Latest Discussions : Basement & Foundation


10:39PM | 12/10/04
Member Since: 03/05/04
26 lifetime posts
there are sooo many myths,untruths,misconceptions,misunderstanding and even lies about & why basements leak.I`ve tried to post several times regarding this..for some reason it seems some get erased...hmmmm...i`ll try again.Now this comes from a state licensed,insured 26 years of hands--on experience,not something read out of a book,actual working knowledge for 2 1/2 decades.You often hear from others and-or read that their are simple remedies to fix your seepage problem in basement like...raise the grade(ground level) or extend your downspouts,or tar-caulk along your driveway where it meets your house or dig a trench along wall or around house to divert surface water away.Now...these R means to"Divert surface water" away from house and they will divert some surface water away from house,away from the fist 1-2 feet of soil against your basement wall.Thing is, most basement walls are 5--8 feet deep so these measures will not divert all water away and keep all water away fromentire depth of bsmt walls.And what happens on longer,heavy rains..spring thaws...what happens to that amount of water..well, it goes in to the ground and accumulates,it goes into the ground and wicks(spreads) under driveways and under patios `n porches.Yes, it will get under your driveway and wick toward the house,the wall...even if your drive is properly sloped away,even if you caulked-tarred along edge of driveway.Think about it..and think about when you do use a longer extension on your downspouts,say you extended them away an extra 8--10 feet. The water is still going into the ground on longer rains and wick and accumulate and spread.So yes, trying to divert some surface water away is fine,but it doesnt and isnt the "Reason(s)" why a basement leaks. Most basements leak because there is--are either vertical-step or horizontal cracks on the outside of basement walls through which water enters and gets on your floor.Water/moisture will also enter the wall through and around where gas lines--electric enter the wall below ground. The only way you will completely keep all water from getting into the wall is to have these openings correctly sealed and backfilled on the Outside.If you only have 1 crack then thats all you need to fix from the outside. You only need to waterproof about 5 linear feet on the dont need the entire wall done or all the way around the house done as some companies will try..and try hard to sell you.Basements leak because there are"direct openings" into the house on the...outside of the house and you have to go outside and seal them,not inside.An inside water diverting method(j-hammer,drain tile) ONLY diverts water that has already entered the wall....Under the floor. It doesnt stop water from entering walls...therefore it cannot stop or prevent mold/efflorescence from growing on your wall--behind your paneling/drywall.An outside method done correctly will! And an inside method also does not take any hydrostatic pressure off the outside of walls which cause walls to bow,crack, outside method does(backfilled w/pea stone)...........cont`d.......


