• Drying That Wet Basement

  • Drying That Wet Basement

    September 27, 2017 | Blog
  • Why Is The Basement Wet?

    wet basement

    Water makes its way into a basement because of insufficient drainage near the foundation and because the foundation itself may be damaged or cracked. The poor drainage traps water next to the foundation. The cracks and holes allow that trapped water to enter the foundation. Thus, the solution is to improve drainage and waterproof the foundation. In many cases, this process involves straightening the foundation walls, as the pressure from saturated soil sometimes pushes walls in and opens cracks even wider.

    Such was the case in a basement that we recently repaired. The homeowner wanted to remodel the house, but first needed to fix a persistent moisture problem in the basement. The instant we arrived on the scene, the problem was obvious. There was poor drainage around the foundation perimeter and the basement walls were damaged from all of the water pressure on it.

  • What's The Solution?

    The first order of business was to get the pressure off the basement walls. We excavated all the way down to the building footer so that the exterior walls were entirely exposed. We then applied pressure to the walls from the inside so that they moved back into place. This process of pushing walls back into plum has the effect of closing up many of the cracks that formed over time. We simultaneously added a series of steel beams to the interior wall in order to hold it in place after we let the pressure off, thus keeping the walls plum and the cracks closed.

    Once the work on the interior walls was done, we could then focus on the exterior walls. We pressure washed the exterior in order to prepare the surface for a waterproofing treatment. We applied a durable liquid rubber to the exterior of the wall. We also installed a perforated drain tile along the footer. This drain tile will give the water an exit from the foundation. The final step was to backfill around the foundation with washed gravel. This final step is the one that is most commonly overlooked, and yet it is also the most crucial part of ensuring good drainage around a foundation.

    The remodel commenced once our work on the foundation was done. Not surprisingly, the basement has remained dry and the homeowner ended up with the house she dreamed of. All's well that ends well.