Want to Finish out wet basement - need help

Hello Everyone, My wife and I just bought a 1927 home about five months ago. There home has a 1000 sq. foot basement which is unfinished and only has concrete walls. In a perfect world, we wanted to create a utility room and a second living space in the basement - there is alreay an existing garage in the basement as well. The problem is that we have some minor water issues. About a month ago, we had a record rainfall, and the basement flooded, but was less than one inch. We're in teh pacific northwest, so rain is no stranger to the area. The main problem seemed to be a hydrostatic leak (water bubbling through the foundation at floor level next to an outside wall (through a crack)). As with most old homes with basement garages, the sloped driveway funnels water under the garage door and into the basement (driveway has concrete walls on both sides). There is an original small trench just inside the garage door leading to an old drain, and the entire basement has an open trench about 2 inches deep surrounding the entire basement. These all appear to be original solutions, but the drain in the garage has been clogged and the clay pipe appears to be crushed slightly below the foundation and no longer drains. I was considering either jackhammering the concrete at the bottom of the driveway and installing a french drain with a grate outside the garage door. I was also conidering putting a sump pump inside where the existing drain is. Eventually, I wanted to finish and sheetrock the entire basement (now just exposed concrete), but have to deal with the water problem first, if I possibly can. Also I will have to do most of the work myself. Any suggestions? Thanks! David
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Dig down the outside wall and install weeping tile. While you're at it, spray the outside walls with that rubber vapour barrier stuff. Then again, I'm just a n00b.
On 28 Jan 2004 11:17:39 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@spencer-lawfirm.com (David) wrote:

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snipped-for-privacy@spencer-lawfirm.com (David) wrote in message

You have to know the enter system before you can change it. If you can not change the slope of the drive, you certainly have to catch the water before it enters the basement. If the drive has walls on either side, where would the water that you catch go? What is the source of the water coming from under the slab? TB
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snipped-for-privacy@spencer-lawfirm.com (David) wrote:

Our 1000sft basement had chronic hydrostatic water seepage problems, and we wanted to transform it into living area. Once we dealt with remedying the seepage, we laid down DriCore panels from Menard's as the subfloor. They're snap-together panels made of chipboard 3/4" thick attached to a raised plastic "waffle" about 1/4" high. They run about $1.85 a square; not cheap, but well worth it.) Not only does this keep any future seepage from ruining the laminate flooring we're putting down, but having it raised 3/4" off the cement foundation floor makes for a warmer floor. You might consider doing the same when it comes time to finish your own space.
AJS
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(David) wrote:

A great idea - prevent any possible damage to flooring materials you might lay.
Following the same idea, we made our own raised subfloor with a grid of steel framing materials and plywood. We don't have seepage, just dampness and freezing coldness. We first dry-lok'd the poured walls and floor, using a patch product on the seam between the two, then painted all the ply with mildew resistant plaint, both sides and edges. We put pink rigid foam insulation down in between the steel framing. It's toasty and dry.
The next year, Menard's began stocking the DriCore panels. Oh well, they were probably too much money anyway, it's a big room.
-Oldylocks
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David Wrote:

Do you have gutters on your home? This is the first place I woul start if I was in your shoes. Also, if you have gutters, make sur that they are draining away from the house, not at the foundation.
Next, I suggest that you look at the grade of your lot - is it slope towards your house. If so, consider installing drain tile around th foundation.
If you can patch the cracks, consider doing so - I think that produc to use is called hydrolic cement. Basically, it is water proof cemen that will even set up under water.
Also, there are paint on products that you can apply to the inside of basement wall to help with moisture coming through the concrete. I use one in an old house that I used to have and it seemed to work ok, but didn't have a severe problem with moisture, either
-- makesawdust
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you certainly want to do everything you can to prevent water from entering the basement, but if it can't be stopped, you could cut the cement floor all around the perimeter,about twelve inches wide, remove the cement and dirt down about 18 inches. Then set porous pvc pipe surrounded in gravel leading to one corner,where you install a plastic pump pit and sump pump. you recover the gravel and pipe with new cement, but leave a small space against the wall all around the room so any water coming out of the walls seeps down into the gravel

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If your basement doesn't have enough height, you may not want to spend too much effort in converting it into a living space; may as well just leave it for storage and as a workshop. Otherwise, you may have a hard time getting a home-gym machine installed in a not-tall-enough basement, and you may get a higher property tax as a return for your effort.
Of course, you still need to prevent water from entering into the basement regardless if you want to convert it into a living space or not.
On the other hand, if your basement has enough height, it can be a good candidate for converting into a living space.
Jay Chan
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