11:18PM | 12/10/04
Member Since: 03/05/04
26 lifetime posts raising your grade,getting longer downspout extensions,digging trenches,tarring--caulking along driveway and/or installing an inside water diverting method cannot and will not take any hydrostatic pressure off your walls(caused from tons of soil that expand & contract---and tree roots) off the outside of walls and they do not seal-waterproof the probable reason why most basements leak....Direct openings, most being cracks, but there are others. There are times when a homeowner is getting water into the basement from 1 of these reasons...loose--cracked--porous bricks that sit on top on the bsmt wall,open mortar joints,improperly installed bsmt windows and openings around bsmt windows,caulking needs around doors & where the line for an A/C unit enters the house,cracked window ledges and any other direct opening from ground level up to the roof can allow water to enter the house and wind up in the basement.So any of these..again...need to be sealed correctly from the outside, not inside. The only thing you can correctly fix from the inside are rod-holes on a poured wall...good luck with a poly-injection for a crack on a poured wall,most dont last very long because the ground-earth stills moves,shifts depending on how much water or how little water is in soil and that little bit of movement will cause any poly-inject to re-open fairly soon...which is why proper backfill(pea stone-gravel) when having an outside method done is very important,to never allow water to sit up agaisnt that part of the wall ever again.The correct way to waterproof a wall--crack is to...hand dig to footing(tiles),have all dirt/clay hauled away,scrape & wire brush the outside of the wall,seal all cracks and openings w/hydraulic cement,apply THICK tar(not the thin cheap spray on or brush on tar),apply thick visqueen over the tar and backfill w/100% pea stone all the way up to within 6-8 inches of grade,backfill rest w/top soil. Or all pea stone wherever any concrete work will be done. We hand-dig all our back hoe, no trencher, thus no need to screw up landscaping,drivway(only need 18 inch wide trench,cut out area needed w/cut-off saw),no gas lines hit and no extra pressure or movement that will come when using a backhoe. You know why B-Dry,Everdry,Instadry etc want to install an inside method for you? Well....A) because its alot cheaper for THEM, yet they still charge you a ton B) it`s a much easier and less labor intensive method...they make more money,use less materials.But remember...if you have a crack in your wall or an opening around a gas line then water/moisture is still entering your wall..they R just diverting it under your floor,they are Not stopping it from entering so they are also not preventing mold-efflorescence either and are not taking any Hydrostatci pressure off the wall.Now,most of the time they will tell you they will do a lil surface digging and install drain tile just under ground level on the outside...yeah, big deal,whats that gonna do? LoLLLLL...Nothing! And whats the cost for doing that? Almost nothing! Cant ya see whats best for your basement wall? Whats best for preventing mold and efflorescence? Whats best for taking hydrostatic pressure off your walls? Whats best for your air-quality in basement? I wish people would be more honest when they put their houses up for sale..if you have a seepage problem.......define why its leaking then fix it correctly and honestly! Don`t leave a Pre--existing problem for the next guy.Dont think that by adding top soil or extending your downspout that you...solved your leakage problem caused because there IS a crack in the wall. Don`t be talked into these myths by Home-Inspectors the way....99%-100% have Never done and guaranteed a basement waterproofing job! No actual waterprrofing experience..think about that for a minute. I`m not trying to crap on them but i gotta say...every single H. Insp`r i`ve met Thinks.....they know All about how to keep water outta yer basement.Well, how would they really know..huh? Look, i`m sure most of they inspectors are well meaning and know some things about......some things....but i`m honestly saying they missed the entire boat on waterproofing......


12:02AM | 12/11/04
Member Since: 03/05/04
26 lifetime posts
Lemme start here by saying i am not gonna be able to post All possibilities and solutions...i`ve touched upon how water gets into basements A) below ground through cracks B)above ground through several openings....and now lastly...C)the other way basements can get water on floor,usually in high water table area`s water can come up through floor drains,up through cracks in basement floor.Now...this is an entirely different problem and requires a totally different solution.If you dont have cracks in your bsmt wall(not ALL Cracks on Block Walls will appear on the inside of your basement,Yes,they can crack on the outside and look fine on the inside)..if you dont have mold--efflorescence on your bsmt walls,if you dont have bowing-buckling walls,but you do have water that comes up through cracks in the floor are most likely going to need a Sump-Pump or Pumps to try and control the water level under your floor from rising up through these cracks....most of the time this happens only on heavier-longer rains but not always. Thats what a sump pump does,that its Only control the water level under bsmt floors.Its not going to stop water from entering a wall through a crack.If you only have water coming up through a floor drain you will need an honest plumber to snake the fl. drain. You dont need anything done to your walls if these are your problems.See...defining whatis the problem is half the battle! And to do that you need honest,experienced people to help you.Now...there is a sure fire way to find out if you have a bsmt wall problem,especially for those of you who have paneling-drywall up and dont wanna tear it down to look at the walls.On a dry day take a hose and lay it on the outside of where you are getting water on your floor inside....lay it maybe 2-3 inches away from the wall,turn it on full blast(ya may have to place a brick on hose to keep it in place) and let it run for up to an hour(ya may have to go outside and move it over a few feet)..what your doing is re-creating a heavy,long rain against the basment and Nothing else(bricks,windows etc) is getting wet. If you begin to get water on your floor then you have an opening...a problem on the outside of your wall and will need to fix it correctly from outside.If you run that hose for an hour and dont leak then there is No problem with the wall and the opening(s)that are allowing water into the basement will be above ground through either porous cracked loose bricks,cracked window ledge,open mortar joints(includ`g thin small ones)screens in bsmt window or 1st floor screened window,Hose for A/C unit etc. People will sometimes say to me..well..if these openings above ground are my problem then why arent i seeing water in my living,dining room etc? Well..there`s a honest and simple answer for that too... inbetween the bricks on the outside and your living room or dining room or upstairs walls there is a......GAP...a space...from ground level all the way up to roof where water will enetr through open mortar joints etc and get into that space and drip-drop down into basement without it ever showing up on the inside of your 1st or 2nd floors.These outside openigs are also how many insects enter our homes. If an inside water diverting method was the correct way to STOP water from entering a wall then i`d have been doing that for 2 1/2 decades...but it simply does not stop water from entering....i sure would be alot richer it that was the case.Some people ask me why dont i do it anyways..the'other'guys do...well,i have to sleep-live with myself and its not the way i was brought up,not who i am.I am not gonna B S people for the sake of money,but many do and if they do care thats fine too.See..the likes of G haege being able to distort and B S to the public is just unbelievable. Lets not forget these 2-3 companies he recomends are his buddies,and they only wanna do an inside method cuz...its easier and makes them more money! Haege used to recomend Everdy on his radio show for years until he found out they got SUED soo many times in so many states that they became a bit of a burden, a compnay he wasnt gonna to cloud his precious lil name with anymore. I`ll be around from time to time....wish ya`s luck and amke sure you 'define' the problem correctly first..before you spend a dime!


