Foundation grading and efflorescence

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Old 01-13-15, 05:21 PM
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Foundation grading and efflorescence

Good morning I'm a new to this fourm. I recently bought my first house with my wife it's a small ranch style house with bsmt. I have some efflorescence in some spots in the bsmt like where the front and back steps are ad in some spots where the dirt in the yard is. I know about how to waterproof the outside like dig up all around ur house foundation and seal it on the outside. I don't have lots of water penatration. Just some dampness.i would like to know if It woul be better money wise to just cemnt over the dirt around the house and back yard like four ft out from the house would that stop the water penatration seeping into the bsmt? I know the grand of my yard is slanted to the foundation that is cement that's doing that into the dirt that's right up against my house. So basically I want to know if I cement all the first four ft from my foundation and grade it away from my house and into the lawn would that's work rather then digging up foundation and sealin it. I am looking for the less money spent. But it also has to be effective I want to finish bsmt and want to dry lock it just want to make sure I can go head if it's a good idea to cement the dirt. Around the house. Thank you any information would he helpful
 
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Old 01-21-15, 07:46 PM
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Any one can help me out with the answer to the question
 
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Old 01-21-15, 09:38 PM
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Hi Chris, and welcome to the forum.
I did see your original post but did not reply as your request is not a typical solution. But since no one else has been brave enough I will see what I can do.

We do see buildings built in tight spaces like in a city where there are sidewalks all the way around and yes, it would deflect the run-off as you have stated. However, I' not sure that is necessary or entirely desirable. Future home owners might be less than impressed.

Now the bad news. Basements are a pain to finish, especially in cold country. Liquid water is only part of the problem. Moisture vapor passes right through concrete, so however moist the soil is outside the foundation, that moisture level will attempt to equalize with the inside. With nothing against the walls, it is currently evaporating directly into the air and leaving behind those minerals you see as efflorescence. Even digging and sealing as you stated around the outside doesn't stop the moisture vapor as it will migrate up through the footings and floor and into those walls.

My approach would be to try and limit the liquid water through landscaping and gutters with leaders well away from the foundation. Slopping back to the foundation is a disaster and may be the bulk of your problem.

Once the grading is done and 99% of the moisture issues eliminated, then, return and we will talk about finishing off that basement, but it probably will not include the use of Drylok.

Bud
 
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Old 01-28-15, 05:22 AM
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Thank you for ur answer. So my best bet woul be to grade all dirt away from house I'll try that out and see if that works. If I mess it up I would call a landscaper. Right? Maybe they can dress it up to look nicer is it a big job to do? How much would it run about?
 
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Old 01-28-15, 06:23 AM
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The amount of work and cost is all dependent upon what is there. If you have an existing slope and the ground has just settled next to the foundation, then not too difficult. If the slope is draining everything up against the house and the surrounding landscape is already too high, then there needs to be considerable planning and ground work. You need to maintain 6 to 12 inches of ground to siding clearance, then at least a 6" drop at 6' away from the house. In frost country that 6" drop is a bare minimum as frost can lift the surrounding soil that much.

Then the drainage from the roof needs to be directed away with gutters and leaders, which can be difficult in cold country. Where gutters are a bad choice I then recommend even more slope. Check some of the very old home in your area and you will often see a 2 to 3 foot drop within the first 6 feet. They knew way back then that all of that water needed to be directed quickly away from the foundation.

If you can shoot some pictures we can improve that advice.

Bud
 
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Old 02-04-15, 03:55 AM
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Thank you I can't take any pics of the grounds as of yet do to the fact it's all surrounded by snow so u can't show u what the dirt looks like. Also I do notice that in the front of my house te garden sorta it's not done yet get muddy after a rain shower like really muddy that it's settling just right there. Haven't seen that any other place that much but I do see it all around the house so one the spring hits I'll call a landscaper to grade away from house
 
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Old 02-04-15, 07:19 AM
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Just another detail to consider. Use your imagination here. If you were to remove all of the "soft soil" from your property, what is left is the water impermeable soil. Now soft doesn't mean exactly soft and water impermeable doesn't mean zero absorption, but during construction, they dug a hole and stuck youe house in it. When they backfilled and graded they made it look pretty, but the hole is still there along with all of the undisturbed original soil. It is this grade that can drive you crazy as even if the surface looks like it is draining away from the house, the hard pan below that soft soil may be draining it right back to the house.

I have no idea what is under and around your house, I have just encountered some major headaches where surface landscaping didn't seem to help. A guy with a pickup and a rake might not pay attention to this, but a well established landscaper will know what I'm saying and probably have a good idea as to how it applies to your property. A good builder will plan the landscaping before the final grading.

FYI
Bud
 
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