Sealing up the Basement Shop

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Topic by DannyBoy posted 07-30-2008 11:51 PM 2939 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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2 posts in 3343 days

07-30-2008 11:51 PM

Topic tags/keywords: resource question basement remodeling concrete

I posted this same topic at lumberjocks. Figured it would be good to do here too.

I’ve put it off long enough. I couldn’t sleep last night while it rained and I kept thinking that the water table was rising and something in my basement shop was going to get wet. Just the moisture content alone was scaring me awake every hour. I must have walked downstairs a dozen times to double check that everything was out of the spots that usually get wet first.

So, I need a little advice on this to make sure what I do gets it done and I don’t have any more crappy nights like this. Here is what I am up against:

- Dugout basement (about a decade after the house was built)
- A few already sealed cracks in walls, ledges, and footings.
- Uneven and unlevel floor
- A sump pump that seems on the high side of some of the puddles that generally form
- a few small cracks that ooze water (I can literally hear air coming up through them as the water table rises)

If I remember tonight, I’ll take a few pics of the basement and post them up to show you the general layout. I think it is unique in that there are ledges along all the sides that are about three foot tall and three foot deep. The back of the ledge is the original foundation. I’m gathering that this was normal for how you dug out a basement back in the day.

I’m planing on the DIY job for this. I can’t pour concrete worth a damn, but I know how to work a paint brush or a sprayer so I don’t want to pay extra for someone’s particular expertise on those two skills. So far, I’m looking pretty closely at Radon Seal as a sealer. They also have some crack fix and injection kits available that work will with that product.

Any hints, tips, tricks, or product suggestions?

~Danny Boy

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15 posts in 3029 days

08-12-2010 01:05 PM

I have a similar, though not as severe, situation. From the reading that I’ve done, and comments online, it sounds like putting drainage tile in is the common solution to a lot of these problems. In new construction, frequently the tile is laid beneath where the basement floor will go, preventing any of this from happening. In our case, where it’s existing old construction, there are two ways you can go after the problem: dig around the outside of the foundation, and lay drainage tile around the perimeter to keep water away from the foundation, or lay drainage tile in the basement, angled to drain in your sump. Either one is a big job. If I ever get around to working on it, I’m going to go the second route – breaking up a section of the floor in the basement to lay tile to the sump.

Hope that helps some! Maybe at this date, you’ve already remedied the situation.

View donbee's profile


4 posts in 3099 days

08-12-2010 03:02 PM

I have an ancient (206 yrs) house with a laid up stone foundation that is nearly impossible to seal against water infiltration (read “pouring in”). The main source of water coming into basements is rain pouring off roofs. Even with a gutter system, the ground outside the basement can become soaked enough to raise the pressure outside the foundation.

Nevertheless, I solved the problem by diverting the rainwater outside the foundation.
I dug a shallow trench about 24” deep which has a vee shape. The trench was then lined with a heavy polyethylene film. After that a plastic drainage tile (the kind with holes along the sides) was laid in the trench and leading to 2 dry wells, one for each side of the house.
Gravel was poured in to cover the pipe which allows the rainwater to flow down to the pipe.

I can tell you that all but the most heavy downpour is drained away from the foundation and the basement stays dry. In the worst rainstorms a little seeps in but I have no big puddles anymore.

This method may be used along with other techniques to give yo a totally dry basement.

I hope this helps.


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1 post in 2594 days

08-18-2010 08:42 PM

My dad, brothers, and I did this to a home we bought in Ketchikan, Alaska (rain capitol of the world). We dug past the basement foundation, cleaned the outer concrete wall and put on roof seal tar and heavy mil plastic. Then laid drainage pipe plumbed away from the home, filled with a layer of gravel, probably 12” or so, then back filled with leftover dirt.We never had so much as a drop come in after that. We sold the house in the early 80’s, i rented the basement (years later) that had been converted into an apartment. Dry as a well in Death Valley on the 4th of July! You will want to deal with that ASAP due to the possibility of mold growth….dangerous stuff!

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