Basement Waterproofing part 2


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Old 05-03-14, 05:27 PM
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Basement Waterproofing part 2

1st off, I started a thread on this subject a long time ago (back in 2008). I just tried to reply to it and got nixed....So, here is a new thread on an old subject...

Nothing like giving fresh life to an old thread......

for a refresher, we bought this 1958 house back in Oct of 2006. There were signs of water issues in the basement, but we needed the house and bought it. The previous owners (at least 2 different previous owners) had attempted to fix the issues in a few ways. 1st, the entire basement wall is coated in block bond. 2nd, they have chiseled a crude scalloped interior french drain along 2.5 of the interior walls, back to the sump pump. this took care of most of the water. Still, we found that when it rained good, we would have a river running across the floor at the bottom of the stairs.

A few years ago, I to the water-plug to a number of back trouble spots and that knocked out about 95% of the bad leaks. No more rivers on the floor, accept for the one in the crude french drain when it really rains. I also did a bit re pitching of the ground around the house, but I have some impervious sections that need to be removed.

It does still leak along the joint between the 1st and 2nd course on 3 of the walls, say about 50 l.f. representing leaks. So, we have had quite a bit of rain lately and two days ago, I see a river flowing across the basement floor. Yesterday, I go down with hammer, chisels, water-plug in hand ready to tackle the main culprit. A couple leaks within 12" of each other below the window in the corner you will see in the 1st attached photo. I start chiseling and getting the hole large enough to accept the plug , when I give one more final blow and open up a 1" dia hole that allows a massive stream of water to jut out of the wall for 3-5 ft into the room. I stand there and laugh at myself, since what else can I do? I wait about 30 minutes for the pressure to drop the flow goes down to little more than a trickle. I mix up some water plug and shove it in. I am again impressed at this stuff. No water coming through. I start the clean up. 15 minutes later, it fails, again, a torrent of water gushing into the room. This time I wait an hour, then plug and now almost 36 hours later, still holding. I still have a slight trickle in that area, but I am not touching it until the rain here stops. I figure if the water level increased that quickly in that wall, then I have a massive ground water issue.

That all said, I want to really "re-do" the outside. the two pics attached show the area in question. I want to remove all the asphalt, the vegetation, etc. re-grad everything. The large square asphalt section will be replaced with some sort of stone patio, but all will have decent drainage and good pitch towards the yard.
 
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Old 05-03-14, 07:32 PM
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The exterior surface apparently has failed and has no ability to stop infiltration into the cores of the block.

Looking at you external obstructions (steps, stoops, pavement and shrubs were the ones I sae on the one photo. In many ways it is better than the exterior drain tile that should have been
there when the house was built. that situation the only logical thing to do is install interior drain tile that will collect the leakage and drain the block core 24/7. It also reduces the amount of water under the basement slab. It also is a structural benefit because it reduces the hydrostatic pressure behind the wall.

This require getting to someone to make parallel saw cuts about 4" from the wall and 16" from the wall. You can also make a few cross cuts, leaving 4: of concrete left as top prevent ant wall movement (not always necessary, but I did it). Excavate down to just below the bottom of the footing (about 12"-16"). Lay in filter fabric, a 2" mixture of coarse sand and 3/8" or 3/4" clean rock. Lay some perforated pvc sections (holes in the bottom half). Knock a hole into the cores and run some 3/4" flexible pipe from the block cores into the area near the pvc. Fill with more of the coarse sand and rock mixture and then pour a couple of inches of the concrete. The biggest problem is getting the waste out and the new fill down into the basement.

I did my basement over 3 week-ends with the help of my 12 year old and some of his buddies.

Dick
 
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Old 05-03-14, 07:49 PM
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Had an estimate

Back in 2008, we had a guy in to give an estimate. He did a nice job on a neighbors house and basically told me that the water table was about 2' above my basement floor and that there was basically two rivers running along our street. Our house probs were identical to the neighbors. His plan was to come in and do just about what you mentioned. Create an interior french drain, and also drain out the block cavities into this french drain. All this said, it is interesting in that the house currently has 4" corrugated-perforated drain pipe (tube, whatever), running around the inside perimeter of the house to a sump in the back of the house. This pipe is located maybe 8-10" off the wall and about 10" below the slab. His estimate was for about $12.5K. At the time I could not go for it due to the cost and also I had 2 old furnaces and 2 old 275 gallon oil tanks in the basement (all of which are now gone).

One interesting thing, in the back of the basement where the sump is, a previous owner had drilled a 1" diam hole in the bottom of the bottom course of block right in front of the sump. This hole drains water almost 365 days a year. The sump location is right in line with a part of the house that is not over basement but over a crawl space. (house is shaped like an L). Additionally, the back yard had an inground pool years ago. I believe that they simply filled it in and did not break it up. Since that time, it has finally failed, but still is just a huge water tank underground.

Not sure what expense we will go to for the fix. I can do most of it myself, but not sure I want to deal with the mess. Certainly not a huge hit in my area for resale as practically everyone on the street has water in their basement.
 
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Old 05-04-14, 09:25 AM
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So...

