Paul Neimeyer

04:19AM | 01/13/03
Member Since: 11/17/02
2 lifetime posts
I live in a row of townhouses in NE with a pour cement basement topped with 2 rows of basement brick. The floor of the basement is a floating floor with foam in the space b/w the floor and the wall. There is a sump pump in basement towards the front of the house. I have been getting water in the basement during heavy rains at the back the house. The wall has a zero clearance fireplace and is flanked on each side with bookcases. It has mainly been coming in on the left side of the fireplace where there is an air-conditioning unit on the outside. The rest of the back of the townhouse has a deck. I have extend the down spouts, sloped the grade of the ground away from the house with gravel and planted numerous bushes around the deck to help absorb the water coming down a hill behind me. I understand that the area has a high water table so all of the water proofing companies have recommended french drains on the inside of the house (there is no where for the french drain to work on the outside of the house). However the proposals differ greatly.

1. Remove the bookcases and place a french drain against the wall, dragging it under the fireplace and putting another sump pump in the corner. Cracks in the wall would also be filled. The gap from the french drain would be left open.

2. Remove the bookcases and place a french drain against the wall and around the fireplace and tie it with the sump pump in the front of the house. The gap for the floating floor would be closed and the cracks in the wall would be filled. So I am afraid if there is a fresh crack in the wall any water would come into the house versus going into the gap.

3. Leave the bookcases in place and place the french drain in front of the bookcases and tie it with the sump pump in the front of the house. The bookcases are about 2 feet deep so the french drain would be about 3 ft from the wall so I am unsure if this is close enough.

Additionally I there is no sign of mold or soft wood around the bookcases or surrounding wall board.

Any insight would be greatly appreciated.



06:34AM | 01/13/03
Member Since: 01/01/03
35 lifetime posts
The better answer is always to keep water away from the foundation, rather than dealing with it once it's already entered.

If you've got a hill that's channeling runoff towards your house, it may be a better option to do some intensive landscaping so you can get that runoff directed away from the house. This is more intensive than dumping some gravel next to the house -- it's running a bulldozer to reshape the terrain. Alternatively, digging trenches and putting in drains that direct the water to the sewer system may be possible.

In the long run, blunt-force approach landscaping may be less expensive than any other option. French drains are expensive to put in, and stay expensive if they run to a sump pump.



08:22PM | 01/13/03
Member Since: 12/23/02
18 lifetime posts
If doing an interior french drain, you must place is beside the footings, and have some mechanism to help drain the water into it. The best product for that is a dimpled rubber wall membrane. I've seen this at Home Depot.
If the wall is leaking, it needs to be covered in this product. Just closing the gaps in the drywall will only lead to rot.

I would think 3 feet would be way too far from the wall. I'd remove the bookcase, take off the drywall and studs, apply the membrane and install the drain and route it to the existing sump. Then you'll have to re-frame and re-drywall.
So I think proposal 2 is best, but ask about the membrane.

Click to reply button
Inspiration banner


Post a reply as Anonymous

Photo must be in JPG, GIF or PNG format and less than 5MB.

Reply choose button


Post new button or Login button

To test the boundaries of small-footprint living, interior designer Jessica Helgerson moved her family to a 540-square-foo... Filling an underutilized area beneath the stairs is a smart way to save space. Doing so with a stash of wood, however, is ... The Audubon Society inspired wallpaper in this Adirondack-styled mudroom will get you in the outdoor mood. Grab your coat ... Chalkboard paint opens up endless possibilities for customizing your dresser time and time again. Use chalk to label the c... A fireplace in the bathroom creates the ultimate setting for relaxation. Homeowners often choose electric or gas over wood... This roomy boot tray made from punched metal stands up to all the elements. Station it in your mudroom or at your back doo... There’s nothing like a new set of cabinet hardware to refresh a room. The possibilities are endless: Go modern, rustic, or... FLOR tiles are an affordable way to customize a carpeted floor covering for any space. Make anything from runners to wall-... Chalkboard paint features prominently in this elegant yet unpretentious headboard design. Add a new message daily to reflec... Salvaged boards in varying widths and colors make up the dramatic accent wall in this attic space. The high-gloss white of... The indecisive homeowner need not fret over choosing one (or even two) cabinet colors. The kitchen cabinets in this artist... Incorporate nature into your lighting scheme by securing a dead tree in a concrete mold and draping your pendant lamp from... Simple and striking, a couple of pieces of "lovingly used" furniture creates a special kind of charm. A weathered chair fo... First dress up your metal shelves with a coat of paint in an accent color that complements your kitchen decor. Then arrang... Dark wood shelving and a matching upholstered bench keep this closet sleek and refined. The large window brightens the sub...
Follow banner a
Newsletter icon Flipboard glossy Facebook Twitter Pinterest Youtube Rss icon