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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have very little experience with basements because almost all homes in central Florida don't have them. I had a rare call today where a customer had a basement in a 1920s home with water pouring through a crack in the wall about 6" above the floor. The water was flowing through at about 1 gpm. To much to try and patch with hydraulic cement. The house is "c" shaped with the open end of the "c" facing up hill. I explained that water running under ground down hill is getting caught in this "cup" and the path of least resistance downhill is through the cracks in his basement walls. I told him the only long term fix was to install a French drain around the outside of the foundation to direct the water around the building. This would be thousands of dollars of course and he didn't want to pay that.
I thought about it for a while and suggested drilling through the wall and jetting in a 1" pvc pipe with a ball valve on it. We could suck the ground dry and while doing that seal around the pipe and seal the crack. After the seal cures we can just close the ball valve. The problem with this is there are cracks all over the place and they will just start leaking after I fix this one most likely. I quoted him just over $800 to do the cheap/temp repair and he didn't want to do that either if I was not willing to guarantee it. I told him I certainly wouldn't. I was paid my diagnostic charge and went on my way.



My question to the folks up north who deal with this type of things is: What other options do I have? What would you have told him?



I so rarely run across basements that I'm just inexperienced in this area. I called mastermark for some input and dunbar as well. Just want to learn more as this is an area I'm weak in.
 

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If its just in a small area maybe drain tile to a small sump and pump, not the whole house but the one area for now. Most of time up here we drain tile all around the house but it may be a short term fix to only do 1/4 the house now, do the sump a little deeper so the rest of the pipe can be graded in later.
 

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The only way it a french drain including proper foundation sealing from the OUTSIDE. NEVER use that so called "Foundation sealer which goes on the inside of the walls. Just because they are cinder block dont mean they wont "Rot" out. I seen many people who use that so called "Water Lock" which gets painted on the inside of the basement walls. This traps water inside the block and WILL deteriorate the block making it crumble. Sump pits and a pump is ok, but the electric bill will be higher and there is always the pump failing.

Dig around entire house, power was foundation, seal with thick layer of tar,install landscape cloth (Essential as this filters out the dirt. Think its not important? Ask my brother in law what happens when you dont) install crushed rock (4"), install 4" drain tile, fill with rock, fold back landscape fabric to foundation, back fill.

As a building contractor this is the only way I could guarantee water not to get back in.
 

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www.DunbarPlumbing.com
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Bill nailed it well.


Never bring the water into the structure if you don't have to.

Either that or panel the wall with a shower liner in the spot that's leaking, channel it to a sump pit.


I can tell you though, from the way it sounds he was tire kicking and was wanting at most, a $100 fix he probably would of gladly paid.

All leaks in that case need to be fixed from the outside in.

Lowering the water table is the best option, which is underneath that floor. Sometimes the way the water channels to the wall, that isn't always feasible.


I try not to do jobs like these because the water can move a direction you cannot control, show up in another spot and now you have an upset customer. Not your fault, just the customer wanting his money's worth.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Yeah I couldn't talk any sense into this guy. He wants the paint on sealer from the inside with a guarantee all done for free. I walked. It's pouring cats and dogs right now and we are about to get a hurricane. He'll need scuba gear just to get down there in about 48 hours.....idiot.


Under the advice of mastermark I called him back and offered a sump and pump option. No dice, he wants a $100 fix just like dunbar said. Happy diving buddy.
 

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The only way it a french drain including proper foundation sealing from the OUTSIDE. NEVER use that so called "Foundation sealer which goes on the inside of the walls. Just because they are cinder block dont mean they wont "Rot" out. I seen many people who use that so called "Water Lock" which gets painted on the inside of the basement walls. This traps water inside the block and WILL deteriorate the block making it crumble. Sump pits and a pump is ok, but the electric bill will be higher and there is always the pump failing.

Dig around entire house, power was foundation, seal with thick layer of tar,install landscape cloth (Essential as this filters out the dirt. Think its not important? Ask my brother in law what happens when you dont) install crushed rock (4"), install 4" drain tile, fill with rock, fold back landscape fabric to foundation, back fill.

