Re: basement, leaks and insulation
Years ago, a farmer went into his field, dug a hole and prayed to God that it would fill up with water for his cows. He called it a watering hole. Then a housing developer bought the farm, dug a hole on the same land and prayed to God that it would stay dry. He called it a basement.
The obvious advantages of having a basement -- doubles the space -- a logical place for utilites and storage
Now, the method and material the foundation is constructed plays into moisture issues.
The obvious old stone or brick foundations leak because of the mortar joints failing --- they're not waterproof to begin with.
Concrete block are pretty much the same as above with mortar deterioration as well as cracking.
Poured concrete is commonly plagued with infiltration from rusted out form ties.
The convential concrete foudation use forms placed as such to form a mould in which the concrete is poured into. These forms are held together using metal ties which are simply snapped off flush with the wall once the forms are removed.
Over time the remaing portion of the metal tie within the concrete rusts and rots away --- leaving a hole from the exterior to interior --- several ties means several little holes.
Regardles of what material the basement is constructed with ---- the outside soil exerts a considerable amount of pressure ( thousands of pounds per square inch ) against the foundation -- the moisture within this soil is being forced into the foundation ( hydrostatic pressure ) and will pentrate through masonary surfaces by capillary action -- any weakness or holes with allow water to infiltrate quicker because of path of least resistance --- more moisture in the soil the more water in the basement.
Water control at the exterior of the home --- proper landscaping having a negative slope away from the foundation -- gutters and downspouts extended far away from the home --- are two simple things preventing the soil becoming too saturated and moisture infiltration from hydrostatic pressure.
The foundation ----- a perimeter drain to take away the water within the soil away relieving the hydrostatic pressure.
A proper waterproofing system applied to exterior surface of the foundation prevents water contacting the walls.
These two combined have pretty much eliminated water infiltration issues in basements.
"" an ounce of perception -- a pound of obscure "