06:22PM | 07/21/05
Member Since: 07/20/05
3 lifetime posts
I need help with a wet basement. I recently took possession of a house built in 1971. The basement is wet. Part condensation and I assume part leaking. The wooded backyard slants downhill toward the house and the gutters are clogged (I am cleaning those, don't worry). The last few weeks have had high humidity and the basement has that musty smell.

I will be pulling up the carpet and pulling off drywall against an exterior wall and tear down an interior wall that has mold on the bottom inch or two. There is a concrete slab on the floor, no vapor barrier or anything. What would you recommend to help with the fighting condensation and any leakage from the wall? I was going to paint the wall and floor with Drylok and put a vapor barrier down. Would this be a good idea or bad? A guy who was measuring for carpets thought it was a bad idea because the water "would have no where to go". He suggested putting the new carpet (and pad) right back down on the concrete slab. Suggestions?

Finally, in order to avoid water cause damage to interior walls that I replace, is there something I can install to "lift" the frame above the water level should water get in? (I'm not talking about a jack, but more of a way to build the wall on stilts so the wood doesn't come in contact with the wet floor?

Perplexed in NJ.

Perplexed in NJ


06:25PM | 07/21/05
Member Since: 07/20/05
3 lifetime posts
I forgot to mention that I am building a swale and other things outside to help divert water. Questions related to that project are here:


Perplexed in NJ


07:20PM | 07/21/05
Member Since: 04/25/05
1915 lifetime posts
You idea with the swhale is good one. One other detail is that you want to pipe the downspouts away also, if they are already down.

A friend of mine similar house. However the previou owners did not fix the outside problems and installed a sump and drain pipe in the slab.

But the water still stood against the outside until it froze and cracked the foudnation.

I would remove the moldy carpet and DW. Then run a dehumidifier.

If possible wait a year for several months upto the next rainy season.

Then you can do a test by putting a 2 ft square of plastic on the wall and tape up all edges with duct tape. Wait a day. If you get beads on moisture on the outside you have condensation.

If you have them under the plastic is caused by moisture moving through the concrete.

Do that both on the walls and floor.

On my friends (after the exterior drainage had been fixed and structural supports where added to support the foundation I finished the basement by glueing foam sheets to the walls and sealing them top, bottom and edge to edge with foam. That keeps the relatively warm moist air from contacting the cool concrete and condensing.

Then built a wall infront of it and put on DW.

And put BASEMENT in the search.
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