding!


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Originally Posted by Just Bill View Post
New new, or new to you?? If new, the fill around the outside has probably settled leaving a moat around the house. Fix the grading. And make sure gutters/downspouts are working and downspouts dump water at least 6' away from foundation. That will solve or improve 90% of basement water problems, and does not cost a fortune.
I second that
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Old 01-05-2010, 09:08 AM   #4
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Basement Flooding!


1. As stated above, you must make sure your yard is graded right (away from the house).
2. Make sure all your down spouts carry the water away from your house (at least 6' to 10').
3. Check your sump pump discharge and make sure it too is discharging away from your house.
4. Check your neigbors house and make sure they are not discharging their water into your yard (could be against local ordinance if so)
5. Use hydrolic cement to fill any large cracks in your wall or basement floor
6. Finally, use a good sealer like dryloc on your walls to keep the water out. You will have to wait till it dries, and do not apply if it is painted already.

Good luck, I had the same problem 3 years ago, and this is what I did to fix it. Worked like a charm.
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Old 01-05-2010, 09:38 AM   #5
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Basement Flooding!


Pics of the landscaping around your house would help too
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Old 01-26-2010, 10:07 PM   #6
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Basement Flooding!


The house is 65yrs old, just new to me.

My problem is that it looks like they've had this problem for 10+ years. I want to finish the basement in the next year or so. Fixing gutters, landscaping etc will help... but the next hurricane to roll through here i'll be done for. The interior drain seems like a better idea to me because it doesn't really matter if the water comes in... it goes right back out.

The basement was dryloc'd ~8-10 months ago just before I got the house. Good portions of the dry loc are coming off already. I have no sump pump at all currently. I can see water building up in the block and coming through the wall.

Any thoughts on what could go wrong with doing this myself? I've heard all kinds of things from trashing the foundation to severely cracking walls from misuse of the jackhammer. How likely is this if done carefully? To do this amount of damage wouldn't their have to be gross negligence?

I've gotten more estimates ranging from 4k-8K. I've also met a guy who used to do this for a living that will help do it for 2500$ on the side. My concern is what if he screws something up? Or is their not much to really screw up?
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Old 01-26-2010, 11:24 PM   #7
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Basement Flooding!


Just curious here.....was this condition disclosed by the previous owner during the due-diligence period? If not, you may have a cause for action against him.

The type of drain you're talking about is called a "French Drain". The ones I've seen used perforated PVC pipe to accumilate the water as it percolates down the outside of the basement wall and there is a pump to move it elsewhere. It is a tried and true procedure, here, take a look at this:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/French_Drain

When I was building homes with basements we waterproofed the exterior of the walls with roofing cement before we backfilled around the basement....two coats, one is sure to have places for water to weep through. DryLoc is, IMHO, a distant second best b/c it doesn't stop the water from seeping through into the basement wall, it just keeps it from coming into the home. Water may seem benign, but it isn't.....it works slowly but leaving the walls of your basement damp can create other problems, too, such as mold behind the wallboard once you finish it. You REALLY don't want that.

I'd do whatever I could to prevent the water from getting into the walls. Only after I had done all things possible toward that goal and still found the walls seeping would I consider the DryLoc option. Perhaps you could hire a contractor to come out with a backhoe and excavate around the exterior of the house so you could get in there and do the waterproofing work yourself, then have him come backfill after you were done. It might end up costing just as much but by investing your time you might just accomplish a more water-tight envelope. Don't be surprised if a combination of approaches (application of a waterproofing layer on the outside PLUS a French Drain system comes to mind) are required to reach your goal.....if the basement will be rental property, you'll have extra income to pay for it--might take a while to recoup your outlay, but it's better than finishing out the basement before the basement is dried in!

I understand your dilema, I own a 88 year home, with a basement.....fortunately it is dry, but that's b/c it has a flat roof and the rain drains into a tank for irrigation, with the excess being moved away in a shallow ditch.

Dugly
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Old 01-27-2010, 08:21 AM   #8
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Basement Flooding!


It was an estate sale, the owner passed away and their kids were selling it. They were original owners, the kids grew up there. I'm sure they were aware of the issue. However, i'm sure they would just plead ignorance on the basis that they didn't actually live there.

