Water proofing the basement at the cold room door


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Old 08-15-11, 06:36 AM
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Water proofing the basement at the cold room door

We have a cold room under our front porch which is accessible from the basement, shown here after demolition of the old finished basement has been nearly finished:


And here's a view into it from before demo - note the bottom of the opening:


This bottom area is the problem:

When it rains, or when my wife waters her front garden beds, water will trickle around and come in at the corners of this rough spot. Below the rough spot, and around the entire basement, there is a shallow trough that has been cut into the concrete (or perhaps it was poured that way), which I presume was intended for water drainage.

So - I need to figure out how to waterproof this because we intend to re-finish the basement, eventually. I was thinking that I could pull out the old door frame and set up a form which protects the trough and creates a step up into the cold room, then re-install new wood in the door frame and build out from there to put in an exterior door for access.

Does that seem feasible, or should I take another approach? Another thought I had was to chisel out more of the existing concrete and put in a trough drain that runs to the sump pump (4' to the left of this shot).

Any input, suggestions, advice, ideas are welcome - I'm a bit out of my depth here and don't want to go down the wrong path.

Thanks
 
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Old 08-15-11, 09:08 AM
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I don't think you will have much luck trying to seal the area to prevent water from eventually getting in. Keeping the water out is difficult/expensive unless it is tackled up front during construction. I would give the water a good path to your sump pump.
 
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Old 08-24-11, 11:46 AM
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After watching the water come into that cold room for the last fortnight or so during heavy rains, I've concluded that you are absolutely right.

So I decided just to "clean up" the step a bit and make it look more solid, and I think when I begin to frame in the new finished basement, what I'll do is hang very heavy plastic loosely over the opening just to act as a water shield to keep it from splashing into the new wall on its way to the drainage trough.

Built the form and poured last night - removed the form this AM but didn't upload those pics yet:




https://picasaweb.google.com/1069450...eat=directlink
 
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Old 08-24-11, 11:53 AM
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You could always try whatever waterproofing you can easily do to help limit the amount of water coming in at that location. I don't think you can stop it 100% but you might be able to slow the flow down.

You mentioned finishing the basement. What are you planning? Take into consideration the moisture that will be present. Even though you provide a channel for the water to get to the sump pump it will still be putting water vapor into the air.
 
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Old 08-24-11, 12:04 PM
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Well after watching the area carefully, not only is water seeping around the base of the foundation, but it's leaking in the top of the cold room all the way around the "roof" (all concrete) - on the outside 3 edges because of decorative brickwork which wasn't put in properly (I think) and also right over that doorway coming in from where the house's main door is now. I'll be trying to repair the latter in the not too distant future but even if I can seal that up properly the water's gonna be coming in.

Long term when we finish the basement my plan for immediately around the opening is to frame an exterior door - not *in* the opening you see here but set inside the basement a few inches. Since I know there will be no way to stop water getting into the cold room, I'm thinking that I'll actually build a very shallow "hallway" from the opening you see here to what will be the exterior door, and I'll spray foam the walls of that hallway to protect it from the damp air.

So if you were standing in the finished basement, you would see something like this (the OLD door that used to open into the cold room):

Only it'll be a proper EXTERIOR door with weather stripping etc. When you open the door you'll see the hall on either side (approximately 6" deep), again about like this (old door again)

but with walls that are covered in spray foam on both sides, and then the heavy plastic hanging over the opening into the cold area.

Hope that makes sense.
 
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Old 08-24-11, 05:14 PM
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The finished step, btw - not 100% perfect but for the first time working with concrete, I'm rather pleased.

 
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Old 08-25-11, 07:35 AM
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Just be glad you are able to do the work yourself. It's hard to find someone good that wants to take on little odd jobs like that.

Are you planning on using pressure treated wood when you finish out?
 
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Old 08-25-11, 12:43 PM
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In that doorway, absolutely. Around the rest of the basement walls, probably not, as I see no signs of water penetration anywhere but in that one spot.
 
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Old 08-25-11, 03:00 PM
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I'm just concerned about the moisture level that the back sides of the studs may see. You mentioned foaming and I assumed that the back of the studs would be exposed to the moist air.

If you do decide to use pressure treated (PT) try and buy what you will need and bring it inside somewhere. Stack or lean it up against the wall so air can get to all sides so it can dry evenly. Fresh PT can be extremely juicy and may shrink considerably as it dries. Also, if you use PT make sure you get fasteners approved for it. It is quite corrosive and will eat through nails in a couple years (Gees, I'm making using regular spruce lumber sound better and better.)
 
 

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