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Old 01-08-2018, 09:26 AM   #1
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Ground against foundation too high..


..or..I need some sort of rain proof foundation vent cover. I'll explain with an amateur drawing. This is a side view of the house.



Days like today where I live remind me of a problem I still need to get rectified in some way. My back yard slopes upward away from the house. If looking in the direction I drew this, the front door and street are on the left hand side of that drawing.

It's an unfinished but fully concreted and bricked walk-in basement, but on the back you just see the typical looking foundation. I have what looks like a vent hole 12.25 by 8.5 inches, roughly. The ground against that side of the foundation is about an inch higher than the bottom of that hole. So...you can imagine what happens when it rains really well.

I'm trying to figure out how to go about this...simply find something to cap it up?, whether its a window, frame and caulk...or a vent that can be closed off to water intrusion, if they make such a thing....or the big one..and try to dig all across the back of the foundation to where its lower.

I realize though that if I do that last one I could create even worse issues with water. I don't really want to do this but I had thought about digging a 'V' sloping away. I've seen back yards that have had to do this and it is ugly. In that pic, you can see where the yard slopes upward slightly before gradually leveling off.

If you were limited in budget...how would you go about it? I've never laid brick before but I guess that might be an option as well.

Last edited by all10fingers; 01-08-2018 at 09:32 AM.
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Old 01-08-2018, 09:41 AM   #2
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Re: Ground against foundation too high..


basements don't have vents like that so Is that a vault like under the garage or a crawlspace.
Do you have downspouts and where does that water go?
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Old 01-08-2018, 09:51 AM   #3
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Re: Ground against foundation too high..


I've been calling it a basement but this is our first house so I could be wrong on its proper term. On that drawing, If I had more space to keep drawing on the left hand side, the drive way is actually two retaining walls that cut in from the street and is level with the concrete in that space I have on the dotted lines.

I think an older couple might have used it as a makeshift garage to park their car under the house. As it stands you're right there are not vents, just two of those rough holes in the back spaced apart by about 15 feet, one that's wide open (the one I'm focused on), and one that's been used to hold a dryer vent.

Downspouts are at the corners of the house with the flex tubing pointing away from the middle and towards the side yards on either side. It seems like the that dramatic slope is my main problem but I can't do anything about that right now...because of the retaining wall driveway, you can't even get a truck to the back yard, or any other type of equipment unless I ask a neighbor to creep through their yard real slow. The deck is stacked lol.
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Old 01-08-2018, 10:09 AM   #4
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Re: Ground against foundation too high..


Lowering the level and diverting the water will be the most likely answer.
The do make tiny walk behind excavators so you can usually get some equipment anywhere.
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Old 01-08-2018, 10:09 AM   #5
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Re: Ground against foundation too high..


As best as I can draw..here's the front of the house to add to perspective. It's basically a full walk-in crawl space/former garage underneath.


Last edited by all10fingers; 01-08-2018 at 10:13 AM.
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Old 01-08-2018, 10:13 AM   #6
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Re: Ground against foundation too high..


The retaining wall height coming right out of the house is about 5 feet (I'm 6 foot) are made of concrete and pieces of 1 inch thick granite all imbedded in it.

Once you walk into the basement the sub floor joists are probably 2 or 3 inches above my head...so too low to make this space into a finished basement so its became my down and dirty work shop space.
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Old 01-08-2018, 10:20 AM   #7
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Re: Ground against foundation too high..


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Originally Posted by all10fingers View Post
The retaining wall height coming right out of the house is about 5 feet (I'm 6 foot) are made of concrete and pieces of 1 inch thick granite all imbedded in it.

Once you walk into the basement the sub floor joists are probably 2 or 3 inches above my head...so too low to make this space into a finished basement so its became my down and dirty work shop space.
So is the vent a hole in the framing or a hole in concrete.
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Old 01-08-2018, 10:28 AM   #8
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Re: Ground against foundation too high..


hole in the brick. About 12 and a quarter wide by 8.5 tall...give or take an 1/8th. and the back yard seems to be about an inch above the bottom of that cutout. So rain just trickles in.

Usually not enough to cause a panic because its all concrete down there and they built some sort of small 2 inch wide trough at the edge going all the way around and leading to a drain that goes out to the sewer...but until I get it dried up I'm leery on using that side to use power tools or anything electrical.
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Old 01-08-2018, 11:44 AM   #9
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Re: Ground against foundation too high..


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Originally Posted by all10fingers View Post
hole in the brick. About 12 and a quarter wide by 8.5 tall...give or take an 1/8th. and the back yard seems to be about an inch above the bottom of that cutout. So rain just trickles in.

Usually not enough to cause a panic because its all concrete down there and they built some sort of small 2 inch wide trough at the edge going all the way around and leading to a drain that goes out to the sewer...but until I get it dried up I'm leery on using that side to use power tools or anything electrical.
If it is just brick It might be able to be sealed and moved up out of the water.

Using well maintained electric tools in a damp area is not a problem.
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Old 01-08-2018, 01:20 PM   #10
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Re: Ground against foundation too high..


Sealed how? I had thought about just trying my hand at bricking in the little section, but I was hoping there would be some sort of window frame or vent that maybe has a sealed cover that I could screw into it and caulk for now. I'm surprised I have had zero rat problems so far due to this thing.
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Old 01-09-2018, 08:42 PM   #11
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Re: Ground against foundation too high..


Hard to go by drawings.

But I would cut out the backyard with the proper slope.
Make it so it is a functional yard.
As for the rest of it I would make some retaining walls to deal with it.
This way you could direct the water away or where it might be needed.

The dirt can be sold or given away, you haul.


https://www.familyhandyman.com/searc...ining%20wqalls



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Old 01-09-2018, 09:04 PM   #12
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Re: Ground against foundation too high..


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Originally Posted by all10fingers View Post
Sealed how? I had thought about just trying my hand at bricking in the little section, but I was hoping there would be some sort of window frame or vent that maybe has a sealed cover that I could screw into it and caulk for now. I'm surprised I have had zero rat problems so far due to this thing.
What you sorta described is like a window box which only works if they have a drain in the bottom.
Below ground level you should find some black goop of some kind or other, that seals the wall from leaking so if you raised the dirt level you would also raise the level of the sealer.
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