12:24AM | 12/11/04
Member Since: 03/05/04
26 lifetime posts
i should have added that....if you have a wall that pretty much leaks from end to end...i mean 1 wall, and say that wall is 30 feet long and 6' deep...then the cost to waterproof it and backfill it correctly would cost between $2,150 and $2,450. I`ve too often heard haege on his radio show say we "outside" companies want $200--$300 a foot.....havent you? That is simply not true and it ****es me off, to make suck statements to the public that arent true is just B S, he is trying to help `n protect his buddy inside companies.Lets see.....lets use $200 a foot and multply that times the 30 feet...hmmm....lolll....$6,000 !!!!! And you see what i charge up at the top! And this is with a 20 year Transferable written Guarantee from me, i cant speak for any other outside company. If i was charging that much all these years i`d have about 10 houses 5 boats...well, you get the idea. And of course i`d have as many little dump trucks and lil sales cars with my company name on them as they do, as well as a nice building to work out of ta B S the public even more. Folks..cant ya see who is honest and doing whats best for your basement and who is full of it? Now....there are a "few" houses that need waterproofing done all the way around and so the cost will be determined on the linear footage. So for instance if you have a reg. sized bungalow its prolly around 110 then it`ll prolly cost between $7,700 and 8,500. The Inside companies want between $7,000 up to 15,000 + !!! And remember..they use much less in materials,pay their laborers much who you think is raking in all that extra cash? ok....just wanted to at least post a look at cost...especially versus what some people think or like haege openly says on his....MasterHandyman" show...a master handyman who has NEVER done and guaranteed a basement waterproofing job.


06:41PM | 12/13/04
Member Since: 11/27/04
172 lifetime posts
and of course you know that basements were never really designed to live in origionally. just a place to keep your preserves and cold room.

most basements are just dampproofed nowadays. water proofing is not too much more but contractors are cheap for the extra cost that would eliminate basement leakage.

drain tile installed without a filter cloth on top to stop silt plugging it up.

clay soils backfilled back in which gives very slow drainage to the drain tile. not enough rock on the drain tile to assure collecting water better.

but some old places it is far easier to do the tile on the inside due to space or structure limitations on the outside of old homes. but put the egg crate type plastic on the inside wall to catch the water of the wall.

some places want the black tar dampproofing on the inside of new homes to ensure no leaks. what a dangerous bunch they are. this stuff should never be on the inside of a house. seal them properly from the outside first.


