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Old 12-14-2012, 05:41 PM   #1
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Basement waterproofing question

Hi there,

First post in these forums, so apologies if this has already been covered. However I'm completely torn between options for waterproofing my basement and I could really use some advice.

Our basement sometimes has a small amount of water coming through the floor, and sometimes the fieldstone is damp with condensation. I understand that the latter is quite frequent as the stone tends to sweat. (We also used to have some moisture at the corners, but this disappeared after I installed downspouts correctly.)

We want to finish the basement and have had quotations for two systems - an interior perimeter drain with a sump pump, and an epoxy-type sealing. The sealing process is much more expensive and frankly the service has poor reviews, but the basement remodeling contractor is in favor of it.

I understand that with the perimeter drain system that water still enters the basement, but I don't understand why this should be a problem if the insulation has a vapor barrier. I'm also doubtful that a "lifetime" guarantee with a sealant can really be enforced.

Does anyone have any suggestions as to which is best, or are they both acceptable as long as they are done properly?

Thanks in advance!
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Old 12-17-2012, 04:51 PM   #2
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I would not trust the sealant. Foundations only have to move a little bit with frost heave, the sealant cracks, and now you have no seal.

It's really, really hard to keep water out of a basement. Easiest thing to do is go ahead and let it come in, use vapor barrier to control it, and let the perimeter drain and sump pump take care of it.
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Old 12-17-2012, 05:13 PM   #3
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Sealing the walls will do nothing to prevent the water coming in through the floor. It is just a band-aid.

A perimeter drain removes the water around the home AND reduces the hydrostatic pressure that forces water to find a leakage point somewhere into the living space.

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