I have a damp basement floor, and the walls are wet about three blocks
up. My solution is:
1. Have a trench dug up around the foundation.
2. Fix any visable cracks in the mortor/brick with hydrolic cement,
and cover the whole thing over with foundation sealer. Then I'm going
to cover that with 8 mil plastic sheeting.
3. fill the hole with around 6" of pea-stone. then the rest of the way
up with sand.
4. Grade the soil away from the house using the old soil from the
5. Install 4" drainage tubing from rain gutters directly to storm
drain. - get permit from city to do so.
6. Lay 8 mil plastic sheeting down from the house, out to around 10'
7. Cover the entire yard with black top soil graded 1" drop for every
foot from the house.
Q: I've been told not to bother with a french drain, or outside drain
tile as they quickly become clogged. Is this true?
Q: Should I plant grass right up to the house, or have something like
marble pellets around the foundation?
Q: What type of waterproof paint is the best? I just want something to
stop any leaks that everything else should have stopped. I've been
thinking about Dryloc, but would swimming pool paint work, or any
orther good products for basment painting. What about painting the
exposed foundation on the outside of the house?
Q: Is the 2 part epoxy paints good for sealing basment floors? If
bnot what would be the best product to keep the floors dry?
Thanks for any help that you may be able to provide me with in this
agrivating task ;)
IMHO the footer drain (french drain) is the most important part.
Since you'll be getting a permit, ask the bldg dep't what their
requirements are for footer drains; I'll bet they have some strict
French drains outside dont clog if properly installed, mine is 85 yrs
Ugl is good for the inside , but only after you have done everything
outside. I think there are cheaper products for the out side.
If you live where heating is a major expense, Zone 7 or less consider
insulating foamboard on the exterior, R 20.
Plants, bushes, can remove alot of water before it settles, I would
plant to the house.
How high is your water table this will effect everything.
Trees planted the proper distance from the house can help alot, the
larger they get the higher their usage . I live 20 ft from a lake and
just dug out a basement in my house, the 8 -100, 200 yr oaks 15 ft from
my house keep my soil dry, im sure without them things would be
different. Certain trees like Willow require double to 4x the amount of
water as also do different bushes and plants.
A permit is a good idea and getting out the inspector to be sure the
contractor is not rippng you off is a good idea, yes take advantage of
the service you will pay for.
Use a moisture meter on the floor to determine level and to be sure you
can paint it, Oil base or epoxy will be more moisture resistant but
require a maximum concrete moisture content to be succesfully painted .
Do you have an interior pump and pit, if the water table is high just a
deep pit can releive alot of the hydrolic pressure, interior tile could
be added later if necessay
In quality old homes it was common to connect the exterior tile system
to an interior pump, my house is apx 70 x 35 and the old pit is 6 x 8
ft deep, the motor and pump ,original, the motor itself is apx 12x 14 "
, made to last and it has 85 yrs.
When I looked into this the engineer I hired told me step one should always
be install a sump pump in the basement and if needed tile to reach the pump
under the floor. And make sure landscape of the house means water flows
away from not down the wall. He said the digging up the entire yard to put
waterproofing on the wall was great for the contractor doing it because its
very expensive, but shouldnt be necessary except in very rare cases. He
asked if I wanted to turn the house into a boat trying to seal all the water
out, or just remove the water and let the brick and mortar work like its
supposed to. Made sense to me, but I'm a computer geek not a building
engineer. I was really happy I paid for an engineer who dosent sell
anything other than the inspection. I didnt get oh yeah I've fixed this
many times just sign right here and my guys will be out tomorrow to fix it.
With a good sump pump and tile you can get rid of the water from the bottom
and shouldnt have to worry about it coming in from the sides.
firstname.lastname@example.org (X) wrote on 16 Apr 2004:
Not if it's built right. You should wrap the drain in a
geotextile designed to let the water, but not the fines, through.
You should also design a cleanout for the system. If you can
drain this system to daylight, you won't need a sump.
What you plant (as long as it isn't something with an aggressive
root system) is less relevant than the fill of the trench, a slope
of the soil away from the house, and a top layer of a clay-type
soil that keeps most of the water running down your slope. If you
use the marble pellets, you'll need a layer of something like the
clay under them.
None. There are specific coatings and membranes designed to serve
this purpose (search the web and talk to a quality waterproofing
contractor). In the old days, tar was used - and is still used by
contractors looking for a cheap solution that lasts a few years
until the warranty on the house expires. Pay for a quality
coating and you won't regret it.
The short answer is "nothing." If your house was built with a
vapor barrier under the floor and your exterior walls are properly
sealed and drained, the floor shouldn't get wet. If it's an older
house with no vapor barrier under the floor, but the water table
doesn't rise above the floor, the floor should still stay dry. Or
at least dry enough that if it can breathe a bit, the moisture
will dissipate. If the water table routinely rises above the
basement floor, the comment about this not being a ship applies,
and nothing will work over the long run. Floor-wall joints will
be particularly vulnerable.
Finally, an epoxy paint may limit future floor covering options.
Tile and vinyl won't adhere to it.
To reply by e-mail, remove the obvious word from the e-mail
Speaking of French drains, I want to have one installed to take the output from
my basement waterproofing system (B-Dry) to the back of my property (woods) and
to also dry out parts of my backyard.
What if it does clog - that would be disasterous for the bottom floor in my
house. Is that a real concern? Is there some kind of access that should be
built in in case it does?
On 16 Apr 2004 18:04:00 -0700, email@example.com (X) wrote:
First, I'd find out what kind of drainage you have NOW! You may
already have what yer thinking about installing. You didn't mention
ANYTHING about yer present basement setup...sump pump, etc.
You may already have outer tile...that are simply clogged. You may
just need to install 2 cleanouts...one each on opposite diagonal
corners of the house...and then clean out the tiles.
If you have it done, yer talkin' THOUSANDS of dollars. Could you
settle with just DIVERTING the water?...by making it drain into your
basement? If so, you can easily do this yourself.
Go up with stone to about 2 ft. from ground level. You want as little
resistance as possible for the water...in order to drain quickly to
For an experiment, pour some water on top of some wet, compacted sand.
See how fast it drains.
In my city...LOTSA LUCK!! lol
For what purpose? Not necessary. Rain water doesn't drain straight
down...it follows the path of least resistance. The water problem you
have could be coming from your neighbor's lot 100 yards away.
Define 'quickly'. You MUST put in outside drain tile...or all your
work will be in vain. As noted, put in a cleanout on 2 diagonally
Plant whatever you want. Anything will do fine.
Look into Thoroseal...and products like it.
Good luck, Steve.
Have a nice week...
What do you call a smart blonde?
A golden retriever.
I can't imagine going through this amount of trouble and cost without
getting some professional advise.
That said, I agree, the french drains ARE the most important part of a
project like this, and you should fill the excavated area all the way from
the french drain material to 24" below final grade. The drains itself are
installed with filter sheathing that allows water in and keeps silt/sand
Also, a sump pump would be a great investigation as it reduces the 'height'
and pressure of residual water trapped directly below your basement floor.
You can cut a sump into a floor fairly easily (about 6-inch thick cement
typically, and about a 18-24 inch diameter circle). This would eliminate
water pressure from under the existing floor
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