wet basement advice (not a question...)

Old 02-28-03, 03:32 PM
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wet basement advice (not a question...)

Hi, Ive been a proffesional waterproofer for a number of years and after reading several of the postings in this forum I thought that perhapes some of the readers would appreciate some free advice.
There are actually very few reasons for a well constructed basement to leak, but there are many many ways to improperly repair the problems. One the largest reasons for a basement area to leak is the level of the natural water table in the area. In our area we have a large amount of clay and limestone that tends to keep the water tables high after spring rains. When this happens the water will squeeze out between where the footing and the wall meet. There are two ways to fix this, one is to excavate the perimeter of the house and place drain tile along the footing. Excavation is always very expensive. The other common method is to trench and install a sump pump on the inside of the home. If this is to be done insist that the contractor suppress the amount of dust created. We use water and a thin layer of plastic on the floor, then cut through the cement with a jack hammer as opposed to a saw. Also, be wary of multiple pump systems. In over 90% of the homes we do one third HP pumps will be more than sufficent.
Windows are another reason you may experience water. Windows that are sunk below the surface of the ground should always be suspect. Inspect inside to see if water has trailed down the walls in these areas. Water that has come from the surface of the ground will always bring dirt with it to give itself away. Water that is clear is generally deep ground water that is filtered as the water table rises. Windows may be fixed by either landscapeing or draining the window wells. Also check the door seals of walkout basements as they are also known to leak.
Cracks in walls are commonly repaired useing a special epoxy. Common hardware store epoxy will usually not work as it remains too brittle and will crack again. However I do know a retired dentist that used dental expoxy successfully...
Ok and now onto my favorite part of why basements leak...the polite term is homeowner error but I like to call it 'the duh factor'.
Make sure that it isnt a pipe break of any kind, make sure the neighbor hood kids havent turned on your outside spigot, make sure the washing machine isnt leaking, make sure your floor drains that you run the condensor tube for the furnace into are clear, and make sure that your gutters are opperational and running water away from your house and not into it.
Well thats my two cents...for what its worth.
Great forum btw....
Old 05-15-03, 06:12 AM
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Question More advice

Thanks for the advice. I do have a couple of more questions, though. I , too have a house with a high water table (water in basement when snow melts before it even rains) and sometimes a small amount of water in my basement. First, have you had any experience with the inside interior types of channel drains, (waterproof.com)that channel the water inside the edge of the walls after drilling a whole in the block? While I have a few spots that leak a tiny amount in extreme flooding situations, my major problem area is one wall in a crawl space (about 4 feet high with a cement floor)that has an attached garage above it, so exterior excavating would be impossible. I am thinking about running a channel along this wall and into a hose that would lead into my sump pump about 10 feet away. Don't want to really break up the floor for drain tiles for this crawl space (used as storage) if I can do it so much easier and cheaper with an interior type of drain system. Next, I only have one drain pipe that leads into my sump basin, which comes from the front portion of my house (which does not leak, but flows alot of water). I am not sure if this drain pipe just goes along the front and stops or continues on somewhere along an adjoining side somewhere. Is there any way to tell, or is this information listed with the county somewhere? Thanks, any suggestions or ideas would be appreciated. Randy

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