Latest Discussions : Basement & Foundation


12:20PM | 04/15/04
Member Since: 04/14/04
4 lifetime posts
I have a 9 year old house with a pressure treated wood basement. Below the floor is a layer of plastic and then 3 feet of crushed rock. Each spring, there is an incredibly pungent odour in approximately the center of the basement. The smell is only the in hallway, not in any of the bedrooms or the workshop. It usually lasts for approximately 6 weeks. Is it possible that water is running down the side of the foundation and then finding it's way on top of the plastic? I have a sump pit that functions fine and has a bit of a smell to it but it's definitely a different smell. I live in Canada so the smell comes when the frost goes out of the ground in the spring.

Any ideas?



06:42PM | 04/15/04
Member Since: 01/28/03
693 lifetime posts
Sad to say...I have edited this post to hold my tongue about what I think of anyone who would buy a house with a wood foundation in the first place and have opted to simply address the problem.

The REAL issue here is that while your treated or masonry foundation may have been treated on the outside with a tar based 'foundation coating'....Foundation coatings only prevents liquid water from penetrating the basement.

They do NOTHING to prevent water in GAS form (ie. 'water vapor') from moving from the soil into your basement.

The result:

A DAMP basement.

Unless you want to re-excavate the foundation all around the exterior of your home, install something like an EDPM rubber membrane water and vapor protective barier on the outside, and install a proper french drain system... there is precious little you can do to resolve your problem.

Fork up the big bucks to add whatever interior or exterior basement de-watering system you need....and even replace the wood with a proper masonry foundation if necessary....or live with what you bought....


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