Monday, March 18, 2013

Waterlogged to Waterproof - Basement Transformation

Our project house has a wet basement.  A really wet basement.  It seems to seep in from the back of the house and flows across the floor over to the sump pump (which oddly enough has a 1" high lip around it, so it keeps the water out - go figure).

So once again we called Dave at Concrete Prescriptions to come rescue the basement.  It's a tough job.  Lots of jackhammering is required to break up the perimeter of the entire foundation.  They had to carry out the concrete in buckets (or as Dave says, 'we have buckets like carpenter's have nails').

Lots of roots had clogged up the old drains
Interestingly, the house had a clay pipe drainage system that was installed when the house was built....but a lot of tree roots have grown into the system since the house was built in 1947.  Here's an example, with the roots spread out.  But most areas were so compacted with roots, they completely clogged up the drainage pipe.

Once they got the old, clay drainage pipes out, we discovered there was lots of water that had been blocked up.  See how much is sitting in this channel?  But after opening it up and getting the right pitch on it, this water disappeared overnight.   
Next up, the guys installed a lining fabric, perforated pipe and crushed stone, all around the perimeter of the basement.  This is all sloped towards the sump pump, to ensure the water drains properly.  

See the Dimples???

A critical step is to install the Dimple Board (aka drainage membrane) all around the foundation.  The dimple board comes in giant rolls. It is installed over the concrete block and is tucked into the drainage channel.  That way, any water that might make its way in, will immediately drain away.  

Final step - pour fresh concrete over top of the new drainage channel.  The basement floor looks great.  We've had lots of snow melt as well as rain and the basement is nice and dry.  What a huge change!!  We're ready for a wet spring - if it ever gets here!  

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