Slightly Wet Basement

wruwtrixApril 16, 2009

I just purchased my first home, 850 sq ft, (knowing there had been some slight basement leakage in the past). There is some effervescence on the basement walls, but I wouldn't be surprised if they hadn't been stripped/painted in over 20 years (single elderly woman living there). We had a rainy October and I had one area (behind my fuel oil tank) that leaked (small rivulet of water that went to my floor drain). The house was built in the 50s, block walls and no drain tile/sump.

I'm interested in finishing around 1/3 of my basement in the next few years, but the basement isn't 100% dry. In the area I'm looking at finishing (not the area near my fuel tank and an area that stayed dry during our wet October), I had one small puddle form during our winter melt. Near that corner of the house, there was over 4 feet of snow drifted up and I did not have a dehumidifier in the basement yet. I think this is representative of what we would call a "wet spring". Possible to get worse, but unlikely.

There are no downspouts right next to the water problems, but they are currently discharging very near the foundation (I will be installing underground discharge pipes this spring). The grading near the house needs to be improved slightly too. The current grading is flat at best, but I doubt this would be enough to solve the problem entirely.

My uncle is a contractor and can dig out around the foundation so we can apply a waterproofing resin/membrane. I don't plan on breaking up my basement floor to install a sump/drain tile system unless it's really necessary (it's probably outside of my budget, too). I only plan to waterproof the 2 basement walls adjacent to where I want to finish the basement. Has anyone else had a situation like this? Is a waterproofing sealer necessary or sufficient? What brands are reliable?

I might buy The Original Basement Waterproofing Handbook for more advice, any opinions on it?

Thanks for your opinions,

Vicki Hagberg

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Start with grading and pipes for the downspouts. See whether that solves the problem. Digging out is expensive, and may not be necessary.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2009 at 9:43PM
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