Fixing water problem by pouring concrete around house?

emoreeJuly 14, 2014

I just posted this on a longer thread I have in the Buying/Selling forum, but it seems to fit better on this forum.

My husband and I have an old house with a brick foundation and there is a water problem in the basement. I uploaded some pictures of the problem areas to my pinterest since I can only upload one picture onto this actual thread. Here are all of the pictures of the deck and basement:

Last week we had a company come out who specializes in structural and foundation repairs, including water intrusion. Fortunately he didn't see any problems with our foundation, however he confirmed that our deck was indeed built on top of an open hole into our basement and "sealed" with foam insulation board and stupid spray foam. I still can't BELIEVE those freaking idiots did that. WHAT WERE THEY THINKING and how did they get away with it??????

He gave us a very nice plan (it seems to be, anyway) for about $7500.

1) Install new window well to prevent further water intrusion from that area (this is an obvious and easy fix)

2) Wall off room under deck using cinderblocks, remove deck from above, fill room with gravel

3) Grade ground away from house (all around perimeter of back of house)

4) Install 6mil plastic on top of gravel and pour more gravel on top to help with water shedding

5) Pour 2' cement slab all around back perimeter of house (from corner of bedroom to corner of kitchen)

6) Pour 8'x12' cement patio in place of deck

7) redirect and bury sump pump line underground

8) Install 7" gutter on back of house and direct into ground (large PVC 90degree pipe) into large black pipe

9) Run gutter pipe and sump pump lines into hole from our fish pond that we just dismantled

  1. Fill fish pond with gravel and top with soil

I would be much happier with a cement patio than the wood deck because they didn't have the foresight to create a roof over the whole deck so that the part that is exposed to the elements is very weathered and dangerously slippery in the rain. The wood window that is right there (to the kitchen) also has no protection from the elements and we recently had to have the entire thing (including the wood storm window) removed and restored.

What do you guys think about this plan? Are there problems with a cement patio that I'm not foreseeing? I think this plan would solve our water problems 99.9%, if not 100%.

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Every situation is slightly different, but if the grading is done properly, water is directed away from the foundation with a French drain (if needed) and gutters are installed the cement work seems entirely unnecessary. Likewise, the cinder block "room", replacement of the deck with a poured concrete patio. Cement work is inherently expensive. Unless this company can explain to your satisfaction why it is essential, I wouldn't do it. At the very least, I'd ask at least one other company for an evaluation.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2014 at 6:08AM
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Thanks for your advice! The concrete was actually my idea (haha). The contractor suggested putting flashing around the foundation and then adding soil to grade away from foundation. I asked about the concrete because it seemed like a more permanent and waterproof solution. He's coming back today for a second look to finalize plans and I will ask him about just doing the flashing/grading and possibly a drain around the back perimeter (which sounds like a good idea, anyway).

I feel we have to remove the deck and fill in that room because it's so horribly constructed (a deck constructed on top of an open hole in our basement, with just foam insulation separating our house from everything outside? insane! there's no door between our house and the basement, btw). The deck is also rotting from being exposed to so much rain and never being cared for, so it's an eyesore anyway.

We've had two other companies come out-- there aren't many options around here. One were total shysters who just wanted to put plastic sheeting on the inside of our BRICK foundation and force the water to run behind it into an interior drain (while growing mold and ruining the foundation)---SO stupid, and for almost the same amount of money as actually fixing the problem. The other could only do a vapor barrier in the crawlspace and install a drain outside. The one we're working with now can do anything we need and is the only company like it around here.

Switching to flashing/grading on the sides sounds great (while keeping the concrete patio)-- I'll ask him about that today. It would be really nice if we can get the cost to $5,000.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2014 at 11:28AM
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