Latest Discussions : Basement & Foundation


10:09AM | 03/29/05
Member Since: 03/28/05
2 lifetime posts
Hi all,

This is a multi-part posting.

Our basement walls are cinderblock. We do not get actual water in on the floor. We do not get water running down the walls (yet!) We get those dark areas on the cinderblock after it has rained heavily. It's apparent that dampness is getting to the inside of the walls. In some areas we are getting that white residue on the walls also. Last year we had new gutters & downspouts put on. We added several additional downspouts, and had extra wide gutters and downspouts installed. That took care of the problem of the gutters overflowing during a heavy rain. We have a 90+ foot rancher, and the two original downspouts on either end could not keep up with the volumn of rain coming off of a roof that long. The downspouts carry the water away several feet from the house. Our land is flat around the house.

I have read several postings by a member here called LicensedWaterproofer. I have to agree with him in that the system that the B-Dry company promotes is not a great idea. I want to keep the water/dampness from even getting to the inside of my walls to start with. I agree that digging down the outside of the foundation walls, and treating the outside of the walls is a better answer. I don't think that that standard tar stuff that most builders use does that great of a job either. Our house is 17 years old and we bought it from someone else. After hearing about the original builder from several of the neighbors, I wouldn't be surprised to find that he didn't put anything on the outside of the foundation walls. However, we have a 90+ foot rancher, so I can only imagine the cost of having the dirt dug away down to the footers. Hubby and I keep having this argument. He doesn't want to do something that extreme. However, he wants to finish the inside of the basement. My argument is, why finish something that you know dampness is getting into?

One thing hubby is telling me is that they do not always put the drain tile around the OUTSIDE of the foundation when building a house. That sometimes the drain tile is layed on the INSIDE before pouring the floor. Is this possible? I thought the whole point of drain tiles was to carry water away from the OUTSIDE of the house, to a sump pump. We have a sump pump. I can see two big black pipes coming into the sump pump hole, on either side. The one pipe I can see where it's wet after raining, which tells me water is getting to it somehow. The other pipe always looks dry. That makes me suspicious. Is there some way of telling HOW they ran the drain tile when they built the house?

Another problem is, they put a Bilco door on the outside entrance to the basement. There is a pre-cast step unit that was put up against the house. It was sealed to the house and the Bilco doors set on top of that. There is NO drain at the bottom of the stairs. The outside doors on the Bilco are kept closed, but when it's been raining a lot, water starts to come up underneath the stairs, at the landing at the bottom, and overflows into the basement. We've checked it, and water isn't coming down the stairs. Hubby and I agree that just putting a drain hole in the bottom of the stairs won't do it. He's thinking of having a drain that drains down to where the drain tile is, so that it can carry the water away. Does this sound like a good idea?

Lastly, has anyone installed the E-Z Breathe home ventilation system in their basement? They claim it takes the place of a dehumidifier. Experiences? Thanks...


11:08AM | 03/29/05
Member Since: 03/05/04
301 lifetime posts

white residue is probably efflorescence. 'Sometimes' water-moisture can get into the cells of the blocks from direct openings...above ground through open mortar joints/cracked-porous bricks...including if someone raised grade and didnt seal bricks & mortar joints! Also from openings-cracks in and around window & door sills and caulking needs around windows `n doors,screened windows and where a central air hose/line enters the house, `n quite a few more.

These direct openings can allow water/moisture in which then can sometimes cause dampness/efflorescence `n mold etc. More times than not unfortunately the moisture/water is getting into or through basement walls from vertical/step/horizontal cracks and other openings in the Bsmt walls.

Many block walls can be/are cracked on outside....and yet the cracks are NOT visible on inside of basement.

Drain tile is on the Outside,along footing, and Inside...under floor. Least...thats the way it Should be,cant speak for the builders.

Some cities have a diagram-layout of how your drain tiles 'should' be laid under floor, maybe give them a call `n ask.

I have to say in all the years of waterproofing we have only seen 2 homes with either No drain tile or partially laid tile. What occurs a bit more is the drain tile is not placed-laid correctly...along footing! They sometimes lay it near lower part of basement wall...lolol, dont ask me why,ask the builder...and ask the city building inspector what bar he was at that day.

Let me post this `n return...


11:33AM | 03/29/05
Member Since: 03/05/04
301 lifetime posts
let me say quick that i dont mean to knock all inspectors,fact is many are quite good at what they do, especially Nachi HI`s and a few others, it must just be that 'some' of the ones around SE Mich...some are just a couple sandwiches short of a picnic.

Anyway, call your local building department and ask them if they have a diagram of how the D. tiles should be laid under your floor.

See, its not only how the tiles are sometimes not laid correctly but also the way rod holes on poured walls are not sealed-fixed fully/completely. Most have only 1 cork in the entire thickness of the wall which isnt going to last that long and also slowly disolve-degrade.Would it be too much to ask them to plug ALL rod holes when the house is being built? We are talking very lil money and its not like it`ll delay the darn job site...they can all be plugged in 1 day or less...easy!

And then we have the thought process of backfilling with all soil-dirt-clay that was excavated instead of hauling that garabge away when its already been dug out and backfilling with P stone/gravel or even sand. Have them haul all the broken blocks-bricks-concrete-cans-wood-roots etc..away! This crap does not exactly equal-and in No way provide good drainage along bsmt walls and creates MORE pressure agst walls.

I think most homeowners wouldnt mind paying a bit more to have better drainage and less pressure alongside their walls.

Then, more often than many think, the lack of care/vigilance when using heavy equipment upon backfilling which can cause walls to crack `n not bracing walls when backfilling w/ this heavy lousy garbage.

Sorry, i cant speak for ez breathe and the water by your stairs i`d have to see first hand.

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