Basement Floor Waterproofing Advice?

Basement Floor Waterproofing Advice?

PostBy: Dann757 On: Tue Sep 13, 2011 11:33 am

The addition my friend had put on has caused even worse basement flooding problems than ever. It's perpendicular to the old foundation and the sloppy backfill, poor exterior foundation waterproofing, and less than ideal grading has caused rainwater to find its way into the little 15 x 15 basement. I just barely saved the basement from Irene. The walls are block, prolly 60 years old. In the past , I painted the floor dark grey then light grey as you can see.
I think if this basement floor is like the sidewalks somebody put around the property, they're very thin. Maybe 2" on top of rubble.
During the record rain, I saw water under hydraulic pressure literally geysering up out of cracks in the basement floor, and I could see the groundwater table by where water was running in through small cracks in the block walls! It started at 23" above the floor. And this was the block wall I had just put 2 coats of UGL drylok on. I've seen UGL Drylok fail more than once. I'm trying to keep the cost down on this and now that the walls are drying out, I want to put like 5 coats of Drylok on the walls.

There is a sump pit, it saved us this time, but only because we were browned out for most of Irene. The sump pump continuously operated.

Anyway, I went down there today and was seeing if I could scrape off any of the old loose floor paint (latex). I ran my Alto sander into a corner and didn't see it still had water standing there! :shock: Mopped it all up and now drying my machine bottom and the floor.

I want to use a 2 part epoxy basement floor paint. I see there are a lot of industrial epoxy floor coating places out there, but way expensive- like $750 to do this 225 sq./ft. I think there are some flexible rubber-like waterproofing products out there too.
Also thought of skim-coating the floor with sand-mix, but I think the cracks would just come through. To top off the problem, parts of the floor are soaked in 40 years of fuel oil drips from the tank that used to be there...

also thought of West System epoxy and fiberglass cloth. I think I have enough cloth, but the epoxy is mad expensive, and if I fiberglass the floor, I wonder if hydraulic pressure would break its bond and push up the fiberglass job, unless I made it boat-hull thick, again, mad expensive.

I did a 4 car garage once with Griot's Garage floor epoxy, it came out thick and very durable. Expensive though.

Just lookin for feedback; I want to rest easy the next time the water table comes up.
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What a mess

Re: Basement Floor Waterproofing Advice?

PostBy: Coalfire On: Tue Sep 13, 2011 12:11 pm

Anything you do will be a bandaid. All that stuff will push and lift. We had looked at epoxy floor coatings at the station and they asked if there are any water problems, I said no, Two companies said if there was they could not gaurentee there product.

Best thing to do is not live in the basement, keep stuff up high :)

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Re: Basement Floor Waterproofing Advice?

PostBy: steamup On: Tue Sep 13, 2011 12:32 pm

You are trying to build a inside out swimming pool or a boat. Any inside coating will not hold and either lift or crack from the pressure.

You have to deal with the water from the outside and keep it away from the foundation.

If you have a high groundwater table, then deal with removing the water. Battery backup the sump pump or better yet, get an emergency generator. Make sure you have TWO sump pumps there, one higher than the other.
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Re: Basement Floor Waterproofing Advice?

PostBy: Dann757 On: Tue Sep 13, 2011 12:48 pm

steamup wrote:You are trying to build a inside out swimming pool or a boat. Any inside coating will not hold and either lift or crack from the pressure.

Yup ya got that right. Unless I put about five layers of glass cloth to it! :D I'm trying to stick something to something that can't be stuck to. We have a generator now, but that damn addition caused these problems.
Just scraped some fresh drylok off part of the walls, it aint gonna stick to fuel oil. There's a few cracks I can deal with on the walls.

I'll have to take out some bushes and plants to put a slope on the grade outside the house, don't really have the equipment to do that. What about putting black polyethelene sheeting like 3' out from the house and burying it under a few inches of soil? I think that's probably not recommended either, I've seen that stuff deteriorate, perforate, and work its way to the surface before. Anyway, if the ground water table comes up like it did again last week, that wouldn't do anything.

The damn house is on almost level ground! Just nobody has attended to any proper grading over many years.

Addition is on the left, where it meets the original house at the corner must collect water. I attend to the gutters constantly, and their drain comes out 150' away in the woods.

I'd like to come straight out from that corner and 100' across the driveway with a 4' deep french drain. This is the 2nd Watchung Mountain, terminal morraine, clay soil, tons of trap rock underneath. We hit a boulder the size of a schoolbus when we put in the drain from my place, had to jackhammer it, luckily not too much work.

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Re: Basement Floor Waterproofing Advice?

