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
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.
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, email@example.com (David)
firstname.lastname@example.org (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?
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.
A great idea - prevent any possible damage to flooring materials you might
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.
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
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
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
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
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
On the other hand, if your basement has enough height, it can be a good
candidate for converting into a living space.
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