Basement Leak/Waterproofing - Questions

Old 10-19-05, 08:08 AM
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Question Basement Leak/Waterproofing - Questions


First - Sorry for the long post but thought it would be better to put in all info _ questions in at one shot.

Any help would be extremely useful.

I stay in NJ. After the recent rains, my basement had some water in the carpets. There are 3 vertical cracks (Not overtly visible ) - you can just about see the crack in the paint in the wall...(no wetness) - in one wall and the waterlogging was adjacent to this wall. (This wall is about 25 ft in length) and the land overall slopes into this side of the house.
The House Floor is about 3 ft above ground...have a couple of small windows at the top of basement.
The house is 50 years leaks till date in the basement.
Overall House is Masonry Construction and these walls are poured concrete
Right now switched on a small dryer and the whole are is dry now and no more water coming in...but then we did not have any further rain either...

I did some research into waterlooging and how to fix this:

Most Expensive and (possibly Right way to do this ?) seems to be digging the outside and installing a "French Drain" and have been told that this would cost about 3000 to 4000 dollars. But was wondering if that would include the cost of putting Concrete and filling up the hairline cracks that have developed ?
A couple of sites sugested that a reverse dove tail crack be made along the crack and filling it up with concrete...but not sure if that will solve prob as I am assuming that the outside crack will remain and continue to create probs ?
Some sites suggest that any new concrete will never set properly with existing concrete so bad idea to do that ?
Equally - Other sites suggest that using Epoxy / DryLok/ or any substitute fillers are very very bad as they do not sit well with concrete and merely postpone the leak for a couple of years ?
I checked site and they are talking about a rubberized coating that will fill the crack (I am not sure what it will do to hairline cracks) and resist all external water pressure ?

Some other questions I have is - How serious is in can it wait for a few months to get it fixed (assuming no major rainfall from now till then)...or does this have to be fixed in 1 - 2 weeks.
Will Snow affect the in moisture going into the crack and freezing and making crack bigger ? or maybe the water freezes up so crack/basement will not be that affected in winter but will really make a mess come summer ??
Since it is just one wall and (maybe about 3 cracks of say 10 ft length) can this be a Home Project ? - The reason I ask is - Is it wise for a non-handy man type to start this as a home project -
If it can be left alone for some time without severe damage resulting...can I (say) spray a waterproofing paint/spray canned stuff on the wall and leave it alone till a later time.

Definitely do not have the money to do this not sure if I can afford even $600 for now...but having said that dont want to avoid spending $1000 now and having to spnd 5000 later....

Any thoughts / Help woud be extremely useful / helpful
Thank you in advance...

Any Contractors in Central NJ who want to quote a reasonable amount for this are also welcome to post here and I will contact you

Old 10-19-05, 04:10 PM
Join Date: Mar 2005
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Basement Leak/Waterproofing - Questions

Even though you had some wet carpeting, the problem is not as great as you see it. You had a monumental rain event that pointed out the weaknesses in your home. You will have to wait a long time for another unless someone changes the drainage in your area. What type of soil in is your area?

You did not mention the gutters, extensions and grading around your home. These are the easiest and cheapest way to solve most basement problems. Gutter extensions should be at least 8 feet for your house that sits about 5 or 6' deep.

The cracks you see today may have been existing and you never looked for them. Even if they just formed, they do not seem to be on the magnitude that would admit much water, especially if they were dry when you investigated. The cracks you described were probably the normal shrinkage cracks that were just widened enough to been seen when hunted for. You can open the joints with a dovetail and apply hydraulic cement to insure no leakage if you are concerned about the crack.

The water could have come from the joint between the slab and wall. This is a frequent leakage point when water tables temporarily rise. This can be repaired with a dovetail joint filled with hydraulic cement. If you are worried about the adhesion, you can use a latex additive (Acryl 60 is one brand name) or paint the existing concrete with one.

New concrete can be bonded to existing concrete with no problems if done correctly.

Coatings will only be as good as your paint. Penetrating sealers
(Drylok) will not pentrate through your paint.

Obviously, drain tile will do the job.

There is no great hurry. The water is not in the joint and theheating of the house will remove a excess moisture that could cause feeze-thaw deterioration. The water table around your house is slowly going down and may never return to the levels you had.

Try whatever exterior improvements you can make and watch the basement very carefully.

Old 10-21-05, 03:18 PM
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Smile Thanks

Thank you very much Dick.
That was very helpful.
Not sure what kind of gutters I of now they flow through a pipe and are let off about 1/2 a feet from the house...will go and get those drain spout extenders from Home Depot.
Gradewise ...these are ranch houses that have a single driveway between each house. Immdly North of my house is neighbours driveway then his house.
Overall land in the area slopes from North to South. (The North wall of the Basement is the one that is leaking)...
Anyway thanks for your informative have taken a load off my terms of having to shellout $$$ right away...
Will fix that runoff and also some Sealant paint / hydraulic cement so hopefully should be fixed soon

Old 10-27-05, 04:57 PM
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As a last resort, try Zypex on the inside of the concrete wall. Does a pretty good job of sealing up the existing cracks, but as the cracks continue to propagate over the years, it will need more Zypex. French drain is the permanent solution.

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