PostBy: EarthWindandFire On: Tue Sep 13, 2011 12:54 pm

**Broken Link(s) Removed**
Never used it, but others have and they think it works as well as can be expected.
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Re: Basement Floor Waterproofing Advice?

PostBy: Dann757 On: Tue Sep 13, 2011 1:12 pm

Thanks, POR-15 for cars is pretty intense- I left a brush in a little of it overnight and the next day it was like a rock. Even went to the place years ago to get some products, it used to be in Parsippany, NJ

Re: Basement Floor Waterproofing Advice?

PostBy: Coalfire On: Tue Sep 13, 2011 2:31 pm

where the new and old join there is no splash gaurd for the spouting. Durring a heavy, rain water will come right down the roof and overun this area and you will have water draining right at the house.

A scrap piece of flashing would fix this.

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Re: Basement Floor Waterproofing Advice?

PostBy: Dann757 On: Tue Sep 13, 2011 3:15 pm

Thanks Eric, I keep an eye on those gutters, I'll go out the next time it rains and have a look. ( Hate to even think of it, still traumatized by Irene :shock: ) I should just pop rivet a guard up there anyway, they tend to collect debris though. Tree debris can collect there very quickly in that corner, and I swear two oak leaves will plug the downspout basket. I have generic screens up there now that reduce the maintenance somewhat.

It's pretty weird to use a floor sander to try and take up latex floor paint, I know, but I had some good success today running a sheet of #20 grit over it all. I threw some kitty litter under the sanding pad and ran over the oily spots, hoping it would mash the kitty litter into the oil and pick it up! Somewhat successful.

Re: Basement Floor Waterproofing Advice?

PostBy: steamup On: Tue Sep 13, 2011 5:49 pm

We had a water problem in the basement of our church but not as bad as you. We had to dig up the foundation, put footer drains in, spray water proof the foundation (no roll on crap), backfill properly. We insulated the wall on the exterior with 2" polystyrene foam while we were at it. Footer drains go to a 2' diameter piece of pipe with cover installed vertically. We can install an exterior submersible dewatering pump if needed. (sump pump).

Not a cheap solution but if you want dry, it has to be done. Based on the gyser you described, you must have had high ground water and no place for it to go. Exterior yard drains may be a solution if you can drain down hill.

Not on the floor. We did our firehall floor with a 2 part epoxy by Sherwin Williams - Macropoxy 646. It can be tinted to many different colors. Preparation is the key. We had to grind our floor to get all of the old crap off and epoxy fill the cracks.

Cost is 60 dollars a gallon but you need to buy both part a and part b. $120 for two gallons will do about 300 sqare feet. We had to do two coats. Second coat went on about 250 square feet per gallon. Overal it cost us about $1 per square foot, grinder rental included. Only thing is once it is mixed, it has to be used within the pot life or it hardens.
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Re: Basement Floor Waterproofing Advice?

PostBy: AA130FIREMAN On: Wed Sep 14, 2011 12:26 am

My parents old house was a leaker for years, they eventially had the parimeter of the inside floor dug up, drilled holes in the lower block, layed perferated pipe in the trench to a sump pump in stone and recemented, not a drop, the lady that bought the house said before Irene came, she heard the pump making noise at night so she unpluged the pump, so she had a swimming pool :( :shock: :lol: Now my place has a cement floor pored overtop of the origional floor with stone between, works :D
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Re: Basement Floor Waterproofing Advice?

PostBy: Dann757 On: Wed Sep 14, 2011 1:20 am

Thanks guys.

Man, I'd like to have the foundation dug up and proper drainage installed. I might dig up that corner by hand and see if there's cracks there. When this addition was built there was really no tough guy to see to it everything was done right. I got out of the way, it's not my place. I do not know how to manage people, especially the thugs that put the addition up. 2008.

Thing is, the place is on a flat area on top of a hill! There's plenty of lower ground to get to, but it's 50-60' feet away.
The water table is not that high, it only comes up around this 1/4 basement during extended heavy rains. There is a shallow well outside, water is usually 20-25' down.

Last spring the rains flooded the basement to 33". It ruined the boiler and hw heater. I got caught unprepared, the sump pump was unplugged, the gutters had already plugged with little helicopters....
That's why I'm trying to come up with something for the owners. This place on Ebay looks pretty promising

**Broken Link(s) Removed** ( hope it's ok to put up that link)
They have quite a few epoxy products.

This happens once a year maybe twice. The water recedes a day or two after heavy rains. Gonna put some kind of epoxy coating on that floor. I love epoxy and industry and corporations :D .

Re: Basement Floor Waterproofing Advice?

