My 8 year old colonial in Southeast Michigan has a basement that leaks
after just about any heavy rain or snow melt. The water comes up only
at the point where the foundation (walls) meet the seperately poured
floor (slab) and not through any cracks in the floor or walls. I had a
local company come out and for around $5,000 they will chip away the
perimiter of the slab and install some sort of pvc channels to direct
the water over to my existing sump pump. After installing this they
would re-cement the channel and install a grate on the top to catch any
future leaks. Seems like a high price to me for the size of the job
(foundation is 38' x 22') and I got to wondering if this is something I
could do myself. He says they do the whole job with a chipping hammer
but I wonder if I couldn't cut through the slab which is only around 2"
thich with a circular saw and masonary blade. Once cut I would imagine
it could be broken free with a sledgehammer. Any ideas from someone in
the business or who has done this before? Any risks I may not be
-Dave in SE Michigan
Take a look at a product called : DryLok . It is in Menards and Home
DePot. I used it on my parents basement walls that were leaking and it
stopped. In my Menards, they have a demonstrator so you can see that it
really does work on masonry.
You moron. This is not going to stop ground water, caused by a high water
table. If anything, it could cause so much hydrostatic pressure that it could
damage the floor or foundation.
email@example.com (Hello Friend) wrote:
Shrek. You are calling me a moron??? Does this sound familiar?
Shrek Sep 21 2004, 8:56 pm
Date: Wed, 22 Sep 2004 03:56:08 GMT
Local: Tues, Sep 21 2004 8:56 pm
Subject: Underground Gutter Leader Question
A couple of years ago I paid a landscape contractor money to install 2
that my gutter downspouts would discharge to. Recently I noticed that
the gutter would not drain well during heavy rains, so I decided to
look at the
condidtion of the pipe that leads to the drywell, to make sure it was
pitched properly. To my total disbelief, when I dug the pipe out, it
empty into a drywell. Instead, the end of the pipe was wrapped in a
fabric and the pipe discharged into the earth (not a bed pea gravel as
Is this a valid method ? I was alway under the impression that
downspouts emptied into a drywell or to daylight at some lowpoint of
Who's the moron Shrek?
I was not calling you a moron, but the joker who repsonded to your post (use
Drylocak was his suggestion). What kind of news reader are you using where you
cannot tell who the reponse is directed at?
Thanks for the link Greg.
I like the idea of that and it makes me wonder if creating a channel
like that wouldn't be just as easy using 2x4's as forms and creating a
small above the slab trench to route the water to the sump...
I agree with the posters about stopping the water before it comes in.
Rainspouts, grading, etc should always be done first.
Let me tell you about an experience I had. I had water coming in NEAR the
floor, coming thru the wall, about 3 inches up, only after a hard or a long
I did the rainspout and grading thing, helped a little, not much. The water
would come in and "find it's way" all the way across the floor to a drain. The
rainspouts and grading helped in that it took a little longer for the stream to
make its way all the way across, but it still did.
One night when I was in the basement, I saw a small trickle of water actually
coming thru the wall, again about 3 inches above the floor. I reached down and
just TOUCHED that spot and BAM! A small piece of cinderblock fell off and the
water came out 10 times as fast!
Well, I thought, if I can CONTROL the leak..... I drilled a hole there with
the idea of shoving a garden hose in there and running it to the drain. As
soon as I drilled the hole, water gushed out like an open faucet. I shoved a
cheap vinyl hose in the hole after cutting the end off, and ran it to the
drain. Water flowed out of that thing all night just like the hose was turned
on full blast. By the next morning, it was down to a trickle.
Did it help? Well, it helped a little it seemed. Hard to tell but all that
water, under hydrostatic pressure, being diverted right to the drain HAD TO
Several rains later, after I was convinced that it did help, I thought.....
"If ONE hole helped, What about 3?" So I drilled 2 more and ran those into
pieces of hose also. That helped more, so I made it 6!
