Basement Remodeling: To Waterproof or Not?

We have a 50 year old brick house with a half-finished basement that has never been remodeled. In the 15 years we have owned the house, we have only had one serious flood in our basement. One winter where there had been a lot of snow and ice, and in a fluke the temperature rose overnight to something like 60 degrees and a foot of water rose and destroyed our tile floor and the carpet remnant we had. It happened to hundreds of houses in the area according to the news. The only other water we have had is in the unfinished side in the laundry room where if the gutters are neglected and we get a wicked rainstorm we can get some puddles from the window well. Sometimes if there is enough water it will spread over to the finished side.
Well now we are considering getting the basement remodeled, getting rid of the 1950s paneling,tile ceiling and tile floor and replacing it with drywall, drop ceiling and either wall to wall or remnant carpeting.
My questions are:
1) Should we take the extra step and cost of getting the basement waterproofed?
2) Would any kind of waterproofing have prevented the flood we got from that fluke speedy warming like that February night several years ago?
3) If drywall gets wet, does it get ruined and need to be replaced?
4) If you recommend waterproofing, which kind sounds most appropriate for our situation?
Thanks in advance!
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Chances of it being 100% successful are low. You're probably better off installing a water remediation system which will channel and control any future leakage to avoid damage to the finished area.

Probably not.

Usually.

A system of holes in the base of the foundation walls which will allow controlled entry of any ground water, and an inter channel or dam which directs this water to a pump-out pit.
Construct your walls properly, set away from the basement foundation walls, insulated and with a vapor barrier, and a system of vents that will allow any vapor or moisture to freely evaporate to the outside.
Do not set interior sheetrock directly on the floor, so it can't wick up moisture. Use plastic baseboard mouldings which won't be damaged by higher humidity enviroments or an occasional wayward leak.
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a friend of mine gave me this, and ive found it very useful advice. you cant make a submarine out of a sailboat.

nothing that would be cost effective...

usually. dont fear drywall. its one of the easier home repairs but has a big stigma attatched to it.

do a little research on how often this has happened prior to the 15 years you had it. if this is a 1 in 50 or 100 year event, i recommend insurance. if it happened 30 times in the 10 years prior to you owning the house, i probably wouldnt fix it up all that nice to begin with.
randy
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Thanks for your response. What kind of insurance are you referring to? I Thought flood insurance was only available if you're in a flood plain.
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No no - flood insurance is availabe also for those who don't live a flood plain, to cover runoff concerns. There may be limits as to what is covered, though - when I got flood insurance coverage for the bottom floor of my house, it was that on one side it's that ground level that made it insurable. Basements weren't insurable. But you should inquire as to your situation.
If you're not in a flood plain, flood insurance is cheaper as 'low risk'. But, it's not that there's no risk - one dones't get flooded only by waters rising. One also can have a severe runoff situation.
Banty (who was thankfully covered for a severe runoff situation in Jan. 1996 - a sudden warming and several inches of rain in a day on top of a three foot snowpack)
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or your water lines can burst while you're gone for a couple days or longer.. but again, im not sure where insurance people draw the line between 'water damage' vs a genuine flood.
randy
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Too weird! That's when it happened to me. Are you on the east coast? I am outside Philadelphia.
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I'm in upstate New York. Probably the same event, Jan. 19 1996.
Banty
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Banty wrote:

Those sudden melts can be a real P.I.T.A. . During a sudden thaw and several inches of rain, a friend of ours had the entire basement wall collapse. They had never had a drop of water before...
There were 3 fire department pumps working full time trying to keep up with the water coming in, when there was a cracking sound followed about 10 seconds later by the entire wall collapsing.
Fortunatly no one was injured, but the house needed expensive, uninsured repairs. It turns out a recently built house nearby wasn't graded properly (lawsuit(s) pending).
Brad (Hamilton, NJ)
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Wow.
How did the wall collapse? Was all the ground on the other side washed out, or did a void form, or what?
How did the grading in the nearby house affect this situation? Did it direct water toward their foundation?
Banty
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Banty wrote:

The ground came in with the wall. The basement ended up 3 feet deep in mud...
The neighbors grading forced more water into a drainage basin without some other required work. The additional work was on the plans, but never completed.
Brad
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What's a drainage basin exactly? Some kind of culvert?
Banty
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Banty wrote:

In this case it's more of a "concrete creek". (Sort of like the Los Angeles "River")
Some are a large temporary pond with drainage at the bottom. During a large rainstorm they fill and then slowly drain afterwards.
Brad
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Thanks!
I just hate hearing about water-related foundation problems :-(
Banty
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wrote in messagenews:<6Y2dnf_bH-xGKrncRVn-i

sorry, cant help you there. you'll have to talk to an insurance agent about it... i suspect that a once in a 100 year snow melt freak accident isnt really considered a 'flood' and would be covered by regular insurance, but i cant say for sure.
randy
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Thanks Randy. A lot of good advice. Another similar thread I found pretty much verified what I feared...getting water in your basement isn't a matter of if but when....I think I'll contact my insurance agent to find out if there would be coverage for one of those fluke runoff situations and if not, I might go the cheapest root of sprucing up the basement..a new drop ceiling and paint the paneling white.
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