Wet basement.

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by hmsteader71, Apr 6, 2006.

  1. hmsteader71

    hmsteader71 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I was wondering if any of you have ideas on how to waterproof a basement? It is not finished, but the lady that lived here before (more than 15 years ago) kept her canned goods down there. Now it is perpetually wet, gets crickets and slugs in it, the insulation has dropped and is on the floor so the floor looks like nothing but sludge. YUK!!!!! We want to seal it and waterproof it so that we can keep our garden down there next winter. Any ideas?
    :bash:
     
  2. dennisjp

    dennisjp dennisjp

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    DryLock is a waterproofer that you can get at masonary stores, where they sell cements blocks and ready mixed concrete. You use a stiff 6" brush and put it on sorta like painting the walls. Make sure you measure the amounts of the drylock and water correctly, because this has a lot to dop with how it does the job it is suppose to do.
    If there is any cracks or holes in the walls, get a small pail of fast set cement and a 3" sheetrock trowel to feel the cracks and holes with. Don't mix but a half cup the first try. To do a good job, it is worth the few dollars that a plastic sheetrock mud tray would cost you to mix it in and use to patch from.
    Put the mix in the tray and add water, a little at a time until it get mixed up so you can trowel it into the cracks and holes. You can use stirring stick for paint to mix it with. It will dry out fast. after the first get too dry to use add a dab of water to use it up. It is easy to learn how to mix it and patch with it too. Take the trowel and force as much into all cracks as you can get to go into them.
    let it dry a day before putting the drylock on.
    Take a garden hose with a sprayer on it and mist the walls as you put the drylock on. Don't get them dripping wet, but still very damp. It will help the drylock to soak into the pours better. Put a good thick coat on them and thay are going to look ruff but they will be a brite whaite color. And at the bottom of the walls, Fill up the bottom joint good and let it come out on the floor an inch or to. Any time you stop and what you have already put on dries, when you spray the uncovered blocks wet the drylock already there 6-8" and over lap it when you start back.
    If you don't patch the holes etc, it will leak, more than likely there with in a year or so. Good luck
     

  3. Mid Tn Mama

    Mid Tn Mama Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Is it wet from when it rains a lot. It would be good to dig a french drain around the base of the outside of the house. You really don't want to have a mold problem in the house.
     
  4. cfabe

    cfabe Well-Known Member

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    The paint on stuff can help, but if you've got such a water problem that it's really 'wet' all the time, you probably will need to take more drastic measures to cure the problem, like putting footer drains around the outside or inside perimeter of the basement.
     
  5. wilderness1989

    wilderness1989 Well-Known Member

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    Make sure you gutter downspouts take their water away from the base of the house 3 feet or more and keeps flowing away from the foundation. Look to make sure there are no low spots around the foundation that will let water collect, if there are fill them in to let the water drain away. Do this first before you resort to the measures in the above posts and if you do not find any problems outside revert to the waterproofing etc. :cowboy:
     
  6. Hammer4

    Hammer4 Well-Known Member

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    I second the idea of addressing where the water is coming from first, check your downspouts and make sure they are directing water away from the foundation.

    Consider installing a sumppump to pump out any water that is collecting underneath the bottom of the foundation as well.

    If there are any foundation drains ( not sure the construction or how old this basement is ) try and check that they aren't obstructed ( if they come out to daylight anywhere, if you live on a slope they might ).
     
  7. FourDeuce

    FourDeuce Five of Seven Supporter

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    Just yesterday I watched a t.v. add for some sort of barrier that can be used in basements as well as in craw spaces which not only keeps (supposedly) dampness but also gases...I'll get a number or address to share with you next time I see it.

    Hugs
    marlene
     
  8. Cabin Fever

    Cabin Fever Life NRA Member since 1976 Supporter

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    I agree with cfabe and MidTMama, dig up all of the soil around your basement. Place a geotextile fabric on the bottom and sides of the trench. Place 4' perforated pipe in on the fabric. Then, fill the trench with about 12 inches or so of drainfield. Cover the top of the rock with the geotextile fabric. Backfill the rest of the trench with soil. The perforated pipe should either daylight out into the yard at a lower elevation or be connect to a sump in the basement.

    SOme people jackhammer a 16" trench around the permimeter the basement floor inside the house and place the rock, perforated pipe, and sump from the inside of the house.

    If the water is coming in on just one side, that's the only area you have to do. Make sure before you get into this extreme project that the water problem ins't due to surface runoff coming toward the house or to a poor or non-existance roof gutter system.
     
  9. clovis

    clovis Well-Known Member

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    I agree with the gutter suggestions. Are your gutters flowing well, and not leaking? Are the down spouts taking water away from the house?

    My cousin is a contractor. He got a call from a woman with the same problem you have, a wet basement. She had spent $7000 on a french drain, and it still didn't solve the problem. My cousin put up $400 in gutters, and the problem was fixed!

    I guess you could spend the time and effort doing all the fancy french drain stuff, but I would check your gutters first.

    clove
     
  10. hmsteader71

    hmsteader71 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    The water is groundwater. We do have a sump pump in the basement. Only the front of the basement stays wet. The back part doesn't.
     
  11. rambler

    rambler Well-Known Member Supporter

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    For groundwater, you really probably have to do the trenching to get rid of the problem. It doesn't work well to do the wall sealers on the _inside_. Your walls will still be soaked full of water, putting pressure on the coating..... The trenching is a lot of work, I know. You could dig out your walls & seal the _outside_, but that is more work than the trenching & tile.

    If you don't have running water very often, but just very damp & humid, a dehumidifier does wonders, costs $10 or so of electricity per month.

