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Old 08-02-2011, 11:15 AM   #1
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Basement Waterproofing


My basement is made of cinderblock. There is a corner where I have Eflouressence (sp) sorry...that you can see that moisture is coming through the block. Also, on really rainy days, there is moisture at the bottom of the wall. this appears to be the only place however it is two adjoining walls. I just had someone come out and without even looking outside, where I'm sure the grading is wrong there, mentioned putting in a drain field in my basement. Two walls of the basement. It seems extreme but is there any other way? I tired drylock on the already painted wall and it really does not stop the bubbling.

Do I have any other choice that is economical rather than putting this drainfield in my basement?

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Old 08-03-2011, 12:11 PM   #2
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You mention the grading outside is wrong, so it is a good idea to start by grading it properly, which means, sloping away from the foundation walls.

Check your gutters for clogs, clean them and, if you don't have them, by all means, have them installed. The downspouts should not be discharging too close to the house, but extended to discharge a few feet away.

You want to properly deal with the run off on the outside and keep the ground around the basement as dry as possible. That should improve the conditions in your basement.

Your basement leaks because the soil around it is saturated with water and the resulting hydrostatic pressure pushes water against the foundation wall, which, by following the path of less resistance, finds its way into the basement, usually in corners such as the one you mention.

All this outside work however, might not suffice to keep your basement dry, and you might need to improve foundation drainage by replacing the french drain outside, or installing an interior foundation drainage system.
Both types of foundation drainage work the same way: collecting water from the foundation. Here's some information about foundation drainage. Here's a comparison between different types of foundation drainage:

Waterproofing paints and sealants, just as you observed, will not work because they do nothing to relieve the hydrostatic pressure. Water is just temporarily trapped behind the coating, and with time and pressure, the coating bubbles, flakes or peels off.

It is in your best interest to have the drainage fixed with a cinder block wall, because the hydrostatic pressure might eventually cause them to bow and crack, compromising the structural integrity of the property.

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Old 08-03-2011, 07:47 PM   #3
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Neither company that came mentioned doing something outside. They both wanted to install the drain field in the basement around the back and side wall along with a sump pump. I guess this fixes any problems with water and the grading, etc outside becomes a non-issue...is that correct?

They say they warranty the repair for the life of the home. I just still worry about the wall. Will putting this system in along with weep holes cause me no further wall problems? All the water will then just go to the bottom and into the drain and be removed by the sump pump?

This is really aggravating because I have no other problem areas in the basement and I'm certain the water is coming from the top down and not the bottom up.

Thank you for your reply.
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Old 08-04-2011, 12:46 AM   #4
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when your a hammer everything is a nail. Of course a waterproofing wants to sell you thousands of dollars of waterproofing, That is what they do! First you should do what the previous poster said. If you know the grading is wrong and refuse to fix it then it is time to buy a condo. if prior steps do not correct your problem then start looking for an experienced service plumber or drain cleaner(an old school guy 30 years or more) that is familiar with the storm sewer under your house he can get storm systems working about 90% of the time. most waterproofers don't stop the water from coming in they just hide it behind plastic panels
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Old 08-04-2011, 07:35 AM   #5
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Grading must be done first. Water starting at the surface can soak into the wall on its way down before getting to the drain pipe dwon at foundation level.

Drain pipe systems are meant to capture water that is already in the ground.
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Old 08-04-2011, 09:10 AM   #6
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I will be hard to do the grading at this point because we have a pool deck on one side of the "corner". The other side we could most likely do something but we have tried to grade outself and put plastic down but it is still getting to the wal. One company wanted to inject into the ground some product that would make the clay soil denser and fill in any "channels". I cannot remember the name of the product...sodium something or other. We also are on a well and septic so there is no public sewer drainage.

Should my next step be a landscaper? I don't want to throw good money away on the outside and not have the problem be fixed.
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Old 08-04-2011, 09:25 AM   #7
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Quote:
Will putting this system in along with weep holes cause me no further wall problems? All the water will then just go to the bottom and into the drain and be removed by the sump pump?
...and the moisture will still be there and the walls will continue to deteriorate. And you will be poorer but have a helluva nice sump pump to listen to.

You may want to heed the above advice these other guys have offered you.
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Old 08-04-2011, 09:37 AM   #8
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Great...now I'm so totally confused. I guess I need to talk to the first company and discuss the walls and see what they say. If they are willing to warranty the wall without any outside landscaping then what? I brought this up to him and he just said it would go into the block and to the bottom where the weep holes are. Right now it is staying in the block.

Oh to be so ignorant about home improvement and who to trust.
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Old 08-04-2011, 10:22 AM   #9
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I just remembered what one company wants to inject into the ground...bentonite along all the walls that would have the drainfield. If I do this, then they will warranty the wall as well as the floor from water leaks. Has anybody heard of this? Also, we have a well and I don't know if it would contaminate our well water. The bentonite would be used in liu of any landscaping.
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Old 08-04-2011, 10:22 AM   #10
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I am so sorry you feel so confused.
Let me try to clarify this for you.

As I said, your basement leaks because the soil around the house is over saturated with water. For your basement to be built, a big hole was dug. Then, after they finished building it, they back filled the hole around the basement walls.

That dirt around the basement walls will never be as compact as the undisturbed portion of the terrain around it. It acts like a sponge, soaking all the moisture from runoff and from the surroundings. We call that the "clay bowl effect". This is a picture of how it works.



