My walkout basement leaked a bunch of water from under the drywall right
next to my doorwall last week when we had a really hard rain storm. I
thought it was another crack in the poured concrete walls, but to my
surprise I found an area next to the doorwall where framing on the sides of
the doorwall extended down below grade. I guess what ever they had covered
this with (OSB or one by) has disintegrated in the 12 years since the house
was built and dirt had filled in the area between the studs. When we had
that exceptionally hard rain the water got wicked up over the basement floor
Looks like I'm going to need to cover this with something fairly water
proof. I was thinking about maybe using a piece of one by wolmanized that I
back buttered with some foundation waterproofer tar then after I install it
cover it with blue-skin and more waterproofer. I really don't know.
Here are some pictures.
its far harder to install a exterior french drain. since the drain
must be below the footer, to say nothing of sidewalks steps AC units
plants etc that must be moved to install the exterior french drain,
and then what do you do with the water?
I spent nearly 9 grand doing the exterior one, that ended the water
coming from the walls but within months it came burgling up from the
3500 bucks for interoir drain and sump pump cured the problem.....
Wow, I wonder how the grade/wall height passed inspection. Either the walls
were not poured high enough, or the grade is too high.
Here's an interesting discussion.
Interesting. When I first saw this I assumed that there was an option when
houses were built to where people could have gotten a larger doorwall, so
they just framed in the sides to accommodate a smaller doorwall. That ledge
the sill plate is sitting on is the footing the basement walls were poured
Any excavation of backyard would not be easy. The house faces on to a pond
and the slope away from the house is kind of important.
Looking out from that doorwall:
View of the house from the back:
Now I'm no contractor, but isn't it common for the outside of the opening of
the concrete walls around a doorwall to be framed with treated wood to make
the installation of the doorwall easier? I can't really tell if the wood is
treated, but I would have assumed I would have seen a lot more rot after 10
plus years in the ground.
So far I think my best bet is to cut that sill plate out, pour concrete to
make it higher, then reinstall a new higher sill plate on top. I might be
able to do some local landscaping around that doorwall too.
Given these latest pictures, I think that may be your only choice. In
addition, I think I'd pour a slab under the deck, pitched away from
the house. Then attach some fiberglass or corrugated metal roofing
under the deck, also pitched away from the house, to try to get as
much water as possible, as far as possible, from the house. Ground
water could still be an issue, though. It's a bad situation that may
call for professional help before you make it worse.
I've never heard "doorwall" before, but from what I can find, it seems
to mean a door that dominates a wall. At least a sliding glass door
with 2 segments. Guys, does he mean "doorway" in those places where
he says doorwall.
So why did they use wood, and did they use it only in this one spot?
Any excavation would only be one or two feet from the house, 3 at
most, and would be refilled after it was fixed. I wonder if you
have a claim against the builder. Not worth it if it is only 2 linear
feet involved, but what if it is more?. If you ask, be sure to say
what state you live in. State laws vary. Maybe even a joint claim
(or class action?) I'm not big on suing, but depending on what some
pro's say, if it's more than what the pictures show, this seems very
bad to me.
I am not a builder, a carpenter, a cement man, or a general contractor
Unless you plan on selling soon and want to keep this a secret, you
should bring this up at a meeting of the homeowners association, or
talk to all those who have grade level basement doors, like the ones
in the first picture above. You still seem only concerned about
I might be
I'll admit that keeping water away from the rocks under the deck might
help a lot. My downspout drained into a cement splash block, which
emptied 18" from the house. But the splashblock wasn't really under
the downspout and enough water filled the soil that 5 feet down on the
inside, inside the cinder block basement wall, my 18" wide sheetrock
molded and rotted. up to 6" above the floor. Someone talked me into
extending the downspout 6 feet, and maybe the whole thing is dry now.
I really should check. (The rotted spot is on the other side of the
room and behind a big chair, so I don't really care.)
I don't think it's that simple. He essentially has a situation
where the outside is graded flush to the bottom of the door.
That just isn't right. The more normal solution would be to
re-grade the outside so that the soil is below where the
wood ends. And that is what he's talking about doing.
There is plenty of grade to work with from the house to
the pond. And it looks from the pic like the foundation comes up
higher out of the ground as you move away from
the door and go under the deck. If that's the case, it may
be possible to regrade the area by the door going over 5 ft
or so. That is if that is the only area where wood is below
On Sun, 28 Apr 2013 09:40:57 -0700 (PDT), " firstname.lastname@example.org"
I should have said what I had in mind, that all the wood would be
removed and replaced with cement or something permitted below grade.
I don't know if that's possible, however.
Yes, there's plenty of room between the house and the pond. Although
if they dig deep enough, they could all have canals right up to the
patio, and could use gondolas to visit their neighbors near the pond.
It would be very charming,
Ok, when I saw the first pictures, I thought you had a basement below the
patio door. Either way, your grading must be properly graded before you
attempt to fix any rot.
Looking at the newer pictures you posted, especially the one capturing
looking towards the home. It appears you have plenty of fall to the left of
the structure, if properly graded. No doubt you would want to get the area
"OOPS'd" before doing any digging, and there is no doubt too much material
to move manually. In other words, someone with experience (landscaping,
excavating, etc) to do the work with a skidsteer.
No structure material should touch any earth or mulch except concrete.
Termite shields should also be in place as required by your code. Be sure
to leave the 4" or 6" or whatever _your_ code requires between building
materials & grading. Your local building department will gladly answer all
questions regarding your project, I can assure you that.
It's interesting the different terms used in different parts of the
country. I presume this is what in Maryland is called Miss Utility.
I heard a third name here once. To the OP, they come, for free, and
mark where the wires and pipes that provide things for your home are,
so you don't break them when you dig.
You need to excavate your yard down to below the level of your
foundation so the soil does not get anywhere close to the wood.
Anything else you do is just a patch - like putting a bandaid on
That walkout was designed to have a step down to the patio or ground
level, and someone brought the grade level up to the bottom of the
door. REAL BAD move.
So you have that wood *below* your poured concrete walls?
The pictures are of where your feet would be walking from the basement
to the yard? And the walls of the basement are poured concrete?
Yet there is wood at foot-level? Is there concrete farther down?
What about all around the house? AIUI, the concrete or cinder blocks
should be higher than the earth. And no exterior wood should be
below ground level.
Do you have neighbors whose houses were built by the same builder?
(Or non-neighbors ) You should talk to them about their houses and
yours and what they've done, and what worked and who did it . .
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