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Water problems in new cinderblock basement

Posted by stlblufan (My Page) on
Tue, Jan 14, 14 at 19:34

We are in the process of renovating a rowhome in Hoboken, NJ, which involves an extension. The basement, which will end up being a separate rental unit, was extended using blocks filled with concrete and a "KIM additive" which is supposed to make them waterproof.

We have not yet sheetrocked, and are having a lot of problems with leaks in the new portion of the basement. Our GC is telling us that this is due to the fact that they have not yet put gutters on and that the yard is improperly graded (true --- it basically results in a pool of water up against the new foundation).

However, I was under the impression that a brand new foundation should not leak, full stop. I have also attached a picture showing clear signs of efflorescence from the new foundation, and I do not understand how this could happen if the KIM additive is a waterproofer.

Am I overreacting? Is the GC correct that once the gutters are on and the yard is graded, I should not worry about the foundation? Any advice as to how to proceed / what to tell the GC to do would be much appreciated.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Water problems in new cinderblock basement

Crystalline in the concrete poured into the block cores does nothing for the joints between the blocks. That's why I would have also installed a dimpled membrane on the exterior.

Considering you have a "pool" of water along the foundation, the results seem acceptable. Time to complain if dampness shows after the eaves are in and regrading is completed.

This post was edited by worthy on Thu, Jan 16, 14 at 22:07

RE: Water problems in new cinderblock basement

Seems it would've made more sense to have gutters installed and slope corrected ASAP as not to create a problem...That appears to be a lot of efflorescence, so water is getting through. I guess the question is why if the system used waterproofs, but as someone said would've been better to install a bubble membrane...

RE: Water problems in new cinderblock basement

If I were you, I wouldn't get my hopes up at ever fully waterproofing the basement. its kinda like trying to turn your basement foundation into a boat hull. People keep trying to give me tips for "waterproofing" my basement but I'm more interested in accepting that water will always eventually find its way in. So, I'm more concerned about controlling the flow of the water after it gets in. I plan on making concrete baseboard drains and line those with an impermeable barrier. I will never try to "finish" the basement. I want bare walls so that when they do degrade, I can see it and work on it. Hiding a wall with "something that looks nice" only makes repair work harder to do later on. I'd rather have an ugly basement that is easy to maintain. My basement continues to flood after heavy rains even after getting new gutters and drains installed. 12 foot drains to lead the water away from the house and the basement still floods. Accept it. Control the inevitable flow.

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