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Landcaping, Grading, and Siding: keeping water out of my basement

Landcaping, Grading, and Siding: keeping water out of my basement


  #1  
Old 08-10-05, 11:26 AM
strutterAtlanta
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Landcaping, Grading, and Siding: keeping water out of my basement

Hello. I'm having an issue with groundwater getting into my basement. The problem is that the foundation walls, siding, and ground meet at the same point: ground level. A good hard rain (and there have been a lot of those in Atlanta this summer) causes water to pour in a gap between the siding and the ground.

First off, I'm installing gutters on my Craftsman Bungalow to control roof water. That's an easy one.

But second, I want to improve the grading/landscaping to eliminate the problem. It's a little difficult to visualize a solution, though: the ground on that side of the house is pretty level.

Digging down below the level of the foundation wall to improve the grade is one solution; I fear that it pushes the water to my property line, but doesn't disperse it. Another contractor advised me to build *up* by covering the siding at/near ground level with a vapor barrier to a height of about 8 inches, then adding enough dirt and sod to slope away from the house.

I worry about burying my wood siding, though, even with a physical barrier. Isn't this inviting rot and termites?

What, then, should I consider?

Thanks!
James
 
  #2  
Old 08-10-05, 11:58 AM
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: USA
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Landcaping, Grading, and Siding: keeping water out of my basement

Do not, ever, ever, ever pile dirt up against a wood frame house.

Moisture will get behind the "vapor barrier" and rot the structure. Mold is also a potential.

When you go to sell the house, one of the first things a home inspector looks at is the grade around the home in proximity to the structure. The "contractor" that suggested this must be in the business of replacing rotted wood when a home sale falls through and you have to make the repairs in order to sell.

A drainage solution is the most logical and positive. It may take a combination of grading and subsoil (pipe or french drains) to carry the water away.

Take a look at the areas around your home that are lower if you can't carry the water to the street drainage. You Georgia clay may add to the challenge.

Dick
 
  #3  
Old 08-10-05, 01:52 PM
strutterAtlanta
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Thanks; another question.

Thank you for reply - you confirmed my suspicion about that course of action. We constantly hear about avoiding wood-to-ground contact here in Georgia due to rot and termites, so I couldn't imagine why I'd do something like pile dirt against my home.

What about removing the bottom two or three boards of siding and replacing with some other type of barrier, eliminating the confluence of ground, siding, and foundation?

If this is possible, what would that barrier be?

Thanks again!
James
 
  #4  
Old 08-10-05, 02:05 PM
Join Date: Mar 2005
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Landcaping, Grading, and Siding: keeping water out of my basement

As I mentioned before -

Do not, ever, ever, ever pile dirt up against a wood frame house.

I have a low opinion of the "waterproofing" systems available to protect something as fragile as lumber. There is always a way around them and they can deteriorate while you don't know it.

Do everything you can to keep the water away.

Dick
 
  #5  
Old 08-10-05, 02:08 PM
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Any part of your house that is framed MUST be above the ground level. It doesn't matter what siding or vapour barrier you use, the ground should only contact concrete or block. As Dick mentioned rot and mold it also creates very easy house access for ants and termites. You really need to take care of the issue with proper drainage. Either changing the sloping of the ground away from the house or installing a draintile of some sort. Adding gutters first will give you a very good idea if its the exact reason you are having a problem. Make sure you have the downspouts empty as far away from the house as possible or even use french drains
 
  #6  
Old 08-11-05, 11:31 AM
strutterAtlanta
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Thank you both for your help!

I appreciate you both sharing your expertise. Time to start digging and grading!

Thanks
James
 
 

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