water proofing basement: two contractors, two different approache

mees135September 9, 2008

Hi -

We're in the process of fixing up our cellar - just to store stuff, not to do anything else down there. 100 yr old house, 27x27 feet cellar, northern Ohio, dirt floor (small concrete pad), field stone on bottom, cinder blocks on the top part (the part exposed to the outside). We're on a bit of a hill, here for one year, and it flooded once earlier this year when it rained a lot (several inches in a couple hours - a little out of the norm for time of year)

Contractor one: Excavate around outside perimeter, add vapor barrier and drainage system. Inside: Dura-something walls to catch any condensation, drips to drainage pipes on inside perimeter that leads to a sump pump. (actually, 1 pump and a back up reservoir and battery back up). Draw back: they cannot get to the north side of the house, so it would only be inside wall treatment, not the outside vapor barrier. Forgot to ask warranty...

Contractor Two: Nothing on the outside. Inside, some Owen Corning microbial vapor barrier against the wall, where condensation drips down into the sump pump system (one sump pump) Life time warranty. . .

Both say put in a dehumidifier, which just makes since, and eventually we'll concrete over the whole floor.

I'm thinking with Contractor One - outside pipes *will* eventually get clogged - its only inevitable, i think. Plus, we're on sandy soil here.

Any suggestions, warnings, ideas, etc? Thanks!

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If you have sandy soil drainage shouldn't be too big a problem. Before you spend money on waterproofing downstairs you need to check for proper drainage around the house. Make sure everything drains away from the house. Soil should be built up around the foundation to drop 1/2" per foot for 10' from the house. Everything has to have gutters and they need to drain as far away from the foundation as possible. Put in shallow underground drain lines to carry water from the gutters to a lower area away from the house. If you still have problems you can install a shallow tile/gravel drain system in a trench on the uphill side of the house to divert water around one or both sides. Get the surface water under control first and then re-evaluate your basement.

    Bookmark   September 11, 2008 at 1:47AM
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