Preventive plan before refinishing basement

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Old 03-25-13, 12:20 PM
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Preventive plan before refinishing basement

Ok first not sure if this is in right forum so please move if I posted in wrong place. Ok been researching for some time and have a 2000 square foot basement unfinished and all open. My research has showed that when a house gets old or the way builders cut corners the foundation goes bad. For example my home has wet spots in certain places from top to bottom after heavy rains and when dry you can see the lime from blocks. So from what I understand over the years from losing the lime walls can buckle. So I want to waterproof my basement before refinishing and avoid any problems in the future.

Now I hear from doing inside work with the systems such as aka French drains along wall , wall coverings and dehumidifier and fancy pumps moves any water that will come in but doesn't take care of water from outside. Digging around house takes care of water entering in the first place and chela all gutters and such and pitches water away.

No if you talk to both set of contractors inside or out there way is the best. So looking or honest views. Slabs are seperated such as floor and blocks are two pieces because was told ther is a small gap from floor to wall. As of now no water entering basement Salome spots get damp when dry see a lot of lime. Guttedlrs go well into ground so not sure if there pointing away from house. Hiuse is 8 years old.

Thank you had three companies come in for indoor systems and proc rages from 20k to 50 k... And each bash each other and claim there the best.
 
  #2  
Old 03-25-13, 01:15 PM
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Hi Vinny and welcome to the forum.
I'm afraid I can't be as optimistic as those who quoted prices to provide you with a finished basement and probably promised it would be dry. By the time mold grows or you discover it still leaks, they will have spent your money and have no interest in returning.

You know from the start you have both a water problem and a moisture vapor problem, those lime indications. Both of those issues can ONLY be fixed from the outside. Once the moisture reaches the inside surface of the foundation and floor, all you (they) can do is try to manage it and few are successful.

You didn't indicate where you are, but spring will eventually arrive and your efforts should begin on the outside. We don't know how moist your soils are down along the foundation, but they don't sound dry and probably never will be. Unless you can divert the water and resolve the moisture from the outside and experience a year or two of a very dry basement, I'd be looking to expand in a different direction.

Others here are more optimistic than I so don't throw away your plans as yet, just be careful moving forward,,,and get any guarantees in writing from a reputable contracting company.

Bud
 
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Old 03-25-13, 01:39 PM
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I always start outside with grading, gutters and downspout extensions to get the water away from the foundation in the first place. If you know where the water is coming in, a more exhaustive examination of the outside of those areas can be warranted as well.
 
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Old 03-25-13, 01:54 PM
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Thanks for the replies! Always amazes me how the pros will lead a person in the wrong way just to line there pockets. Yes house is young but looking to take are o the moisture before it becomes a problem down the line. Even when I purchased house inspector said it was ok and just watch it. I think he should of told me seeing lime weakens blocks over time.

Anyway house is in PA and when it rains heavy there is tons of water rushing by our home and grass stay moist wet or days. So I think I am going to start there with a system of dry wells and duetting it away from the house. A Lot of digging but has to be done if I want a finished basement or prevent future problems. Why not ask owner for few thousand when building a home to prevent future work amazing what goes in all industries.

In my business I find I have to be honest and not steal people's money
 
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Old 03-25-13, 01:59 PM
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Was the inspector independent or associated with the realtor?

Lot of foundations poured in my neighborhood when I moved in and I could stand on the top of one of my neighbor's and see where the water would funnel to on his house. Sure enough, a year later when the house is finished and someone moves in, they have water in the basement in that spot. $6K for him to address that. Can't tell me the builder didn't know when I could figure it out
 
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Old 03-25-13, 02:15 PM
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Interesting looking into inspector now asking wife where he came from . So we all agree if we see dampness and lime it's a big issue that needs to be looked at. Therefore blocks will deteriorate././ agree builders had to know and inspector I blame myself for listening. Ill move on just looking for honest solution to fix problem and move on instead of wasting 50 k and doesn't help. TY for replies.
 
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Old 03-25-13, 04:28 PM
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Recap here two years and only on heavy rains blocks get damp then dry and see lime. No water is in basement ever... Is it a fact that over the years it weakens the blocks?

If I do work on outside should I wait 2 years of total dryness before finishing basement?

And yes inspector was from realitor she gave us three to choose from. Walls are slightly damp in few spots during heavy rains no water inside. Damp in very small areas.

TY.
 
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Old 03-25-13, 05:14 PM
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Sounds like this is a block foundation. What can occur with blocks is that they fill with water. In other words, the leak isn't necessarily right where you see the moisture. Is the top block a cap or a hollow block and if hollow, did they attempt to fill it with concrete?

Bud
 
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Old 03-25-13, 05:19 PM
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I would say yes hollow blocks and have no idea if top blocks where filled. Guess I can ask builder.

Would this weaken blocks over the years ?
 
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Old 03-25-13, 08:27 PM
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I can't say what the risk is for damage to the blocks, probably takes awhile, but I did see the water that came out of one block foundation when I punched a hole in the bottom block. It wasn't exactly clean water. The difficult part is that the improvements that are needed are mostly part of what should have been done before and during construction. A 40 year old house we can expect the typical quick tar coating on the outside of the blocks that never really seals out the water. But anything less than 10 years, the builders should know better. I say should optimistically. Like any features of a house that get hidden behind the drywall or underground, once out of sight, out of mind.

As for inspectors, the reality is, if they find a lot of problems with homes, they won't be getting the next call from that real estate office. Always hire your own inspector and make sure s/he is not connected to the agency or bank, just you.

Divert all water you can away from the foundation and sink at least one sump pit, well below the basement slab. You might as well do a radon test to see if that new pit needs to be sealed and become part of the mitigation.

Bud
 
 

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