This is why it is very important, not only to grade and deal with runoff properly, but to provide adequate foundation drainage as well. And unless you live on top of a hill where the ground water can be diverted by gravity drains, you will need drain tiles, internally or externally installed and a sump pump.

Installing the interior drain with the weeping holes along the entire perimeter of the basement walls (not only the two leaking walls) will definitely keep your basement from leaking and relieve the hydrostatic pressure, but you should still deal with the runoff or your sump pump will be running more than it needs to.

My advice to you would be to call 3 different waterproofing companies in your area, get estimates and different solutions, then pick the one that makes more sense to you.

To prevent being scammed:
  • Make sure you get a detailed written estimate with everything that they will be doing,
  • Make sure the company is professional and has been in business for a while (what good is a lifetime warranty if the company will be out of business in a couple of years?),
  • Check if they are licensed in your state.
  • If the products they use are backed up by manufacturer's warranty or they just use generic stuff
  • Make sure they have a real business address, a landline local phone number, and do not operate out of the back of a truck (most of the home improvement scams are perpetrated by flyby handymen )
  • Ask for references and by all means, call the people and check the references.
  • Check their stand with the BBB and search for reviews of the business online.
  • Make sure they are able to answer ALL your questions, before, during and after the installation.
  • Don't pay all the money upfront. Reputable companies will ask for a portion of the payment for materials and set up, but will schedule the payment of the balance upon completion of the job or of different phases.
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Old 08-04-2011, 10:23 AM   #11
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I did this, spent 6000 on it. As bud cline said, I still have the problem; but now I have a pretty new sump pump and drain tile system to stare at.
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Old 08-04-2011, 11:10 AM   #12
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So why do you still have a problem? Did you use a bad company that did not offer a warranty or did nothing get done to the outside of the house and so your problem was not solved?

Thank you to the other person for the explanation. I have looked at two BBB accredited companies and neither mentioned doing any grading or putting in any drain outside of the house. Just the one company that would but bentonite into the soil which he said effectively waterproofs the foundation.

Incidentally, my house is on a hill that slopes down on one side. I was only planning to do the side wall and my back wall since that is the only place I have water problems. And it is only about 4 cinderblocks in from the corner on each wall.
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Old 08-04-2011, 12:12 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jgfranklin View Post
So why do you still have a problem? Did you use a bad company that did not offer a warranty or did nothing get done to the outside of the house and so your problem was not solved?

Thank you to the other person for the explanation. I have looked at two BBB accredited companies and neither mentioned doing any grading or putting in any drain outside of the house. Just the one company that would but bentonite into the soil which he said effectively waterproofs the foundation.

Incidentally, my house is on a hill that slopes down on one side. I was only planning to do the side wall and my back wall since that is the only place I have water problems. And it is only about 4 cinderblocks in from the corner on each wall.
We brought in five companies. One was basement systems, and the said that an interior drain tile system would be the closest I could get to a solution. We had water so bad it was running/pooling on the floor. This was because of water coming through at the base of our bilco stairs.

The interior drain tile included a new sump pump with alarm/etc (We really like the new sump pump). It also includes an open drain across the bilco doorway.

The open drain solved the doorway/running water issue. The the interior drain tile on three sides of the basement has not solved our water in cinder block problem. Nothing has drained; and the system just sits there besides the open drain grate catching the water at the stairs.

There is a guaranty on everything; I'm just not happy with it, and now we are saving up money to do the outside...
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Old 08-04-2011, 01:11 PM   #14
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Oh my...that sounds horrible...I'm sorry. I would be pulling my hair out at this point and upping the anxiety meds.

I don't even have standing water coming in. I never see water on the cinder blocks...just the bubbling paint. Then at the base I have moisture that is just enough to dampen the concrete about 2" wide from the wall and maybe it goes about 4 to 5 cinderblocks in either direction. That is it. I know water cascades off of my gutter there but it cascades off all my gutters in a hard rain.

I know of a former landscaper that had to close his business because of the economy. I'm going to call him and see if he would stop by and give us some advice before I do the basement. I don't mind spending the money, when I can save up for it!, but I just want to make sure I do everything right so that this becomes a non-issue.

My husband was putting in his own square block "patio" out there around the pool and any landscaping would require the ripping up of some of those and I would hate to be the one to tell him that!

Thank you all for your replies.
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Old 08-04-2011, 08:08 PM   #15
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Quote:
I just remembered what one company wants to inject into the ground...bentonite along all the walls that would have the drainfield. If I do this, then they will warranty the wall as well as the floor from water leaks. Has anybody heard of this? Also, we have a well and I don't know if it would contaminate our well water. The bentonite would be used in liu of any landscaping.
There are many types of bentonite and it has a whole list of uses. It is however simply and basically a clay-like mineral of sorts comprised of mostly volcanic ash.

We have used it to plug old water wells and cisterns. It will not contaminate ground water. In the form you would use, it would be classified as a product to thwart fluid invasion. It is used in drilling wells and used to keep out unwanted liquids that would be encountered in the drill shaft. Bentonite has the ability to absorb liquids in a ratio that is many times greater than its dry volume and expand to fill voids. At some point it will become very hard and inpenetrable.

I also used it to line the bottom of an earthen stock tank I dug for water livestock.

If the company could guarantee injection into the soil that would cover 100% of the walls exterior below-grade surface area that would be a good bet for you. I'm not sure how that could be accomplished without some excavation but I don't know how they do it.

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