04:05PM | 12/14/04
Member Since: 03/05/04
26 lifetime posts
agreed...when these homes are built they R still just damproofing with all B S garbage as backfill.Builders backfill w/old cans,bricks,blocks,wood...anything and everything they do not want to haul away all goes agaisnt the basements walls...what a joke.And...when they do backfill they just push all this crap into the hole with a backhoe--f.e.loader...the weight of all the dirt/clay and crap right agst the new walls And....the damproofing is a very thin application of liquid tar, not the thick tar w/no visqueen,no (or very little) pea stone.Now..imagine when all this crap and dirt finally pulls down that Thin tar and if the wall(s) were cracked cuz of the weight of pushing all the crap w/a machine(and Too soon) the crack is wide open again...ready to allow water into the basement...i see this ALL the time. Where R their minds at? Their thought process? I`m talking about the builders,the inspectors and so on..unbeliveable! New homes..imo..should be waterproofed and backfilled correctly from the onset! Everything is wide open! lolll...yeah, no way tar belongs on inside. The ONLY place i`d ever recommend an inside method is if there is a porch or additon on that section of a wall..period.These people/companies who do the inside method..imo...are just too weak,cheap,lazy or flat out(some call me stupid for not following along) stupid..think about it.What they did was think of a way where they do not have to go through the very rough and more costly outside method(and i mean more costly to the contractor)plus the insurance is a whole different cost cuz there are many more risks involved on the outside...cave-ins etc.The inside method has very lil cost and much less labor involved.The inside method as i`ve honestly stated over `n over does not take any hydrostatic pressure off the outside of bsmt does not stop water from entering bsmt walls and so it will not stop-prevent mold and efflorescence.Its the truth.All they did was find a way to"divert"(Not Waterproof) the water that has...already entered the wall from the outside and divert it under the bsmt floor.The public has been bllchtted so long...they actually believe this crap these inside companies and Haege recommend.


01:52AM | 01/15/05
Member Since: 03/05/04
26 lifetime posts
what a goofey winter in midwest. Just to go over things to look for if some of you have leakage/seepage in your basment. ONLY have water coming up through floor drain(s) then find an honest plumber and ask them to snake your floor drain(s) have cracks in your basement floor and water in coming up through them and not up through floor drain, you will most likely need a sump-pump(S) to control the water level under your basement have water coming from the Isolation joint(where the bottom of bsmt wall and floor meet)and--or water coming from the bsmt wall, then there is(are) openings on the outside of where you see water on the inside that is allowing water to enter and you better go outside and fix/seal(and ya best do it right,not some kinda cheap,inexpensive means ya might have heard on G Haege radio show) whatever there are. Most of the time these openings will be vertical,step,horizontal cracks in the basement wall,but Not Always. You can get water in your basement from...loose/cracked bricks,open mortar joints,cheap-porous bricks,screens/vents in windows,cracked window-door ledges,caulking needs around doors and windows,caulking needs around a central air hose where it enters your house etc. Do Not "assume" anything when it comes to basement waterproofing! Before you spend a want to be certain to have diagnosed the problem correctly. If you see water on your floor near/at the isolation joint and you have paneling up on the wall, then nobody can see the bsmt wall to look and see whether there is a crack in the wall or a rod hole or if water is running from the Top of the bsmt wall down onto your floor(Which will tell you the opening-the problem is Above ground level,Outside!).So it is best to either remove part of the paneling to see the wall and what is going on a hose outside on a dry day and when the bsmt floor is dry to define where the problem exists. You should run the hose pretty much full blast on the outside of where you leak inside..starting at ground level.Run the hose a couple inches away from the house(directed at the wall)and let it soak,do not let the water splash up agst a basement window or bricks.Now, you are recreating a heavy long rain but at first only from ground level down to see if the bsmt wall is the problem, if it begins to leak within an hour(usually will take 5 1/2 hr) then the bsmt wall is part or all of your problem. If it does not leak, you will need to run the hose agst a small area of bricks or agst a window etc,for about 5 minutes at a time starting from just above ground level and slowly working your way up and left `n right agst the house. You cannot do this too quickly,you have to isolate a certain area at a time.You will begin to leak when you have soaked an area that is'open'or needs tuckpointing or caulking etc. There are many times when a homeowner has 2 opening in the bsmt wall below ground AND an opening(s)above ground level


