How to choose open vs closed basement system

stony_sidesAugust 15, 2008

We are having our basement waterproofed and have had 4 different companies come in, all of whom say their system is the best. Some tell us that if the pipes are too low the water will undermine the footings.... others tell us that the open system will increase our humidiy and create a potential radon problem. We aren't sure what to do...

Is there a company that works well with high water table issues? Is it better to get a closed system than an open system? Do any of the magic wall-sealing compounds actually work?

Thanks so much for your input....

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What do you mean by closed and open system?

The most effective waterproofing will involve excavating around the entire perimeter of your home to the footings and --then 1) treating the cove; 2) putting in screen-covered weepers on a free-flowing gravel bed topped with fabric 3)coating the wall with crystalline waterproofing or a liquid membrane, 4) covering with a Delta type plastic membrane.

Of course, you still deal with exterior water sources by being sure all surfaces around your home slope away and eavestroughs empty to downspouts that take the water away from the perimeter of the home. Depending on the soil, you may even want to backfill with sand or loose granular material.

Lower budget inside approaches would employ crystalline waterproofing combined with sealing any cracks or other entry points.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2008 at 10:35PM
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Some companies have a grate around the perimeter of the basement... that is considered "open".... other companies have concrete completely up to the wall. To us, it seems like radon would easily enter through these grates...

    Bookmark   August 17, 2008 at 9:41PM
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Agreed. However, first be sure radon is even a consideration in your area. Check the map info in the link below and if you're in an area of concern, have your home's radon levels checked.

Here is a link that might be useful: United States EPA Radon Zone Map

    Bookmark   August 18, 2008 at 3:51PM
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