Dank basement options

Our new house (new to us; it was originally built at least 100 years ago) has a full concrete basement. One side is above ground, and has a garage door in it; the yard slopes around the sides, so the back is completely below ground. It typically has a dank, musty smell. When it rains, there's definitely water coming in somewhere (small puddles on the ground, water in the drain in the center of the room), though there's not much water, and it seems to drain out fairly well. I haven't taken the time to track down exactly where the water's coming in yet--too many other projects on my list. :-)
What options do I have? Would installing rain gutters on the buried side (where I'm nearly positive the leaking is) be sufficient? Re-grading the yard? Can I do something to the inside wall to fix this? Or do I need to dig out the below-ground sections and patch the outside?
(When we were looking for a house, we looked at one where the owner said he'd coated the inside of the basement walls with some sort of concrete/fiberglass mixture to solve a similar problem. Is that what I should be considering?)
Thanks! -D.
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-D wrote:>Our new house (new to us; it was originally built at least 100 years ago)

except the "painting of the inside". If that doesn't work, then I'd look at excavation and sealing of the outer wall. Tom -D also wrote:(When we were looking for a house, we looked at one where the owner said he'd coated the inside of the basement walls with some sort of concrete/fiberglass mixture to solve a similar problem. Is that what I should be considering?) Definitely not. You would only mask the symptom of what you're trying to cure. Tom Work at your leisure!
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David Gale wrote:

the coating of the inside walls. Google on DryLock, or go to http://www.ugl.com /. If that doesn't work, then consider other more expensive solutions.
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You need a holistic approach, ideally. Water is a foundations enemy and should be kept away. Coating the inside of the walls with waterproofing does little to solve that. Routing gutters and condensate drain lines 10' away from the house, appropriate grading, and installing/maintaining foundation drain systems are the best way to prevent water damage to a foundation.
Google "foundation drain" "sheet drain". Check NDSPro.com for yard drain parts. Taunton Press has a book on concrete and foundation work that has several articles on drainage practices.
Will Niccolls
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David Gale wrote:

You have the right idea. Get the water away from the house. Forget the suggestion to fix it with something you put on the inside walls. I suggest you plan on doing all of the items you listed. I would leave the digging below grade part for last and hope the rest takes care of it, but if needed, that's were you need to go.
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Start with the gutters and installing drain pipes onto all the downspouts. Grade the area around all sides of the foundation to slope away from the house. Directing water away from the house is important. Effective, but expensive, is installing water tiles on the outside underground. Coating the interior is secondary.
On Wed, 8 Sep 2004 10:46:50 -0400, "David Gale"

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The quickest fix is to make it not-a-problem, by installing screens where the basement windows are, in warm seasons when the basement goes damp-smelling.
1/4" wooden dowels make fine frames, just cut to fit and push it into a piece of screen. A single center up-down additional dowel makes it stiff enough.
This also heats up the basement in the summer, and you can use floor heat for quite a while in the fall to heat the house.
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Ron Hardin
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I bought a house with a dank basement about 2 years ago. In order, I did the following:
1) Regraded a couple of areas where the ground didn't slope away from the house.
2) Used dry-loc to seal the below ground portion of the walls. I wouldn't count on this material to eliminate leaks, but it does greatly reduce the amount of moisture that wicks through the concrete.
3) Installed a dehumidifier.
4) Made sure the (only) air vent in the basement was open to give some airflow.
I'm very pleased with the results.
KB
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David:
DG> Our new house (new to us; it was originally built at least 100 years ago) DG> has a full concrete basement. One side is above ground, and has a garage DG> door in it; the yard slopes around the sides, so the back is completely DG> below ground. It typically has a dank, musty smell. When it rains, there'
Consider a fan, ceiling or otherwise, running at low or medium to move the air around. Also don't put any furniture, boxes, etc., directly on floor or against the walls to allow for better air movement.
DG> definitely water coming in somewhere (small puddles on the ground, water in DG> the drain in the center of the room), though there's not much water, and it DG> seems to drain out fairly well. I haven't taken the time to track down DG> exactly where the water's coming in yet--too many other projects on my list DG> :-) I can relate!
DG> What options do I have? Would installing rain gutters on the buried side DG> (where I'm nearly positive the leaking is) be sufficient? Re-grading the DG> yard? Can I do something to the inside wall to fix this? Or do I need to DG> dig out the below-ground sections and patch the outside? All may work, all may not work. Here the problem is the water table rises and water leaks into the basement (fully below grade). We have a few "signs" telling us when to get ready for water: a puddle will form in the neighbour's back yard (about 100' feet away). Duck Creek will get near the top of its banks (that's two miles away on the way to work). Gutters and gutter extensions helped; regrading helped. Digging around the house here to install drainage was considered but not done as none of the contractors could guarantee it would stop the seepage -- again the basement here is below street level while your's is partially underground.
DG> (When we were looking for a house, we looked at one where the owner said DG> he'd coated the inside of the basement walls with some sort of DG> concrete/fiberglass mixture to solve a similar problem. Is that what I DG> should be considering?) Might work -- I used that cement coating in my workbench area. Is the one where they have a cement block with one half painted with the stuff and the other half unpainted. Nice off-white looked nice plus no water running down the wall via the cracks.
- barry.martinATthesafebbs.zeppole.com
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