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Lawn Drainage Problems - Getting Water in our Basement

Posted by court623 (My Page) on
Sun, Mar 27, 11 at 10:08

We need some advice with regards to how to handle water in our basement.

Since construction 2 years ago, we have been battling with water coming through the new construction basement walls, despite several of our efforts. We have exterior foundation drains and interior french drains all running to a sump pumped to the street since it's below street level, and our downspouts are running to the street. The floors remain dry but the block on the walls keeps getting wet and drips down to the drains. The only barrier that our contractor used was a tar paint on the exterior of the walls, which obviously didn't work. Our grading is now almost 4" from the vinyl siding so we can't really build it up anymore to drain away from the house. The problem is that our whole backyard is on a slight pitch towards the house.

Here's where we need advice:
One of the landscapers we've brought in for estimates recommends that we line the exterior of the house with flashing that will come up the 4" of cement and slightly overlap the siding so that we can use fill to pitch dirt away from the house, and then run that water into a perimeter drain that will run to the street.

Is this a bad idea? Are we opening ourselves up to an insect (termite) problem or any other problems? Another landscaper suggested that the only way to do this "properly" is to remove the lower rows of siding, and then to do a moisture barrier, lath and cement over the exterior wood down to the foundation cement (instead of using flashing) so that bugs and water can't get behind it. Is the flashing sufficient?

Here's a picture of the area we're talking about:

From House Drainage


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Lawn Drainage Problems - Getting Water in our Basement

Cutback tar is dampproofing, not waterproofing and is useless for keeping liquid water out of basements.


Photo: DeCicco Homes, London, Ont.

Above is what should have been done: installing a dimpled membrane, such as the Delta MS in the photo.

The various landscapers' improvisations will fail. But everybody seems to want to try them first. Been there many times.


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RE: Lawn Drainage Problems - Getting Water in our Basement

I know that we should have had that done but this is where we are now. We have a lake in the backyard during early spring storms so it has to be addressed regardless. What is the best approach to the situation now? Flashing or lath and cement? I should have considered tuff and dry as well. Thanks for the advice.


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RE: Lawn Drainage Problems - Getting Water in our Basement

flashing that will come up the 4" of cement and slightly overlap the siding so that we can use fill to pitch dirt away from the house...opening ourselves up to an insect (termite) problem or any other problems?

Yes.

remove the lower rows of siding, and then to do a moisture barrier, lath and cement over the exterior wood down to the foundation cement

That will look hideous, especially on a new home. Plus, depending on the permeability of the barrier, it will inhibit drying of the wall.

Neither of these "solutions" does anything to remove water from the saturated soil which is caused or exacerbated by the reverse grading.

You can't cure the fact that the house should have been further out of the ground to start with and graded better. (To avoid this kind of problem, all new homes built in my municipality are required to conform to an independent professional drainage plan.) And, of course, the foundation should have had at least a dimpled plastic barrier. The builder clearly knew the water problem, as indicated by his installation of interior drainage tiles.

Unfortunately, the only sure fix at this point is excavation and true waterproofing.

As I see it, there should be some liability on the part of the builder for delivering you a home with a leaky basement. I hope you have consulted with a lawyer on this. In Ontario, where I build, all new homes have to be enrolled in a mandatory warranty programme (Tarion) that requires the builder to rectify all water leakage problems for two years. If the builder does not do so, the Programme itself repairs the damage.



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