10:05PM | 01/16/05
Member Since: 03/05/04
26 lifetime posts
every article i read `n all the experts say to"Eliminate the sources of moisture"...i agree, makes sense. I`m only going to get into homes that have mold on basement walls or homes that have a leakage/seepage problem in basement,lots of other means by which mold can exist in basement. Do you agree and believe that you should stop/eliminate water from getting into your basement to prevent mold?? Why do some homeowners get talked into an "inside water diverting method"(j-hammer-drain tile)? Folks, an inside method does not stop water from entering your basement`s impossible! An inside method will at best ONLY divert water that has...already entered the basement wall, under the floor.I would say that is "Water-diverting" not waterproofing. So since water is still entering the wall...mold and efflorescence still has its lifeline to grow and breed. Does Everdry,B Dry,Insta Dry etc tell you this? Do some of these companies actually understand what they are doing? Do they care? Ever wonder why most of these companies who do an inside method place/install a sheeting against your basement wall?`s to hide `n conceal the inside of the basement wall.In 26 years of waterproofing we have never put any kind of sheeting on the inside of a wall, you shouldnt have to if you actually stopped the water from entering. An inside method will not...cannot stop water-moisture from entering on the outside of a basement wall...only an outside method can. Ya have to go outside to stop water from entering a basement wall to stop and prevent mold. "Eliminate the sources of moisture" stop--prevent mold! Example--If your Roof was leaking, would you A) stay inside the house and go up to the attic or to where water was dripping from ceiling and try and patch or inject something into the attic/ceiling to stop the water or B) go outside,get a ladder and go up on roof, and patch the hole-get a new roof....same thing goes with a basement wall. If you actually think your going to patch your attic/ceiling from the inside well,lololol,you need more help than i can give ya. I keep posting on different forums cuz year after year i see homeowners who get taken,who are lied to,and a year or 2 after having an inside method done either still leak or now are seeing 1 of their walls bowing in or buckling and--or now smell mold coming from behind the sheeting-paneling.Think about it.


04:31AM | 01/17/05
Member Since: 01/05/05
83 lifetime posts
That is a lot of good info! If you want to see why the rest of the house might leak go to You will be amazed at the shotty work that people get away with!


06:49PM | 07/29/09
Member Since: 07/24/09
1 lifetime posts
I was scanning some old posts from BasementWaterproofer and you had some great advice. My basement is unfinished so I know that my problem is NOT the wall. I only get water, and lots of it, when there is a severe storm and the ground is super saturated. All of the water comes from the north end of the home, where I have no sump pump. I am in the Chicago suburbs. I tried to run the hose last week along the N side on full blast - after 2 1/2 hrs not a drop in the bsmt! From your advice I think I need another sump pump on the N side, unless the water is somehow coming up the floor around my bsmt toilet/ejector pit. It's hard to say where it comes in but I'm guessing the joint where wall and floor meet. Unfortunately, a portion of the N wall is abutted by the garage, making it inaccessible. If anyone has any ideas for me I would love to get some advice - and I'm thankful for the earlier warning NOT to have interior drain tiles installed. Finally, I'm sure we have serious hydrostatic pressure underground, because my two sump pumps on the S end run very often, rain or not. thank you.


03:23AM | 06/08/18
Lengthy but important topic, Thanks for sharing your knowledge,

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12:55PM | 09/05/18
Member Since: 09/05/18
3 lifetime posts
Can a very large driveway crack (s) that has made driveway concrete sink and lean towards the basement be the cause for water in basement? We only get water with very heavy downpours and only on one wall. We have been in house for years and never had water issues before, except last 1 1/2 - 2 years. I can't say how long driveway crack has been there; it started as a crack and has now sunk as wall. Multiple cracks I should add. We do have drain tile under that wall we believe. Interior wall where foundation meets garage wall. From post above I don't want to install a interior drain tile if fix could be driveway crack repair or snake drain tile. I really hope @BasementWaterproofer sees this to give me their opinion as well as any one else with experience/knowledge.

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