    --->Paul
     
  12. clovis

    clovis Well-Known Member

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    A dehumidifier might help with some of the dampness. Will not fix the problem, but should help dry it out. Make sure you get a dehumidifier that has a drain and hose so you can drain it into the sump pump.
    Clove
     
  13. frugalville

    frugalville Well-Known Member

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    Not an expert so DYODD...

    First find out where your leaks are. It is from walls, or coming up from the slab ? I'm guessing you have masonry block. Do you have vertical or horizontal cracks? Vertical not too bad. Horizontal very bad.

    Are the walls bowed ? No amount of drylock or cement will seal those cracks. The issue is structural. If your walls are all dry then you have footer/slab drainage issues. Since it sounds like the insulation is falling out of the walls check there first.

    Does your sump pump run alot when it rains ? How high does it come up in the sump crock ? If your basement floor is not level and your sump pump level is too high, you could be flooding your slab.

    No amount of silicone or drylock will seal water out where the floor meets the slab. 2 separate pours of concrete. If you have water coming up thru the bottom of the slab, then your footer/sump drainage has issues. Most slabs now will actually have an expansion joint between the slab and wall.

    Do you have a gravity feed footer drain, or just have the electrical sump pump inside the basement. Don't know, find out. If you have gravity feed, are the openings clean ? Any critters living in there ? (Do they have screens or caps ?)

    Next question, where does your interior sump drain ? I 've seen more than one example of a sump system working correctly then dumping the water just outside the basement wall. Make sure your sump is 100% functional.

    As said before, check all of your gutters when it is raining. (yes you will get wet) Are all elbows moving all water away from thr house? Maybe invest in some solid 4 inch black drain tile to get the water at least 5 ft away from the house.

    Are there any puddles from water next to the house ? If so, fix your grade. Dirt must slope away from the foundation all the way around the house. It only takes 1 bad spot to cause you a world of problems. 90% is not enough. How is the grade on your house ? Do you live in the side of a hill or have a walkout basement ? Make sure water is not running downhill into your foundation. Either berms or surface drain tile/french drains are needed to move that water to either side and around the house.

    If this basement has been like this for a long time, you may have other issues as well. Mold, wood rot, termites. You need to dry it out ASAP. At least the next time it rains, you will be able to tell where the leaks are coming from.

    Get rid of all that wet insulation, open some basement windows to get some ventilation. Strip any wall coverings (ie drywall, paneling ) so you can see what your basement walls are doing. I would even inspect the foundation well cause that much water freezing and thawing is going to move block and concrete.

    Also is this basement wet 100% of the time or only when it rains ? If 100%, I'd check for water table height and utility leaks. I would also check the upstairs subfloor and floor joists for mold, moisture, and termites.

    It may seem like it could be one of 25 different things, and it very well could be. If this seems like more of a project then you want to handle, open your wallet and get it fixed asap. A house with drainage issues is begging for structural problems.

    All components must be 100% functional to insure a dry basement.
    Again, DYODD>

    Good luck.
     
  14. kmaproperties

    kmaproperties Well-Known Member

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    cabin has the best solution. interior or exterior dig, pipe, gravel, silt fabric, sump pump will fix the problem permanently.

    Paints and coatings are all BANDADES and will fail after time, and if the walls have any previous paint or coatings you can't use Drylock or any other coating.
     
  15. Darren

    Darren Still an :censored:

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    If it is groundwater and you first eliminate the easy stuff like routing rainfall away, as in far away, from your foundation, you can try making your sump pump pit deeper. If the pit is deeper, pump too, it has the effect of lowering the phreatic surface which is the water table. Lower it enough and your basement will never be wet.

    Contractors use a pump system to install utilities in areas with high water tables. It's the same principle. Draw down the water table. Your sump pump pit should ideally be near where the moisture is entering the basement. I

    Another problem is that a waterstop is almost never used between the floor slab and walls of a residential basement. It's not something you can install afterwards. If you need to coat the walls, consider a commercial sealant like the Thoroseal line. Most concrete product suppliers should be able to get it.
     
  16. Farmer Willy

    Farmer Willy Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I'm not sure this will help you out but I'll add one that my dad taught me, he learned from his uncle (an old german home builder). Whenever he built a new home, after the basement floor was poured he would take a 1/2" rebar and knock a hole in the pipe for the floor drain, not through the trap mind you, just the cast iron pipe above the trap but below the slab grade. This allowed any water that might collect under the slab to empty into the drain rather than force its way up through the slab. Since all of his floor slabs were poured on a 4" base of cinder or river run there was no resistance to the water weeping directly into the drain. Sometimes the simplest things can work wonders.
     
  17. kuriakos

    kuriakos Well-Known Member

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  18. hmsteader71

    hmsteader71 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Ok, my husband mentioned something I wasn't aware of. I guess the groundwater is coming in around the door going into the basement. That is our area of trouble. He is thinking benzonite? We have a good friend who has used this and recommends it.
     
  19. rambler

    rambler Well-Known Member Supporter

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    That is just confusing. :) Water running in from the surface & down the steps???? Don't really understand. Hard to grasp these things without being there, to understand where the door is located, how the water is entering....

    Would sound like you have surface water issues, filtering into the basement on one location. Deal with the surface. If below-grade ground water can somehow come into this door, we need a better understanding of how this door is situated - is it at ground level, or is it at basement level? What's on the other side of the door if it is in the basement? Is this a split-level type basement? What is going on?

    --->Paul
     
  20. hmsteader71

    hmsteader71 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Ok, sorry. The door is outside of the basement. You lift up the door and there are steps going down into the basement, kind of like a storm cellar.