Can you dig it??? Foundation Draining/Waterproofing


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Old 07-17-11, 05:03 PM
J
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Can you dig it??? Foundation Draining/Waterproofing

Hello. I need some guidance. Any thoughts, suggestions or experiences would be greatly appreciated. Here are the details...

We bought our house in June of 2007. It was built in 1995, so it was 12 years old. It's a brick ranch on a poured foundation with a finished basement. The home is located in Union Kentucky where the soil is mostly clay. The lot is mostly flat, but slopes off slightly in the rear toward the woods. When we bought the house, the home inspector noted that the brick overhung the foundation in the rear by as much as 1.5 inches. The foundation seemed to bow in the center at the rear of the house and on the left side. He also noted that the soil was graded toward the foundation slightly and suggested that I slope it away from the house. He suggested that they brick overhang was probably just from some settling and not a major issue. So, compared to the other houses we had seen, this was the one for us. We bought it.

The next spring/summer when we started to get more rain, I noticed leakage along the back wall in the finished basement and along the right side wall in the basement bathroom. I added a few inches of soil to try to increase the grade, made sure the gutters were clean and also had the patio lifted (it had sloped back toward the foundation of the house). We didn't have any leakage problems for almost two years, but when we went to paint the basement, I noticed that the drywall was separating and a large bump could be seen near the ceiling next to a small window in the rear wall of the basement. I cut away the drywall and could see that the wall was pushing the stud inward at the top. This told me that the wall is obviously still moving. We also noticed that the leaking started again in both places with all the rain we've had this season.

Here's another interesting thing I've noticed. There is a sump pit and pump in the basement storage area with two 4 inch corrogated tubes feeding into it from opposit sides. For the 4 years we have lived here I have never seen a drop of water come out of either tube, with one exception. When the the sump pump quit working about two years ago, water backed up in the storage room and I noticed the carpet was wet around the inside perimeter of the basement. I assumed it was seeping between the foundation wall and the footer. When I put the new pump in and water started draining, it did come out of the tubes. I think this is only because the water level had gotten so high, it back filled the drain tile. Normally, the sump pit fills up by small streams of water coming into the pit from pin holes in the walls of the plastic pit. I did try sticking a hose down into one of the drain tubes in the outside window well of the basement window, and running water into the tube. I thought this would tie into the drain tile around the foundation of the house and pour into the pit, but once again, not a drop of water came out of either tube.

So, here's my dilemma:
1. With the economy being bad, our house value has decreased by $10k.
2. I'm afraid that if I don't do anything about the bowing wall in the rear of the house, I will start seeing cracking in the bricks/mortar, and eventually the bricks may not be supported by the foundation. I started measuring the overhang around the house, and at the worst spot in the rear, the brick hangs over 1.812 inches.
3. I'm worried that if I don't address the leaking, it could lead to mold, and ruin the carpet, baseboards and drywall.

So, I've gotten multiple estimates on bracing the wall and in some cases moving it back some. The estimates and solutions range from $3880 for carbon fiber staps to $23k to excavate and build a second wall next to the existing wall after jacking it back into place from the inside. I think I have decided to go with a company that installs steel 4" I beams along the inside of the wall and attaches them to the floor joists (called the Inforcer by foundation systems). This system is $5,900 for 12 I beams along the rear and left side walls.

I've also gotten estimates to fix the leaking. One person noted one crack in the outside foundation near the area where the water leaks inside. He also noted to cracks on the right side where water is leaking into the bathroom. He wanted to charge $4k to repair one leak from inside where he would be bracing the wall. The other leak would be repaired by excavating a five foot area on the outside and then sealing the cracks. He also provided an estimate for completely excavating the rear wall and the wall on the right side, sealing the walls on the outside, installing new drain tile on those two walls and then filling with 24" of gravel and the old soil. This is $9K. And of course EverDry quoted $21K to run new drain tile around the interior and exterior perimeters of the house, seal the outside walls and install a french drain.

So, I'm not an engineer, but I can't help but think that I could do the drainage part myself. I don't mean to insult anyones skill that works in this field, but I can't afford $10K only to fix two of the foundation walls of my house. I have a truck and can get the washed rock and rent a mini excavator for the digging. I would have to hand dig the areas where the utilities come into the house. I see that the excavators are $160 per day from Art's Rental. I'm sure I could brush on a rubber type sealant. My primary concern would be connecting up the new drain tile to the existing sump pump. I don't know if the original drain tile is on the interior or exterior of the footer, and am not sure if I can somehow connect into the drain tile in the window wells. I called the home builder (Fischer), but they don't have the blue prints. I believe one builder from there said it was on the outside, but I don't know for sure.

So, any thoughts, suggestions, experience???

Thanks.
 
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Old 07-17-11, 05:33 PM
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If the water going into the sump pit has primarily goes through the holes in the side below where the pipes come in, it's probably because the sump put sits in a well surround by gravel. Those drain pipes also sit in trenches full of gravel. So the water is finding its way to the pit via the gravel, not the pipes. Nothing wrong with that.

I would have an engineer look at it and give me his opinion on what would work and what wouldn't.

I know digging with an excavator is a skilled job. Especially when digging next to a foundation. Even if you don't touch the foundation with the shovel, you could do damage. Learn all you can about what to be careful of and tread carefully.
 
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Old 07-17-11, 06:29 PM
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Originally Posted by drooplug View Post
If the water going into the sump pit has primarily goes through the holes in the side below where the pipes come in, it's probably because the sump put sits in a well surround by gravel. Those drain pipes also sit in trenches full of gravel. So the water is finding its way to the pit via the gravel, not the pipes. Nothing wrong with that.

I would have an engineer look at it and give me his opinion on what would work and what wouldn't.

I know digging with an excavator is a skilled job. Especially when digging next to a foundation. Even if you don't touch the foundation with the shovel, you could do damage. Learn all you can about what to be careful of and tread carefully.
Thanks for the quick response!!! Any suggestions on what type of Engineer to look for? I tried searching for Structural Engineers in my area and can not find any.
 
 

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