As a building contractor this is the only way I could guarantee water not to get back in.

Right on brother
 

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I Married Up
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I understand the need to eliminate or at least divert the water from the exterior but concrete, mortar, block, and brick manholes are sealed from ground water intrusion all the time from the inside with epoxy coatings.

What's the difference?
 

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Yeah I couldn't talk any sense into this guy. He wants the paint on sealer from the inside with a guarantee all done for free. I walked. It's pouring cats and dogs right now and we are about to get a hurricane. He'll need scuba gear just to get down there in about 48 hours.....idiot.


Under the advice of mastermark I called him back and offered a sump and pump option. No dice, he wants a $100 fix just like dunbar said. Happy diving buddy.
He will be diving too! :laughing:
Does he have equipment in his basement such as a water heater and air handler? Could get costly!

The best way is as Bill described no doubt about it....

The problem with ground water is that it can put some unbelievable pressure on the foundation as it tries to turn the house into Noah's Ark... :laughing:

No matter how good it is sealed, new cracks will form and with them new leaks. I have seen the railings on a cellar stairway bowed out from straight by about a foot from the basement floor lifting from water.

One of the last things you would want to do is pop a hole in the floor for a sump while it is under that kind of pressure.... :eek:
 

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I understand the need to eliminate or at least divert the water from the exterior but concrete, mortar, block, and brick manholes are sealed from ground water intrusion all the time from the inside with epoxy coatings.

What's the difference?
They have a drain in the bottom and all the sealing really has to do is prevent soil from washing in...
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
He will be diving too! :laughing:
Does he have equipment in his basement such as a water heater and air handler? Could get costly!

The best way is as Bill described no doubt about it....

The problem with ground water is that it can put some unbelievable pressure on the foundation as it tries to turn the house into Noah's Ark... :laughing:

No matter how good it is sealed, new cracks will form and with them new leaks. I have seen the railings on a cellar stairway bowed out from straight by about a foot from the basement floor lifting from water.

One of the last things you would want to do is pop a hole in the floor for a sump while it is under that kind of pressure.... :eek:
Yep, Air handler and the water heater are both in the basement :laughing:
 

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I remember from my yankee days sometimes the inside perimeter of the basement was chopped and gravel and underdrain was put into a sump...relieved the static pressure if Im using the right term...and Ive seen som epoxy fixes in those conditions with a tube to the trench.
 

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They have a drain in the bottom and all the sealing really has to do is prevent soil from washing in...
We may be talking about two different things.

I am referring to a manhole on a city sewer main system. When they have cracks, excess ground water enters the system causing additional workload for the treatment plant. Sealing the manhole from the inside eliminates the water infiltration. I've never heard of a manhole rotting away from the outside after being sealed.

The drain at the bottom is just part of the sewer system and not connected to the ground water in any way (hopefully).
 

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We may be talking about two different things.

I am referring to a manhole on a city sewer main system. When they have cracks, excess ground water enters the system causing additional workload for the treatment plant. Sealing the manhole from the inside eliminates the water infiltration. I've never heard of a manhole rotting away from the outside after being sealed.

The drain at the bottom is just part of the sewer system and not connected to the ground water in any way (hopefully).
Nope! We're talking about the same thing...

We've got some nice brick manholes around here, with vitrified clay running down the road... Plenty of infiltration even when "Sealed" :laughing:

Hopefully the "Drain in the Bottom" takes it all away... :laughing:
 

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I understand the need to eliminate or at least divert the water from the exterior but concrete, mortar, block, and brick manholes are sealed from ground water intrusion all the time from the inside with epoxy coatings.

What's the difference?
Keeping the black mold out of the porous masonry would be one difference.
 

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I would suggest having the basement lined with a commerical crack isolation liner. That's what I did to my basement 8 years ago have not had one drop of water since after our summer of monsoons this is better than drain line and a sump
 
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