Crumbling foundation! Need HELP!

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Old 05-30-06, 10:31 AM
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Crumbling foundation! Need HELP!

My wife and myself are trying to redo our house which was the house my wife grew up in. This house has been getting water in the basement ever since she can remember. The foundation is cinder block and is a total mess with mold and eflorensence covering much of the interior of the wall. So, in order to stop the water we found someone who deals with this type of work and has a business on the side to do the work. He was found through a friend and comes highly recommended. So after doing an estimation walk and talking with him we decided to go with the standard clean, patch and seal and then use J-Drain around the whole foundation which will deliver all the water directly to the footing drains he's installing (the house had none). Everything sounded great up to this point and I was happy with his knowledge and expertise of the situation. When he started to dig he had uncovered some problems. First of all, the block was never sealed as we suspected but to our dismay we found out that regular blocks were used instead of corner blocks and that in all corners the blocks were disintergrating. No wonder so much water was entering the house! His solution is to fill in the voids in the block with cement and stucco the whole exterior of the walls and then do the rest as we agreed upon. My question is: should he use rebar in the voids of decaying block to make those corners as strong as possible? Is his way of fixing this correct? What would be the best way to fix this? He has promised me that I will never get water again. I just want to make sure that my foundation will be sound and secure. All replies are appreciated.
 
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Old 05-30-06, 12:47 PM
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Crumbling foundation! Need HELP!

The strength of the corners are not as critical as the strength of the main portion of the walls themselves.

It wil not hurt to reinforce any cores that are going to be filled.

He will have to make sure any patches on the exterior walls are well bonded to the existing concrete.

The properly installed J- Drain is certainly an expensive material application. Other materials will work equally well with a proper drain tile system and proper backfill material.

Since he is apparently excavating the total exterior, I assume the drain tile will be on the exterior also. The key iten is to get the drain tile below the level of the basement floor and to to use the correct material (rock and filter fabric) around the pipe.

Since you have a history of a high water level around your basement, it may be wise to invest in a sump pump with a battary back-up if you plan to finish the basement in the future.

Good luck!.

Dick
 
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Old 06-09-06, 08:06 AM
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Thanks for your reply! My next question pertaining to this job is: the excavator says that the J-Drain system doesn't need stone around the drain; the fabric from the J-Drain wraps around the drain and then back fill is added. This sounded strange to me as I'm familiar with the common way of using stone. I did question this and he said that the stone will attract water. I did some
research on the J-Drain site and did find an illustration showing how it should be installed with no mention of stone. Also the picture shows the drain resting on top of the footing which makes sense because how would you be able to wrap the fabric around the drain while keeping the J-Drain plastic part behind. Using this way will bring the water directly to the drain and out to daylight.
Eventhough this is what they recommend I'm still concerned.
Should I be? Please follow this link to the illustration:
http://www.j-drain.com/support/foundation.html
 
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Old 06-09-06, 11:00 AM
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Crumbling foundation! Need HELP!

The J-Drain system can perform as well as a stone/granular backfill, but it is just more costly. The "wrap" is just another way of allowing the water to drain downward for collection.

Your salesman used the wrong choice of words when he said the stone will attract water. It will allow the water to drain down. Don't let him tell you he can build a waterproof system all around your basement. You always have to worry about the water around the footings.

The key to any waterproofing system is the REMOVAL of the water from around the foundation to a level BELOW the bottom of your floor slab. Make sure the drain tile system or whatever he sells is below the bottom of the slab and preferably below the bottom of the footings.

If the drain tile/drainage system in not deep enough, the water can come in at the joint between the inside floor slab and the wall. A shallow drainage system also allows water to accumulate under the slab, which can enter through cracks or raise the humidity in the basement.

Since this person does this on the side, make sure he is licensed and get a list of projects he has completed to verify the results of his installations. Usually, these patented systems with limited availability of components have some sort of training in the installation. check to see if the installers are trained and/or certified.

Dick
 
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