Basement Waterproofing

eqlizreSeptember 11, 2008

I live in a house built in 1952, I am the 3rd owner. The neighborhood is full of underground springs. When my house was constructed steps were taken by the builder to address anticipated moisture problems associated with a spring or capillary that runs underground past the corner of the house. Additional cement was put on the exterior below the brick about 6 feet down in the ground. Inside they used a technique of 2 rows of cinder block, one row of brick, repeated all the way up. I was told that they use the brick because it doesn't absorb moisture and sort of caps the water in the cinder blocks below. I did not know about this spring at the time of purchase or I would not have bought the house.

In the past 3 years we have had severe flooding inside whenever rainfall exceeds 4 inches of sustained downpour. The water pours in just like a flooded stream and is clear, no dirt, silt, or debris. Usually it is about 2-3 inches in depth just racing across the floor.

I have had one waterproofing company out, 2 more to go. The popular trend seems to be to install an internal system that equates to a French drain around the perimeter of the inside of the basement wall. Sounds good but this just does not compute for me. They only go down 10 inches and out 14" using a sump pump to evacuate the water through a 1 1/2" pipe to the outside. My instincts tell me this system will not remove the water as fast as it comes in.

I need advice/guidance on what is proper and appropriate to deal with this problem.

Many Thanks,

Evelyn (eqlizre)

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That's a lot of rain! We see that maybe once or twice a year.

I build new and used to renovate a lot including post-build waterproofing jobs. I'd prefer to deal with the water from the outside because I'd rather not have running water in a basement and damaging foundation walls. But a proper outside job will be more expensive because of the cost of excavating and redoing landscaping, driveways, walkways etc. For that reason, inside waterproofing is an alternative.

Brick is not waterproof. To demonstrate that, Dr. Joe Lstiburek set up test walls with bricks and then sprayed them. The amount of water coming through the wall was amazing.

    Bookmark   September 12, 2008 at 4:41PM
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Does the water come in all around the basement or just one corner?

    Bookmark   September 15, 2008 at 11:09AM
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The water only comes in on one side, then runs around the perimeter of the basement. I have had a second waterproofing company out, they say the same as the first, french drain and weep holes in the cinder block.

    Bookmark   September 15, 2008 at 3:05PM
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If it only comes in on one corner and its a substantial amount I would put a sump pit right there and then build a well around that. The pit and the well can hold a lot of water and you can put any number of pumps in there.

These people that you are talking to only see a general seepage and only know how to deal with that, no thinking out of the box. If you stop the water where it comes in it can't flood the basement.

    Bookmark   September 15, 2008 at 7:59PM
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