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  1. #11
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    Default Re: leaky foundation

    I recall a previous restoration project home where there was a stone foundation with moisture issues.
    The professional foundation contractor had rectified the situation that seemingly been almost impossible to resolve. I had the opportunity to talk to him about this.

    The first issue was the soil in this case is a gumbo clay that retains moisture like crazy. This gumbo clay when it becomes saturated and with the force the soil exerts on the foundation creates what is known as hydrostatic pressure.

    The second issue is poor drainage which compounds the situation by allowing the soil around the foundation to become saturated and with the pressure of the soil forces to water to go somewhere … path of least resistance… the foundation. After many years of the stone foundation being subjected to this the mortar breaks down and will create a path for water to infiltrate.

    The method he used was to carefully excavate the entire perimeter of the foundation to the footings. He repaired the joints of the stones then used a spray on specific industrial water proof membrane ( not damp proof coating ). A dimpled sheet product called Platon Foundation Protector, which is an excellent product, then covered this. Here is a link to their site : http://www.systemplaton.com/.
    This did have it’s challenges because of the unevenness of the stone foundation compared to the relative flat surface of a concrete block or poured foundation.

    They laid an exterior perimeter weeping system encased with fabric. In this case because of local building code restrictions these weepers were tied into an interior sump pit with a large capacity sump pump to evacuate the water accumulated. The trench was lined with a commercial grade ground cloth then stone was used to fill the trench to approximately two feet below finished grade with the ground cloth laid over top. Then topsoil was used to bring it up to grade for allowing bedding plants to be used. The purpose of the ground cloth is to prevent soil from migrating in plugging the voids of the stone and preventing water to percolate through to the weepers.

    I asked why he didn’t approach doing it from the inside like other contractors proposed.
    He explained the idea is address the source of the moisture and to prevent it from coming from the outside to the inside. He went on to explain that he would never do an interior method of drainage , unless something prevented addressing the issue from the outside. His logic is it doesn’t make sense to allow to moisture to penetrate from outside to the inside. For example allowing the water to flow from the outside under the footing to the inside and then drain it away could cause undermining of the footing … it doesn’t make sense.


    Another perspective … food for thought.

  2. #12
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    Default Re: leaky foundation

    Canuk....good synopsis, one comment/question.....

    Is it allowable in your locale to tie the "weepers" to an external drywell / pump system or run a drain to daylight (terrain permitting) to get rid of the water rather than the internal sump pit? Or is the code to tie it to an internal pump always used?

    I would personally rather have the pump on the outside for the outside "weepers" (this is the way I set our perimeter drain system). I also placed "weepers" on the inside under the basement slab which run to an inside sump pump. It seems odd to bring outside water inside on purpose if you don't have to. I'm surprised insurance companies haven't written in a loophole for them to avoid payouts in such a situation. (maybe they have already)

  3. #13
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    Default Re: leaky foundation

    Is it allowable in your locale to tie the "weepers" to an external dry well / pump system or run a drain to daylight (terrain permitting) to get rid of the water rather than the internal sump pit? Or is the code to tie it to an internal pump always used?
    The code is internal sump pit plain and simple.

    Here in this area we are famous and blessed ( or cursed ) with a gumbo clay. It saturates with water very easily so it doesn't drain well. That's why we don't have dry wells ( or french drains as some people like to refer to them ) it wouldn't allow the water to percolate from the dry well.

    I'm trying to understand the external pump system that you mention. In this area the topography is flat as a pancake so there really no elevation change between the front to back of the house for example. I guess what I'm saying we have no hills here. Besides the temperature in the winter months would freeze the pump and it's plumbing.

    Because the gumbo clay retains moisture and depending on how wet it gets throughout the fall months the weepers can still be trickling into the winter until the ground frost gets deep enough to freeze the moisture in the ground.


    It seems odd to bring outside water inside on purpose if you don't have to.
    I understand what your saying.
    In the older homes the external perimeter weepers run into the the floor drain sump and discharged out to the city sewer system. So it always was brought in ( so to speak ) but now the city realizes that it doesn't need to process this volume of water as well. Besides in the spring there is huge amounts of water from the snow thaw and that over taxes the sewer system.

  4. #14
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    Default Re: leaky foundation

    I'll try to describe the external pit & pump I mentioned. My lot has some drop to it, but not enough to run a pipe at footer level to daylight so I came up with this solution rather than bringing outside water into the house. We also have clay, not sure if it is gumbo or not, but we have the red variety down to about 5-10' and then the white kind. Our septic drainfield had to go down 14 - 16' to get past the clay and into the gravel.

    Because of a leaky basement wall on the house we bought I had to dig to the footer, reparge and coat the outside of the wall. I laid two 4" perforated pipes at the footer and covered with the recommended stone/fabric. At the "road" end of the ditch, I don't have enough "fall" in the lot to run the perforated pipes to daylight to drain. So I extended my ditch and the perf. pipe from the house about 8', going down to about 10' total so the water would collect here instead of against the house.

    I again put stone at the bottom of this trench. I placed a 2' diameter drain pipe (usually you see them under a driveway spanning from one side to another at the ditch at the road) vertically at the end of this extended trench. I ran electric to and installed a pump in this vertical pipe. I pump the water from this outside "sump pit" rather than bring it in the house to pump it out. I pump it into a line that is buried and can then run to daylight.

    As far as freezing, the water in the pit has never froze. We are not as cold as you, but have had stretches of 30 days where it never got above freezing and temps at night could drop to 0 - 10F. I of course keep the top covered which must be holding enough ground heat to keep it liquid. Early on, I had an issue sometimes with the water in the outlet line freezing, but once I got the line buried it hasn't been a problem.

    It has worked fine for about 12 years now. I recently replaced the pump when the float switch started failing intermittently. By the way, SWMBO wanted a stand with a lighthouse on it to disguise the top of the 2' pipe, so it doesn't look too ugly.

    Where do you folks discharge your internal pumps? It sounds like the newer homes don't put it into the city sewer any more.

  5. #15
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    Default Re: leaky foundation

    Yea ... those building authorities.

    The internal sump pumps are plumbed with rigid piping from the basement pit to the outside which the discharge flows through an extension hose extending no less than 8 feet to the dwelling then basically onto the yards. I've seen homes without the extension hoses and the home owners can't under stand why their sump pump is continually running.

    I myself use the water from the sump pump for watering plants and trees around the yard ... it's good clean water and it's free ( so to speak ). There are times when the soil around the foundation dries out too much it shrinks and leaves gaps between the soil and foundation so I'll use this water to moisten the soil to close the gaps. We are kinda known for watering our houses ... I know it sounds odd but true.
    Last edited by canuk; 09-09-2007 at 06:57 PM.

  6. #16
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    Aug 2007
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    21

    Default Re: leaky foundation

    Around here it is discharged into a seperate storm drain. No Sewage is allowed.
    Many older subs did mix both and this has led to overflows of treated sewage into the rivers. The seperate systems drain into retention ponds which hold the water and release it at a slower stage to prevent overflowing of rainwater and it gives the ducks and geese a place to swim for a while

  7. #17
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    Default Re: leaky foundation

    Around here some of new developments will have the retention ponds as well but only for storm drains from the streets.

    And believe me especially this time of year those Canadian Geese are growing in numbers at those ponds.

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