What to do about a moldy basement

My house is an old field stone foundation farmhouse that has been completely renovated upstairs to first class condition. Unfortunately, nothing can be done about the basement. It has a hard dirt floor which is damp all the time and during raining weather, water pours in through the stonework where it sits until it is absorbed. I've done everything I can above ground ... sloped the ground near the house away, added rain gutters, etc. But the house is at the bottom of a large sloping hill toward a river, so all the water eventually gets funneled into my area.
I did dig a hole and put a sump pimp in but it quickly clogs from the muddy water.
The basement is constantly moldy. Spiders can barely survive there. They turn into white powdery things. I will never be able to solve the water leakage problem, but is there a way of keeping the mold down to lesser levels? Are there gas bombs of some kind that work?
There are two very small windows which I keep open all the time even in winter. My family is constantly wheezing and sneezing. Is there a way of keeping the mold confined to the basement?
What a mess.
Thanks.
_________________________________
"Take a little 5FU, leucovorin and oxaliplatin for thy stomach's sake." -- 1 Timothy 5:23 (adapted)
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This is a seriously mislocated house, and needs serious work, just to sell it in the future.. Have you considered trenching some distance away from the the the uphill-side of the house, digging beneath the basement level, then channelling it away from the house, on either side of the house? This could be faced with concrete, then waterproofed, so that this barrier would detour the flow away from the house. You may wish to have a foundation engineer with hydraulic experience, who is familiar with major water diversion away from buildings. I think you are beyond the help a covered French Drain would offer. You may need an open, inspectible channel that diverts the muddy water completely around your house. Also, make certain that rain downspouts are connected to pvc 3 or 4 inch pipes that take the water all the way to the road or river.

You may be looking at spider exoskeletons - like all arthropods they molt their entire skin as they grow, leaving behind spider "images" that then proceed to rot.
There are two very small windows which I keep open all the time even

Not really. The problem *is* the basement, and it needs major remedial help from a pro who is thoroughly familiar with the area, its groundwater, and drainage challenges.. Good Luck.
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Put down a layer of plastic. You'll still have water under there, but the plastic will greatly reduce the humidity in the basement.

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I agree with Roger on this one. As long as the water table is below the level of the basement floor, this problem should be able to be solved by diverting the water away outside, before it ever gets to the basement. It may take regrading, use of swales, laying drains on the uphill side, etc,. but it is the only viable solution.
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First get a dehumidifier that can run at temperatures below 65f, the normal operating low. Sears makes one that will run to 45f. Spraying bleach with a garben sprayer on walls and floors will kill mold, then keep humidity down. You will need to dig out the outside to the footer, repair the mortar, waterproof the walls and instal a drain tile system to a pump. Your floor can be poured with concrete with complete plastic sheeting underneath, and inside walls be repaired for bad mortar. Dig down and find your water table. You will need alot of onsite advise and take it a step at a time. First would be a dehumidifier and killing mold. Even repairing inside mortar now will be a start while you get bids for everything else. I have a 110 yr old house the basement is at lake level, lake is 20ft away and was like yours, it is now dry and finished. Put money into it and do it right making it liveable, your taxes will not go up like adding an addition and you will have new liveable space. If you have forced air consider UV lamps and a good air filter, now , to stop moving mold around. Killing the mold, cleaning, and keeping humidity down will, help you see an improvement soon.
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not sure of the basement you describe, but 1st order of business is to dig around the outside walls, and install a rubber/plastic membrane ( my house uses thick plastic sheets with a bubble texture to it). also use weeping tiles ( again my house used a corrugated pipe with sock material) tap into the sump pump.
cover dirt with gravel then poor a concrete floor, install a sump pump with extra capacity tank. ( you can have many pieces of weeping tile connect to this tank)
build a small stone wall to help direct water runoff around the house.
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Something else to consider... once you've bleached the areas, regraded, and dehumidified the place, spray the floor timbers with a octaborate/glycol solution.
There are two commercial blends that i know of (but have not used). Bora-care and Tim-Bor, and i've found homemade versions using propylene glycol, boric acid, and borax.
http://www.google.com/search?q=%22propylene+glycol%22++%22boric+acid%22+borax
This will help prevent wood rot, mold spores, wood eating insects, etc from eating/growing on your wood.
The toxicity of the three independant ingredients are all fairly low but are apparently deadly to insects/molds.
I really need to do this to our basement...
NB: this is from memory, it might be etylene glycol.... use whichever is the pet safe one) Also, I'm no professional... so do some research to figure out if it is appropriate for your situation.
--
be safe.
flip
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On 03 Dec 2004 15:22:47 -0500, Philip Lewis

Well, thanks to all who replied. But none of the suggestions are feasible. First of all, the at the upper end of the house is a large pantry room that does NOT have a basement. SO I could never dig down to the outside fieldstone wall to patch it. Secondly the East and South faces of the house have a large porched area around them which would have to be removed. Only the east wall is trenchable. I'm also afraid of patching any such wall from the outside because I would have to clean it first and water would wash out any sand that is serving as grouting between each stone. I don't want to collapse the building!
What do you think of this answer: Fill the basement in! Right now the water heater, gas furnace, plumbing is down there, but I may be able to relocate it upstairs.
Then I could fill in the whole shmeer with sand, but leaving some crawl space. But this would be irreversable. The basement is bout 5 feet from floor to joists. Maybe fill it half-way? Thoughts? Thanks.
_________________________________
"Take a little 5FU, leucovorin and oxaliplatin for thy stomach's sake." -- 1 Timothy 5:23 (adapted)
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You have been given many feasable answers but you dont listen. As I said my basement was like that. But anyone that lives with windows open , a wet basement and a wheezing family,
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On Sat, 4 Dec 2004 11:57:13 -0600, snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net (m Ransley) wrote:

Curious ... is your foundation made of field-stone? I've already tried patching from the inside, but the pressure is too much and it oozes out then trickles out then pours out. On extremely rainy days, it's like water faucets. Fortunately the ground beneath the basement floor seems to have a lot of loose gravel and it is absorbed rather quickly. What do you think about putting in a slow-moving fan in one window and the other open to keep constant circulation down there?
What's the bleach/water ration for killing mold?
The house only has a value of around $90K so I'm reluctant to go the megabuck$ route.
Where's an arsonist when you need one? ;->
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"Take a little 5FU, leucovorin and oxaliplatin for thy stomach's sake." -- 1 Timothy 5:23 (adapted)
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Yes mine is stone foundation, I usedscrew jacks before I dug anything out.
Get a good Low temp dehumidifier that is hooked to a sump or drain, Sears has one, now on sale as it is winter, a 45f model. Start with a dehumidifier with a auto drain to sump. and close basement windows.......Dehumidify.........NOW
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snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net (m Ransley) writes:

agreed. put the plastic down. spray with the solution i mentioned run a dehumidifier. all feasable and fairly cheap.
Other ideas: Replace your sump pump witha "solids" capable pump.
put a "wedge" grade on the uphill side of the house to divert water to the sides so the pressure on that wall is less.
Perhaps your newsfeed is lacking. go to groups.google.com and look for the thread there.
good luck
--
be safe.
flip
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1. Remove the house from the foundation. 2. Pour a new foundation/basement. 3. Put house on foundation. (maybe in another location) 4. Live happily ever after.
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