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Basement Remodel Rant...........
Old 06-24-2011, 11:10 AM   #1
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Basement Remodel Rant...........

MAYBE I can finish this d*mn project now! It has been sitting 95% done for 4 months. Every time we have a torrential downpour (5 times this year alone), I get a little bit of water next to the wall 4 feet long and 5 inches wide. I can't put carpet down until the thing's fixed.

I redid the pitch of the grade, extended and screwed on the downspouts, had a crew put in an extra drain tile extension from the window well down to the drain tiles, etc.

Finally this week, they excavated that side of the house and found:
1)The cross-bleeders were almost 80% plugged, mostly by careless concrete spilled by the builder when the house was built.
2)No exteriors cracks (nice, because it is a block wall)
3)Waterproof tar was almost all gone, and wall was pretty wet.
4)There was barely any stone down there, and the whole subdivision is clay soil.......

They backfilled with stone, finished the last 18 inches with 50/50 mix which they pitched, waterproofed the outside wall, put in new drain tile, and replanted the plants I had pulled out so they could dig. This better take care of it or else!

I did get a warranty from the company for 10 years, so I guess that's something........I started this project almost 2 years ago!!
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Old 06-24-2011, 12:30 PM   #2
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That sounds like quite a lot has been done and discovered and fixed, and probably cost a pretty penny, too. I think you are making great progress. Once you are sure it is dry down there, it won't take long at all to have carpet installed.
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Old 06-24-2011, 12:34 PM   #3
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Based on what you said, I would count yourself lucky you only had a little bit of water.
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Old 06-24-2011, 01:13 PM   #4
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Good work. Remember that the wall may still be damp for a while. I would wait to install the carpeting.

The work is done now but in an ideal world apply a Thoroseal product then, maybe, your tar coating on the wall.
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Old 06-24-2011, 01:14 PM   #5
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FD - how much did the waterproofing cost? A neighbor has a similar problem and he's dreading even to get quotes.
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Old 06-24-2011, 02:16 PM   #6
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We had our basement leak badly twice. The experience of cutting out and dragging up wet carpet and pad was such a nightmare, that although the leaks are fixed, we are paranoid to put any flooring down there. We keep thinking as soon as we do, it will leak. We did most of what you said and then also put a concrete barrier next to the footing of the house around the backyard, where the leaks occurred. It's about two feet wide and keeps the water away from the edge of the house. It sort of looks like a sidewalk up next to the wall, slightly tilted downward. That was what finally stopped it, after the gutters and grading the yard to tilt towards the alley and street.

I hate basements. It has been ten years since we stopped the leaks, but we still haven't put flooring down. It's just cement.
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Old 06-24-2011, 02:53 PM   #7
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Quote:
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FD - how much did the waterproofing cost? A neighbor has a similar problem and he's dreading even to get quotes.
Waterproofing was included in the quote...........not sure how that breaks out as a seperate item..........
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Old 06-24-2011, 03:38 PM   #8
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Quote:
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Waterproofing was included in the quote...........not sure how that breaks out as a seperate item..........
Just give us a big number than
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Old 06-24-2011, 04:46 PM   #9
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Hope it works out for ya FinanceDude. As DH and I have owned two houses for about 12 years we've had our share of similiar problems. Sometimes I think those who favor renting may have the right idea.
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Old 06-24-2011, 05:16 PM   #10
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Ahhhh, shoot FinanceDude, I thought you had your basement done by now.

Do you have to put carpeting down? If you have concrete floors, they could be stained. I've seen some lovely floors done that way. You could just lay out a few rugs away from the problem area...or wear house shoes to keep your toes comfy and warm.
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Old 06-24-2011, 05:16 PM   #11
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FD,
I won't recount all the work I've done to assure our basement stays dry before I finish the inside--but it's a lot. It's too late for you now (maybe they did this), but for others--be sure the exterior walls are fitted with a solid membrane with a drainage plane. This gets glued up to the wall, and the drainage plane assures water drains to the drain at the footer (assure there is one) without building up hydrostatic pressure against the wall.
Drain beds: There's a lot of debate on what type is best (gravel, sand, where to put the filter fabric or to use it at all). You want a system that allows the water to enter the perforated pipe but doesn't get clogged with silt. Our soil has a lot of clay, and the most convincing research I saw indicated I'd be best off with a bed of coarse sand, filter fabric on the outside of that, and smooth plastic pipe for the drain. The holes in regular perf pipe are too big for use with a sand bed, but "slits" cut with a standard saw blade are just the right size.
FD, be sure your walls can freely dry to the inside when you are done. Fiberglass insulation and true vapor barriers (i.e. plastic) are a no-no in most climates. A very good answer is extruded or expanded polystyrene foam insulation.
Here's a good site on basement insulation. All the information on the Building Science Corporation site is solid.
When we get done, there will be porcelain tile on the floor. Throw rugs where we need something comfier underfoot. No carpet in the basement for us.

polystyrene
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