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Thread: Water wicking through basement slab

  1. #1
    DIY Member Lightwave's Avatar
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    Default Water wicking through basement slab

    What's the best approach to dealing with water intrusion through the slab in a basement?

    This is a house built into bedrock on the side of a mountain. One side of the basement is below grade while the other is at grade. The basement is finished with carpet and no signs of water intrusion through the below-grade wall. The carpet is always clammy to the touch and gets damp to wet if it is covered (i.e. evaporation blocked). Due to the slope of the mountain, surface water drains towards the house on the east side and away from the house on the west. The interior dampness problem effects the entire floor rather than just near a wall or on the east side.

    What species of contractor, or engineer, should I bring in to have a look at this?

    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    Default

    You may need an exterior drain installed on the uphill side of the house to channel away groundwater. You may also want to look into some of the engineered, interlocking floor panels. These have a plastic dome arrangement on the underside to allow air movement, and ply on top to attach your finished flooring. Unfortuneately, it does raise the floor level more than a little, which can be a pain for thresholds to outside or stairways. Also, if you don't have a sump and pump, that may lower the hydrostatic pressure and prevent it from migrating up through the slab. There is little you can do from the top of the slab to prevent water intrusion...that pressure will delaminate most anything you apply over time. I'd seek assistance from some local specialists...I'm definately not one of them!
    Jim DeBruycker
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    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  3. #3
    General Contractor Carpenter toolaholic's Avatar
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    Default Jad is right

    Shoulda kooda done drainage when building. Play around with miracle fixes,and pee away $$$$$$$, or DOO it right. Need to excavate at least rear wall and 1 side wall. waterproff membrane, 4" perf pipe gravel ,filter fabric. All down leaders tite lined to daylite outfall. good luck

  4. #4
    G.C. 22+ years(in 3 states) Old Dog's Avatar
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    Default wet basement...

    The goal is to keep water from getting in.As other posters have said the best time is during construction."That ship has already sailed."
    You need to find an experienced waterproofing contractor who specializes in wet basement solutions.The ideal canidates do their own trenching,grading,
    drainpipe installs.Basically,they do the whole job start to finish.
    Try to get a couple of bids and check out their credentials.
    I would suggest doing a little research.Google "basement waterproofing".That way you know what the project entails...Good luck!

  5. #5
    Jack of all trades frenchie's Avatar
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    It sounds like they didn't put a vapor barrier under the slab...

    Ditto what JadNashua & Toolaholic said about trying to fix it by coating the inside. The miracle fixes don't work.

    When you're looking for the right contractor, this will help eliminate the hacks. Anyone who tries to sell you anything like that, you can cross them off your list, and ignore any advice they try to give you.

    There's going to be guys near you who specialize in foundation work. Have a few of them out to look at it. It's hard to say without seeing it, and they'll be familiar with your local conditions.

    You'll need to dig down & install drainage, maybe some re-grading... hard to say over the 'net.
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  6. #6
    General Contractor Carpenter toolaholic's Avatar
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    Default when You get down to the footing

    Paraseal membrane is the way to go.It contains Betonite clay I've used with great success on Res homes ,and Hi risers. Opera plaza S.f.

    Tremco is the Co.

    Site is www.tremcosealants.com

  7. #7
    G.C. 22+ years(in 3 states) Old Dog's Avatar
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    Default miracle fixes...

    Quote Originally Posted by frenchie
    It sounds like they didn't put a vapor barrier under the slab...

    Ditto what JadNashua & Toolaholic said about trying to fix it by coating the inside. The miracle fixes don't work.

    When you're looking for the right contractor, this will help eliminate the hacks. Anyone who tries to sell you anything like that, you can cross them off your list, and ignore any advice they try to give you.
    This advice is spot on!!The goal "ALWAYS" is to keep the water out of the walls,not let it travel thru and be "STOPPED" with 20 mils of some type of water resistant material.Anyone who tries to "sell" you on the idea does not have your best interest at heart!!

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