Interior Drain and Fireplace

EthinrulesJuly 11, 2013

Hello, I recently have had 5 waterproofing companies give me bids on waterproofing my regularly flooding 130 linear foot block foundation basement. The company doing grate products installation was my favorite due to several reasons (access ports, vapor barrier, grate product, back up sump, etc.) except for one key detail(besides the $10,000 proposal which was about 4k more than the local interior drain companies). The plan for waterproofing was to just go around my fireplace in the basement. A large portion (about 1/2) of the water coming through my block foundation is through the fireplace itself. Other companies had proposed either simply going in the fireplace during interior drain installation, removing the chimney box and installing interior drain the fireplace, or told me i needed to excavate foundation around fireplace and waterproof from the outside in addition to interior drain. Also, I just bought this house and split the cost of sump pump installation ($1800) with the seller, now all except one company claim I will need a new sump pump and will have to fill in my 3 week old sump. Thoughts?

Next, a landscaping owner I know stopped by with his waterproofing employee. He suggested not doing any drain installation until first redoing sunken concrete around home as well as sealing all the bricks of my homes exterior. He took a glass of water and dumped it on the bricks to demonstrate that the bricks absorb all the water as opposed to it running down the side of the house. He said he was 80% sure that would stop my basement problems, yet he said there would be no way to guarantee it and that i very well may need an interior drain, but that I shouldn't really do that until I have done the exterior stuff. Which I agree with, yet I don't have enough money to do both now. I have like 8 thousand in total savings and it will take me long over a year to save that much up again. Thoughts?

This post was edited by Ethinrules on Thu, Jul 11, 13 at 17:04

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Your first step is to check the grading around your house and your rain gutters...make sure water is diverted away from your foundation. Nothing in your basement will work if water is pooling around your house after every rain storm, or poring on the edges of your foundation.

Is your basement finished? Does it only flood after rain?

Be careful not to just pick the contractor who tells you what you want to hear...sometimes the one who gives you bad news is the honest one.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2013 at 12:06PM
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Interior "waterproofing" is a misnomer; it is simply handling of water that has already penetrated the foundation. Meanwhile, the damage the water may be doing to the footings and the foundation continues unabated.

First look to grading, eaves and downspouts. Then to specific sources, such as cracks in the wall. Much easier to do with a poured wall.

As for "waterproofing" the bricks as 80% of your problem: Nonsense!

A properly built brick wall absorbs and then releases water as vapour when the sun comes out or in small amounts as liquid water that then goes down the drain plane.

According to the Brick Industry Association, "Application of a water repellent coating is not necessary to achieve water resistance in brickwork subjected to normal exposures where proper material selection, detailing, construction and maintenance have been executed."

Here is a link that might be useful: Brick Industry Association: Colorless Coatings for Brick Masonry

    Bookmark   September 22, 2013 at 7:08PM
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