DIY Home Improvement Forum banner

1 - 6 of 6 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We had a small amount of water coming into our finished basement after many days of heavy rain. Originally some LARGE waterproofing companies came out and said "looks like it's coming between the wall and floor at the cold joint - you need a basement drain and a vapor barrier running up the wall." Pulled some of the paneling and found a huge crack in our poured concrete foundation (see picture). Same company now says "since you found the crack, we can do a drain along that wall and do carbon fiber straps to fix and stabilize the crack." I asked if they would fix the crack and he (who has been in business a very long time) said they generally do not fix the crack because it relieves pressure on the wall, otherwise new cracks can form. We are strongly considering the drain but I'm skeptical about not fixing the crack. I understand that just fixing the crack is a cheaper and simpler solution than a basement drain but we want to do some nicer basement finishes down the road and the drain is future assurance that new cracks will not form and ruin whatever future finishes we do and/or that any crack injection will not fail at some point. My questions are:
1) Is this "relief" crack idea where the crack doesn't get fixed a real thing? I understand the point of doing relief joints in concrete but a diagonal crack going to the ceiling does not seem like the same thing. He wants to let the water continue to run behind the vapor barrier and just free-flow into the drain system. Wouldn't that make the crack bigger in the concrete?
2) Am I being taken for a ride? Any ideas or suggestions would be helpful, keeping in mind we want to "future-proof" the basement against further water intrusion and don't mind spending a little extra money to do so.
 

Attachments

·
Hammered Thumb
Joined
·
3,549 Posts
. . . Originally some LARGE waterproofing companies came out . . .
. . . We are strongly considering the drain . . .
. . . don't mind spending a little extra money to do so . . .
If you are talking about an interior drain tile system, that is an endeavor and an expensive one. "Basement waterproofing" companies have great marketing, and sometimes, that is the only route certain situations have. But water should be first addressed outside the house - if you have that option, why go to the trouble to keep letting it in, then dealing with it? Be like letting your BBQ grille smoke come in the window, then installing an exhaust fan to suck it away - how about just shutting the window? Much more information needed, but if that is the only entrance point, you could dig down outside and fix it where it should be done.

Carbon fiber straps, nah, poured concrete foundation walls aren't going to bow in. And if that contractor wants to keep one crack to relieve that much hydrostatic pressure on the remainder of the house, you've got some bigger issues. Companies are LARGE because they make lots of money doing that thing they do, not other things that they don't do.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,498 Posts
I am no expert, but know a little.

They never "fix the crack". The concrete is broken. You can't un-break it.

More commonly, the crack is vertical, all the way from top to bottom. Vertical crack is not a structural issue. The standard procedure is tar-like goop on the outside, covered by dimple membrane. This still requires that drain tiles are present and clear, and sump pump is functioning. You did not mention anything about sump pump. They also sometimes do urethane or epoxy injection from the inside, but exterior fix is superior.

But your crack is diagonal not vertical. I can't speak to possible structural issues with a diagonal crack.

But I am not getting a warm and fuzzy feeling from the description of your guy. Get another quote.
 

·
Contractor/Engineer
Joined
·
1,226 Posts
The trick is to get the water away from the house, not let it inside and then try to drain it away.

Slope the yard, turn your downspouts to the low side, install french drain uphill from the house, dig a dry well to promote deep dispersion, install an outside sump, dig down the side of the crack and re-goop it and cover with membrane (partial cure, I'm sure).

And, since you already know there CAN be water issues you should install a sump in the basement where you've already found it pooling...just for the future since water will always find a way.
 

·
retired framer
Joined
·
45,352 Posts
I suspect that is what we call a cold joint in the concrete and it was there when they stripped the forms.
There are many things wrong with how this was built. Rip it all down and find out if you need an interior drain or just a dig down and water proof this one crack.
The wall as is likely as no fire stop on top, wood in direct contact with concrete. no insulation, no air barrier and electrical wires within 1 1/2" of the surface.
We have not seen enough to judge the concrete wall.
 

·
Registered
kitchen remodel
Joined
·
30 Posts
The trick is to get the water away from the house, not let it inside and then try to drain it away.

Slope the yard, turn your downspouts to the low side, install french drain uphill from the house, dig a dry well to promote deep dispersion, install an outside sump, dig down the side of the crack and re-goop it and cover with membrane (partial cure, I'm sure).

And, since you already know there CAN be water issues you should install a sump in the basement where you've already found it pooling...just for the future since water will always find a way.
This is the best advice, and im on a foundation built in 1898. Mitigate the damage from future water getting in, because it will. But your main focus needs to be an operation, not a cast or a bandaid. Grade your yard, beef up water redirection efforts in every way possible on that side of the house. With the sump inside and proper drainage outside, you probably won't need to seal the crack from outside and could get away with patching it up just on the inside yourself. They got pretty decent stuff that's easy to use even if it's your first time
 
1 - 6 of 6 Posts
Top