PostBy: CapeCoaler On: Wed Sep 14, 2011 10:46 am

The ONLY thing that will work is to trench the basement footer on the outside and run the drain to daylight...
A mini excavator will make it easier...
The roof drains can then be run in a seperate pipe to the down hill location...
When the foundation was dug the contractor created a bathtub in those soils...
Every time it rains the "bathtub" fills and now you need to drain that tub to daylight...
To fix the damage done by someone else...
And convince the homeowner to do it the "right way" now...
No pumps will be needed with this system...
but if you are an over builder put in a sump and run that line out with the roof drains...
Do not interconnect the roof and footer drains...
they need to have their own runs...

Edit: fixed it for ya dann757 ;)
Last edited by CapeCoaler on Wed Sep 14, 2011 12:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Basement Floor Waterproofing Advice?

PostBy: samhill On: Wed Sep 14, 2011 11:00 am

I've seen plenty of additions just put on like you were putting one box next to another & never tying the two together until they got to the roof. That's the first place I would look at, heck I guy near here kept having his water line freeze, my other neighbor,my son & myself went to dig it up for them (even older than me) & we found out that the septic tank was used as part of the footer & the line ran across the top with only about two inches of dirt. My guess was the warmth of the tank kept it from freezing all the time. No matter what a water problem like you described isn't gonna be a cheap easy fix.
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Re: Basement Floor Waterproofing Advice?

PostBy: Dann757 On: Wed Sep 14, 2011 11:06 am

There ya go Cape.

CapeCoaler wrote:When the foundation was dug you created a bathtub in those soils...

When the foundation was dug, the cheap thug subs created a bathtub, not me. This is NJ, the G.C. got the cheapest illegal subs from the urban areas. Not all spanish either.

Another bizarre Dan story. My friend/landlady has always helped me out, but her agenda comes first. She is strong willed, but got the G.C. "from the church." The guy and his bum partner were rarely on site. She ended up making all the phone calls. At the time, I was furious because I was trying to make this place next door livable enough to be comfortable. This peaceful place got turned into a construction site, I had to cut all juice to the place, picked up nails in my tires, subs hitting on me for all kinds of parts, witnessing shoddy work etc. The walk-in shower pan was badly fiberglassed and botched. It drips into the crawlspace to this day. One day I'll be tearing it all out. The plumber sent a one-eyed alcoholic to work on the fixtures, he was fired after half a day, etc, "The Horror."

The cavemen that built the addition foundation were off the boat Eastern-Europeans I think. They mixed all the concrete for the under-addition slab by hand. It's tensile strength is about that of wet tissue paper.

Anywayyyyy, the roof gutters are tied into a 3" drain line that goes into lower ground in the woods. I get not letting the gutters drain into any perimeter drain.

I had friends once that got a house in Chester, NJ. The guy was a contractor and his father owned an excavating company. The house sat on low ground and had drainage problems. That guy dug big deep French drains all over that property!

I'm sure the backfill around the addition is acting as its own French drain with no place to go! Very rocky soil here. From all the chipmunks and yellow jackets I'm sure there are a lot of voids still up against the foundation. There's proprietary foundation coatings that will stretch and withstand cracking, this place just got the roll-on foundation coating that opens right up with any cracks. :cry:

That's right Sam, not cheap or easy! My friend Yvette won't want to hear that either!

Thanks again for good advice guys !

Re: Basement Floor Waterproofing Advice?

PostBy: Rick 386 On: Wed Sep 14, 2011 11:29 am


As everyone has already told you, it must be fixed properly otherwise you will constantly be patching here and there. You need to get the water away from the foundation.

YOU know how to do it. You now have to convince the owners that they have to pay to get it done. Pay once and do it properly and have no more issues or hack the job and then bitch about it later.

Now do the job the proper way and be done with it. It is the owners job to find the funds. Why are you constantly trying to do things the cheap way to help someone out ?? All it is doing is adding to your stress level. It is not your problem how much it costs, it is their's. Plain and simple !!!!

I deal with some cheapskates here at my place. I tell them like it is. Either they want to pay to do the job properly or they can hit the freaking road. Years ago we tried to help people out and do cheap repairs. Only to have them come back later bitching that the job was starting to fail. When we reminded them that THEY OPTED for cheap, we would get blank stares as they had forgotten that part. And then would want to bad mouth us for the choices they had made.

I have been told that I am expensive. Depends on how you look at things. I can count on 1 hand and have fingers left over the number of come back repairs I have had to perform in the last 10+ years. Why ?? Because I use good materials that I know will perform and I follow their directions. If there is any failure it is not due to my negligence, it is a product failure that the manufacturer has to deal with.

Rick 386
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