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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2013

    Question Wet basement, concrete block walls, differing opinions, what do I do?

    I have a wet basement. Concrete floor (no water coming up through) and block walls, water is coming in in various places, especially corners.
    I have a quote of $6600 for an interior french drain/sump system with plastic membrane on the walls (lifetime warranty) but this doesn't stop water from coming in. There is no way to get an excavator in my backyard and no way to dig a trench along part of the back of my house where water does come in.
    I wanted to use the bsmt as a music room but am very concerned about humidity since water will still come in. I know parging just masks the problem and redirects water, resulting in new leaks.
    The house is on a hill but the back yard is pretty flat. Is grading an option? I have no idea what to do. Help?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2010

    Default Re: Wet basement, concrete block walls, differing opinions, what do I do?


    Please tell us why you ruled out excavation.

    To stop basement leaks, the repair must be done on the exterior. No other treatment is going to work. And BTW, it will be more than $6,600.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2008

    Default Re: Wet basement, concrete block walls, differing opinions, what do I do?


    I included a post at the other site that treats this topic (Finishing Basement with French Drain); if you have any photos, you can click onto the site moderator, Jack McDanial's name & he will have them displayed.

    I do agree with dj1 that the problem has to be addressed from the exterior of the building, which will mean some digging, either by machine or by hand; the price seems high, but at least get some quotes.

    In the meantime, don't ignore some of the rather obvious sources of exterior rainwater accumulating around the exterior foundation because the roof gutters are in bad shape (or missing), or the gutters don't drain into the downspouts (often because their mesh drains are clogged with leaves & debris), and the downspouts don't drain into downspout extenders, or into an underground catch basin and drywell system, or the ground adjacent to the foundation doesn't pitch AWAY from the outer walls and the runoff is accumulating at the foundation wall, and soaking in to flood the basement; it sounds like rocket science, but it's not; a lot can be done even on a diy basis to reduce or eliminate a wet basement completely.

    Most people have no idea of the tremendous amount of rainwater that falls on a roof during a rainstorm, and thus they totally ignore the reality that this "runoff" has to be collected by the roof gutter system & channeled down the downspouts to an underground drain system to a drywell/french drain, or directed away from the foundation with downspout extenders, and soil that pitches away from the foundation, concrete walkways, etc.---all that rain falling on the roof is the major cause of basement leaks; you don't have to wait until it rains, get the garden hose out and start spraying the roof, and watch what happens to the runoff---I'll bet a lot of it heads right for the basement foundation walls and soaks right in.

    I particularly like Figure A and Figure B in the site below, which shows unsloped exterior basement ground directing rain water into a leaky basement, and the rather simple solution of pitching the soil away from the foundation & putting an extender onto the house gutter downspout.

    Google "wet basement solutions diy"

    Last edited by von_steuben; 04-24-2013 at 11:56 PM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Fayette County, Ohio

    Default Re: Wet basement, concrete block walls, differing opinions, what do I do?

    I have a friend who occasionally has basement flooding during very heavy rains. He had the interior french drain/sump system installed, it took care or the flooding but it does not make the basement dry. Those type of drains only redirect the flow of water they don't solve the problem. I would not want musical instruments stored there.

    Last edited by JLMCDANIEL; 04-25-2013 at 12:58 AM.
    Be sure you live your life, because you are a long time dead.-Scottish Proverb

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