FINALLY, I ended up with 18 holes along the one wall that leaked, shoved half
inch cpvc pipe into them. Just short "stubs" about 3 inches long. The stubs go
into a 1 and a half inch drain pipe that runs on the inside of the basement,
one inch from the wall. The holes I drilled into the drain pipe were just the
right size for a friction fit (as were the holes into the cinder block
That helped a lot! Next I cemented around the few that were leaking the worst.
I plan to make a form and cement around the entire drain pipe about 6 inches
high by 6 inches wide and then coat the wall with Drylock, The hydrostatic
pressure shouldn't build up since the pressure is being relieved by the holes.
I guess that's my poor mans version of the channels that you glue down to the
floor and wall. I didn't think I could glue it down without leaks because my
floor is so rough and unlevel.
Bottom line is, EVERYTHING I did helped a little. The drain helped the most. If
I ever get the grading compacted enough, the drain will be a safety "extra".
Hope that helps...John
Check if the water in the basement may be coming from the downsprout
(as in the downsprouts dumps the water right at the corner of the
house). If this is the case, extending the downsprout further away
from the foundation will solve the problem.
Far too often contractors and home owners chose to treat the effect
rather than the cause. You want to stop the water from reaching the
1. Make sure all down spouts are directed away from the house in a
direction that will nor flow back towards the house.
2. Make sure the ground around the home is graded away from the home so
water will not collect at the foundation. Make this at least 10 feet, 20 is
3. If you still have a problem, then the real fix is to attack it from
the outside. Dig around the house and put the drain at the bottom of the
foundation and arrange to drain that water away from the home.
4. Only after doing the above try putting in that inside drain system to
get rid of the water that should not be there at all.
5. Drylock and paints etc are a total waste of money for your problem.
Remember stop the water before it comes in, not after. It will cost you
less in the long run.
Mr. Meehan is correct in all regards.
Having said that, however, consider this in terms of long- and
short-term fixes. Point 1 is a simple project. Points 2, & especially
3 can be expensive and time intensive. I had water infiltration around
~25% of my foundation.
In the short term, a couple days days installing the SquidGee Dry system
in the affected areas allowed me to plan for an exterior solution per
point 2. This involved a couple of weeks (DIY) with a skid loader
removing ~38 yards of soil, pitching the grade away from the foundation,
tamping, installing PVC drainage pipe, & backfilling with gravel. My
city lot precludes the 20 or even 10 foot recommendation, hence the
drain tube to collect & divert water from the low side of my 4 foot grade.
As a result, I was able to avoid the huge expense of point 3;
definitely not a DYI. The proof is that my sump pump went from running
more than it was idle, to running so infrequently it now startles me.
As for point 5, they may appear to cure minor seepage, but eventually
the hydrostatic pressure of water build up in/against the wall will
start to blister it off.
Assuming that all grading and gutter/downspouts are as they should be, what,
exactly, would happen if the problem is solved from the inside (as in a B-Dry
system) vs. the outside (as in digging a footer or french drain all around)?
Well I would still say the problem is still outside. You want to stop
the water before it get to the foundation. The last step is a water proof
(as best as possible) shield on the foundation and ideally a material over
that to protect the waterproofing and to lead the water down to the footer
area where a drainage system is there to move the water away. This type of
system is far more reliable and effective that what you are suggesting.
Doing as you suggest generally results in more humidity in the basement
and more failures. It is not all bad. It is likely to be cheaper and as
always money does and SHOULD play a part in your decision. Your proposed
system, if done right should eliminate standing water, but not moisture.
On 16 Jan 2005 12:30:45 -0800, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
I have seen it done in a way similar to this except instead of a
grate, they put a membrane in the trench and part way up the wall.
Then the whole trench was filled the remaining bit with concrete. I
wouldn't want to use a saw. The dust involved would be too much to
If you plan on doing this yourself, I would suggest renting a walk behind
concrete saw to do the cutting.
Using a regular circular saw with an abrasive blade really tears up the saw.
It is going to get hot and suck
in a lot of concrete dust. Many of the walk behind saws use water to cool
the blade and keep the dust down.
In a enclosed space this can make a big difference. I would suggest trying
to remove the water from the outside.
Good gutters and drains, sloping the ground away from the foundation, and
even installing "French Drains" can
prevent the water from getting close to the house.
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.