My problem with excavating around the outside is... that if water does somehow come in there is nothing to stop it. This is why the interior drain seemed like a better idea to me. Plus i'm an accountant and it's tax season My time is severely limited right now. I'm really thinking of getting this Craigslist guy... my only concern is if he screws something up and dissapears. How likely is that he could do real damage with the jackhammer?
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Old 01-27-2010, 08:41 AM   #9
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Basement Flooding!


Where are you located ?
Pics of landscaping/slope around the house would help

I would not even think of finishing the basement for at least 5 years
You need to make sure whatever fix goes in there isn't any flooding over a 5 year period

Myself I'd never drill thru a wall to allow water into the house
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Old 01-27-2010, 08:45 AM   #10
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Basement Flooding!


A trench around the perimeter just outside is a little better than a trench around the perimeter just inside, but the inside one will work quite well.

The bottom of the trench should be no lower than the bottom of the footings. That is, do not dig below the level of the bottoms of the footings. Also avoid rises and valleys in the trench bottom even if in some places it is above the footing bottoms. Choose one corner inside to be the collection point (sump pump pit aka sump). This should be something like 18 inches in diameter (or square) and about 24 inches deep from floor level. Drill just one (4 inch) hole through the footing (if you used an exterior trench) at the pit location to let the water into the pit.

If you did excavate the outside, wire brush off the foundation and paint with waterproofing up to a few inches below ground surface. Again I don't know what brand is best.

Do not fill the trench (exterior trench or interior trench) with concrete. Lay one perforated pipe in the trench going all around the perimeter, beside the footings. This is your trench drain. Because you couldnt (shouldn't) dig below the footings, and also the pipes (whether interior or exterior) have to be below basement floor level, there is admittedly very little vertical room to work with for slope towards the chosen pit location but try not to have rises and dips. Backfill with sand to cover the pipe at least a few inches. There are a variety of porous cloths and screens to wrap the pipes with to keep the sand from going into the pipes but I don't know what brand is best.

Finally patch the basement floor (interior trench) or finish backfilling with dirt (exterior trench)

Note that the trench and pipe system (weeping tile system; French drain) AND sump pump is the meat, and the waterproofing is the gravy.
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Last edited by AllanJ; 01-27-2010 at 09:12 AM.
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Old 01-27-2010, 09:42 AM   #11
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Basement Flooding!


Extend drain pipes 4-6 ft away from foundation, install a sump pump underground at the lowest point in the basement. This is temporary but will help. Also these dry basement companies are well over priced, you should call some local contractors (not the big dry basement companies) and I'll guarantee you'll get quotes mch lower. Good luck.
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Old 01-27-2010, 09:59 AM   #12
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Basement Flooding!


Quote:
Originally Posted by matasw View Post
Plus i'm an accountant and it's tax season My time is severely limited right now.
Mata, I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but this is not a quick project. Believe me, that basement has been "seeping/flooding" for a LONG time (you must be correct about the previous owner's children knowing about the situation, IMHO!!!) and there really is no quick fix. Tax season may well be long over before you even get to start on it.....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scuba_Dave View Post
I would not even think of finishing the basement for at least 5 years....You need to make sure whatever fix goes in there isn't any flooding over a 5 year period
ScubaDave is right.....suppose you THINK you have the problem solved and finish out the basement, then a "frog-strangler" of a rain comes along and you find out you were mistaken. Give nature time to hit it with a few good opportunities to leak, make sure it doesn't before you finish out that basement, otherwise if it DOES leak again you'll have wasted your money with the first finish-out and have to invest even more in finishing it out the second time.


Quote:
Originally Posted by AllanJ View Post
Note that the trench and pipe system (weeping tile system; French drain) AND sump pump is the meat, and the waterproofing is the gravy.
Allan is right here, too, you truly don't want to put a tenant into a unit that might cause health problems related to mold.....I've been a landlord before and I can assure you that tenants can be very quick to consult a lawyer and you don't want to be faced with the expense of defending yourself in a lawsuit, even if you win. Take the time necessary to get that basement dried in, make sure it stays dry for an extended period, THEN think about finishing it out for a rental unit.

Dugly


Last edited by YerDugliness; 01-27-2010 at 10:02 AM.
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