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  #1  
Old 2014-06-10, 11:09 AM
aschmidt aschmidt is offline
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Default Leaky Basement

Hi there!

We live in a nice 1900-built home that had a 5 to 6 foot unfinished basement with concrete slap floor. We wanted to use that space and hired someone last year that dug lower to create a nice 7 1/2 foot space by adding concrete walls and a new slap floor. The job was difficult as water started coming in the moment they dug. They installed drainage from a sink hole that worked OK.

Since last fall we have water coming through the new wall (about 1-2 inch above the floor) on several sides and it was of course worse in the spring. I could stick my finder about 2 inches into one hole, through the other wall we had not only water but sand coming in.

Unfortunately, the contractor that did the job won't help us - he retired. So, we are looking for ideas on how to fix this.

Can anybody help?

Thank you very much
Alex
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  #2  
Old 2014-06-10, 11:56 AM
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mc_ottawa mc_ottawa is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aschmidt View Post
Hi there!

We live in a nice 1900-built home that had a 5 to 6 foot unfinished basement with concrete slap floor. We wanted to use that space and hired someone last year that dug lower to create a nice 7 1/2 foot space by adding concrete walls and a new slap floor. The job was difficult as water started coming in the moment they dug. They installed drainage from a sink hole that worked OK.

Since last fall we have water coming through the new wall (about 1-2 inch above the floor) on several sides and it was of course worse in the spring. I could stick my finder about 2 inches into one hole, through the other wall we had not only water but sand coming in.

Unfortunately, the contractor that did the job won't help us - he retired. So, we are looking for ideas on how to fix this.

Can anybody help?

Thank you very much
Alex
Did they do any waterproofing/reenforcing on the exterior?
Is the exterior outside the wall (that's leaking) paved? is it sod and backfill??

Do you have pictures of what it looks like now? It sounds as though the contractor dug on the interior, did the necessary work on the inside, but not necessarily on the other side of the wall...
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Old 2014-06-10, 01:31 PM
aschmidt aschmidt is offline
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Thank you for your interest, really appreciate it!

In short: no, nothing was done from the outside. He explained that we cannot go underneath the old (and not too solid) stone foundation, so everything was done from inside, no waterproofing/reenforcing I know of.

When we did the reno, we also extended the house and he added a basement there. On that smaller part, he painted (is that the term?) the walls with the black coat. However, we also had a smaller leak there in the spring.

I added two pictures from last fall. He came back and just added some concrete over the crack which reduced the flow but did not stop it. We had about an inch of water in 80% of the basement in the spring.

Thanks & looking forward to your thoughts.

alex
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Old 2014-06-10, 02:29 PM
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xdarrylx xdarrylx is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aschmidt View Post
Thank you for your interest, really appreciate it!

In short: no, nothing was done from the outside. He explained that we cannot go underneath the old (and not too solid) stone foundation, so everything was done from inside, no waterproofing/reenforcing I know of.

When we did the reno, we also extended the house and he added a basement there. On that smaller part, he painted (is that the term?) the walls with the black coat. However, we also had a smaller leak there in the spring.

I added two pictures from last fall. He came back and just added some concrete over the crack which reduced the flow but did not stop it. We had about an inch of water in 80% of the basement in the spring.

Thanks & looking forward to your thoughts.

alex
Ouch - I think you're in for a world of hurt. I am no expert but that doesn't look like an easy or cheap fix.
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Old 2014-06-10, 03:48 PM
richyrich richyrich is offline
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Ditto, I'd say this would be a very big job. I assume the original work was done relatively cheaply and with no warranties?

Done properly, I would think lowering a basement is akin to raising the house - you'd need to do work to extend/reinforce the foundation (since you're taking some of it away), and per the earlier comments while you're at it you'd dig out around the whole outside foundation and put in a platon system or similar - a hard plastic membrane which directs most water down/away.



Concreting cracks and painting on (tar paint I assume?) are just sticking-plaster solutions so no surprise it's not a long-term fix - water will always find a way and concrete is porous. To fix it properly, you need to get in foundation experts and get a professional opinion. I really would avoid any general contractors or "odd job men" if you really want this done right.
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Old 2014-06-10, 04:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aschmidt View Post
Thank you for your interest, really appreciate it!

In short: no, nothing was done from the outside. He explained that we cannot go underneath the old (and not too solid) stone foundation, so everything was done from inside, no waterproofing/reenforcing I know of.

When we did the reno, we also extended the house and he added a basement there. On that smaller part, he painted (is that the term?) the walls with the black coat. However, we also had a smaller leak there in the spring.

I added two pictures from last fall. He came back and just added some concrete over the crack which reduced the flow but did not stop it. We had about an inch of water in 80% of the basement in the spring.

Thanks & looking forward to your thoughts.

alex
Water could be coming in either from the stone foundation (leaking through cracks that were either existing OR caused during the digging/underpinning) OR under the old stone foundation where its been dug down into.

I'm afraid to say that this wasn't be a cheap fix at all. If he painted a black coat on the wall inside, and did not do any foundation repair/waterproofing on the exterior, chances are that moisture will continue to come into the house through the exterior walls, one way or another.

I'd be less concerned about the water, and more concerned about the underpinning of the home. As someone else mentioned, was it done with proper permits? What about geotechnical engineering to determine the bearing capacity??

What the contractor did (add concrete to the interior) is a very temporary fix and will not mitigate future water penetration, unfortunately.
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Old 2014-06-10, 06:31 PM
lex_rx lex_rx is offline
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The perimeter drain outside, I believe should be lower than the floor inside the house. With your reno of digging deeper inside, your floor is now lower than drain, assuming that there is a drainage system installed in the 100+ years of the house.

Best bet is a foundation expert to fix it from both outside and inside. Do let us know how you fix it.

Bonne chance.
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Old 2014-06-10, 07:05 PM
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To manage the water, you would need an interior perimeter drain system installed with an air gap membrane.

One of many web sites that explain that is here>> http://www.aquaguardinjection.com/re...g-tile-system/

It is near impossible to stop water flow through a stacked stone foundation, even from the outside. This will manage the water that comes in.

You can try to minimize water ingress: make sure earth slopes away from the building, install eaves trough with downspout extensions 6 feet or more away, sump pump outlet 10 to 20 feet away.

If the new floor is lower than the water table, there is nothing you can do to make this basement liveable.
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Old 2014-06-10, 08:45 PM
StrayCat StrayCat is offline
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Call Mike Holmes?
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Old 2014-06-11, 12:44 AM
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xdarrylx xdarrylx is offline
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Or Drew Scott to sell a.s.a.p.!
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