A friend just stopped by and ran him through the entire wet basement ordeal. He offered up an interesting solution. Similar to what the contractor gave me the estimate for, but instead putting the drain tile on top of the floor and creating an above ground french drain. Basically create a 12" x 12" box around the perimeter of the wall / floor joint, laying in stone and perf pipe and also drilling holes in the bottom course of blocks. While totally doable, somewhat feasible, I am leary of the the ability to get a sealed joint between the floor and this "box"...have to think this through a bit.
 
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Old 05-04-14, 11:07 AM
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Just following along, but the first thing you need to confirm is the water table away from your house. Houses/basements are often dug into impervious soil (does not drain) and results in another swimming pool with a house in the middle of it. The high water table or house in a hole require two different solutions.

A high water table will leave you no place to drain the water that collects in a buried drain system. I suspect this is not the problem as your description of water pouring in from 12" below the window would indicate a huge amount of water around the house, but not the actual water table.

If your house is in a hole and collecting rain water from the roof and surrounding landscape, then you need to find a place for that water to be drained AWAY from the house. I see a little slope to the yard, but does it slope to the street or other low area. By slope we need several feet, not a couple of inches.

I realize the entire neighborhood has basement water problems, but you need to determine exactly what is going on down there over an entire season. Without a full understanding you risk a lot of work/expense and the problem continues.

Does the street have a drainage system that you could dump into?

Bud
 
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Old 05-04-14, 04:52 PM
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Some Slope

The yard does slope a bit, let's say maybe 6" in 12' from house towards street. The water coming into the basement occurs at the joint between the 1st and 2nd course above the floor, so 8" above the floor. The floor is roughly 6' below grade. In our basement, we have two access point to adjoining crawl spaces. One opening is at 48" above the floor and sits about 6' in from the basement window seen in the 1st pic above. I was able to shine a light into the block and see the water towards the bottom. I measured it and the water level is 16" above the floor, so right along the top of the 2nd course of block. This equates to roughly 56" below grade. I mispoke earlier, about the existing sump and drain pipe. The pipe is 4", but is not corrugated plastic. Not sure what it is. What I do know is that water is running into the sump maybe 360 days out of the year.

I do feel strongly that we need to regrade the front yard, remove the walkway, the patch of asphalt outside the window, etc.
 
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Old 05-05-14, 06:23 AM
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Local drain

There is a municipal storm drain located in the neighbors yard to the East. This is past our driveway, and the inlet to the drain sits about 2" above his yard. So everything in the area has settled considerably. The end of our driveway, near the street sits a bit lower than our yards on both sides, as a result, we see considerable ponding there as well. Fortunately though, the driveway does slope away from the house for about 35', before it hits the 5' uphill slope to the street.
 
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Old 05-05-14, 06:42 AM
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Just thinking out loud here, but if the original drainage plan for the houses and street included that storm drain and intended for runoff from your lot to head to the street, then the town needs to look at the issue. If the water on your property has no place to go but into the ground, that doesn't help the problem.

Second, if the storm drain is low enough, perhaps the town would allow you to pump or drain into it. A lot of speculation, but the old rule of thumb is no design is supposed to change the flow of water onto or off of a piece of property. Since it is now ponding, that may not have been part of the approved design.

One more, if you do any landscaping, remember that winter frost can lift the soil about half a foot. Next to the foundation doesn't freeze as deep and thus without sufficient slope the land tips back towards the house. Add to that, the soil next to the house has settled over time.

Bud
 
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Old 05-05-14, 08:58 AM
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Good Points

Thanks for the points to consider Bud.
 
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Old 07-29-14, 05:38 AM
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So, this summer the plan is to regrade and relandscape around the house. That should be the somewhat easy part. I had one contractor give me a quote for $10K and I almost fainted. So, I will look for others. Sadly, I rolled my ankle this weekend quite badly, so I am hobbled for the next few months (Murphy's Law prevails yet again).

Inside the house, I have decided on a product called Squidgee. It is a 5" high PVC baseboard system that is expoxied to the floor at the floor/wall joint. You drill weep holes at the bottoms of each core of each bottom block and the water drains is then channeled to the sump. I have drilled the holes for 3/4 of the basement and have noticed that I not longer have any ponding occurring, as all the water is slowly moving to the sump via the chiseled channel in the floor.

I bought a SDS Rotary Hammer Drill to aide in cleaning up the bottom course of block (removing dry lok, Block Bond, etc.) in the interest of trying to give a somewhat planar surface for the baseboard to mount to. I also will fill in the channel with fresh cement so I have something to epoxy to (can not do that now as the channel is 3-4" wide in most places and the baseboard is only about 2" wide.

Here is a question for those that know about concrete / cement. I have a scalloped / chiseled notch in the perimeter of the my basement floor. Avg. width is about 3", avg. depth is about 1.5". Total length is about 70'. I need to fill this in with concrete / cement such I have a good surface to epoxy this product to. Can anyone recommend the necessary steps I should take to make this pour as watertight as possible? Also, how about a good mix? I am thinking sand base, with no large aggregate. I am wondering if I should try and use a masonry saw and cut on an angle, trying to remove all the "scalloped" sections if possible. Obviously, this will make it a much larger pour, but I am thinking the concrete will adhere better...Any thoughts?
 
 

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