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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    5

    Default Why don't we have plinths around houses

    Why don't we have plinths around houses in the US

    In Indo-Pakistan subcontinent most houses have a plinth around the house to protect the foundation.

    Plinths are an exterior two foot wide brick & plastered cement barrier all around the house that keeps the water away from the foundation wall, thus keeping water damage from occuring to the foundation.

    Many of us have basement water problems, why not copy or invent a better plinth to keep our basements dry?

    An idea I have is to use a vertical (6 - 8 foot deep) and a horizontal (2 foot wide) metal panel to act as a modern day plinth and keep the basements of our old houses dry. The metal can be aluminium to prevent rust and the whole thing can be covered with grass or gravel.

    An additional benefit would be to stop roots from comming near the foundation.

    Are there any civil engineers or architects who can comment on this?
    Last edited by DaudSharif; 08-16-2008 at 11:00 AM. Reason: Minor addition and correction.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    1,663

    Default Re: Why don't we have plinths around houses

    Their are plenty of ways to waterproof basements, including membranes, drainage boards, drain tiles, sumps, bentonite, gravel, proper grading, etc. Of course they have to be done properly to be effective & often it isn't.
    We don't have monsoons to deal with for the most part like India. If the purpose is to keep flowing water away from the foundation, it's probably necessary there if proper grading can't do the job. Do they build basements there? I doubt it.
    How would the panels be attached to each other to be watertight? What would keep them from moving over time? What about ground water coming up?
    A barrier is a good idea, but I think it is better suited at the basement wall rather than away from it.
    PS. Is the plinth there to keep snakes & other critters out?
    Last edited by ed21; 08-16-2008 at 12:04 PM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    5

    Default Re: Why don't we have plinths around houses

    Thanks for the reply.

    Can I have some links to "membranes, drainage boards, drain tiles, sumps, bentonite, gravel, proper grading"

    I have thought about putting French drains around the house but I hear they clog over time (and who has time).

    Regarding he aluminium plinth idea: they can be linked together in one of the usual ways and the top portion can just sit like a roof though burried in the ground.

    If the vertical section of the plinth is few feet deeper than the foundation, then it may restrict water seeping up from the basement floor. More thought needs to go into this aspect. Perhaps even a deep burried French drain with a sump pump may be needed for acute problems.

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