Latest Discussions : Basement & Foundation


07:51AM | 12/11/04
Member Since: 09/27/04
11 lifetime posts
We bought our first home this past year and have had a lot of issues with moisture in our crawlspace. Obviously, our main goal is to reduce the moisture level down there and prevent water intrusion.

Our main issue is that when we have heavy rains (and we have had a heck of a rainy year, water appears to intrude underneath the footers of the back corner of the house. We do have a vapor barrier installed that is laid over top of the footers and it seems to keep the water at bay for the most part but we were told that it didn't need to be sealed together so I still think the vapor increases humidity and is causing mold/water problems for the floor joists.

Also, our soil is silt (if that makes a differnce) and appears to get pretty clammy and in the center of the crawl water appears, as well.

At this stage of the game, I realize that I need to get this fixed and that it may cost a decent amount of money but have no idea who to contact. Do you all have any advice on who may be able to help: an engineer, a gc, a home repair person?

From what I have read, it could be because of: the water table, the way our lot is graded - not sure.

Also - do you all recommend that the vapor barrier be sealed/taped together?

Thank you very much for any replies!


10:04AM | 12/11/04
Member Since: 12/09/03
175 lifetime posts
That is the question. We're looking at a footing drain preferably around the outside of the foundation & a sump pump to remove the water. Are you in an area where it can freeze? also how deep is the foundation? I'll check back. C.


10:59AM | 12/11/04
Member Since: 09/27/04
11 lifetime posts
Yes, we are in an area that freezes

some during winter (near DC).

The crawlspace is about 5-6' deep given the location, and is abour 3-4' below grade.

Re: the footer drains, etc. I'd imagine

they would have to knock down our front porch and back deck, is that correct?

And also, it would probably run $30,000 or so, give or take - just a guess (plus the cost to put the porch and deck back together.


02:24PM | 12/11/04
Member Since: 12/09/03
175 lifetime posts
3-4 feet deep outside isn't bad. They may be able to undercut {dig under} the porch & such. 5-6 foot deep crawlspace thats nearly a basement. put a sump pump in here, and pipe the drain to it. Call some waterproofing contractors & get some prices. $30,000 sounds high for such a job. C.


04:04AM | 12/12/04
Member Since: 09/27/04
11 lifetime posts
Thanks, C.

You've been very helpful to bounce this off of.

One other question - I'm assuming that a waterproofing contractor would be able to walk us through different options, results and costs like any other contractor would

any tips on finding a good one? I am familiar with many tradesman, gc's and homebuilders in the area but don't know of many waterproof contractors here.


04:51AM | 12/12/04
Member Since: 12/09/03
175 lifetime posts
Not really. I'm near Boston. Call the Better Business beareau. They may be able to help out. Check the phone book too. Write down all your questions before an estimate. Get referrals; 3 anyway. Get gaurantees& prices in writing, and speak to 4 contractors. Remember it's your house, your in control. They may want to do an inside drain, I'd feel better with an outside drain. Have fun. C.


09:32AM | 12/12/04
Member Since: 11/13/04
90 lifetime posts
if you should decide to have 'waterproofing' done on the inside, research the heck out of the companies that do it, and get several references/testimonials.

i say this due to the fact that i am in the process of trying to repair my cellar 'waterproofing'. i don't know who did it as it was done before i bought the house, but due to nature, and some bad plumbing, i've got a pretty good project going on.

if you haven't read it, here it is,

just be sure you cover your bases if you go with the 'inside' job.


03:18PM | 12/12/04
Member Since: 09/27/04
11 lifetime posts
Tom and C - thanks again

I spoke to the previous homeowner tonight and he confirmed the fact that there is no foundation drain (said that our county's code only requires them for basements - pretty lame excuse). He also confirmed that he had problem with water coming under the footers in the one corner we have had issue with after rains. Something he said that didn't make sense was that for him it wasn't nescesarily after rains. Anyway, it does seem to drain back out after a few days.

A few additional questions:

1) We had to pull the insulation out due to moisture and have waited to put new insulation up to see if we had the water problem under control after Spring. Since there is continual mold down (nothing crazy) - do you all think that by not having insulation up that moisture may be hurting our subflooring?

2) I've heard that both sealing and not taping off vapor barriers recommended. Which camp is right?

3) How much of a risk would it be to ignore this problem?


11:30AM | 12/13/04
Member Since: 11/27/04
172 lifetime posts
if your crawl space is dirt and no concrete .then you can install an internal drain tile if the water is coming up from the bottom.(no need to destroy portch and gardens. done just like external tile but it goes into a sump inside to be pumped out. this will help to catch and drain the excess water under the dirt floor. and the vapor barrier needs to be sealed all around with accoustical caulk and red tuck/sheathing tape. and there is also a dimpled egg carton like material that you can put part way up the inside wall to catch any higher water to direct it into the drain tile. (just like a rain curtain). and then seal the vapor barrier to this to cut the moisture problem down quite a bit.

and no spraying of the black tar dampproofing material inside the living space of the house (crawl space). use clear ones that are for internal water proofing.


01:05PM | 12/13/04
Member Since: 12/09/03
175 lifetime posts
The inside method for a drain is O.K. However the outside drain is better. This drain will more effectively drain the groundwater from the exterior, plus the exterior wall can be better sealed here also. The drain can still be piped to a sump pump or if there's lower land than the crawlspace floor. The drain can be piped by gravity to that spot & runoff & theres no pump. C.

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