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Sealing up the Basement Shop

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Forum topic by DannyBoy posted 07-30-2008 10:16 PM 3621 views 0 times favorited 14 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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DannyBoy

521 posts in 3987 days


07-30-2008 10:16 PM

Topic tags/keywords: resource question shop basement sealing radon seal

I’ve put it off long enough. I couldn’t sleep last night while it rained and I kept thinking that the water table was rising and something in my basement shop was going to get wet. Just the moisture content alone was scaring me awake every hour. I must have walked downstairs a dozen times to double check that everything was out of the spots that usually get wet first.

So, I need a little advice on this to make sure what I do gets it done and I don’t have any more crappy nights like this. Here is what I am up against:

- Dugout basement (about a decade after the house was built)
- A few already sealed cracks in walls, ledges, and footings.
- Uneven and unlevel floor
- A sump pump that seems on the high side of some of the puddles that generally form
- a few small cracks that ooze water (I can literally hear air coming up through them as the water table rises)

If I remember tonight, I’ll take a few pics of the basement and post them up to show you the general layout. I think it is unique in that there are ledges along all the sides that are about three foot tall and three foot deep. The back of the ledge is the original foundation. I’m gathering that this was normal for how you dug out a basement back in the day.

I’m planing on the DIY job for this. I can’t pour concrete worth a damn, but I know how to work a paint brush or a sprayer so I don’t want to pay extra for someone’s particular expertise on those two skills. So far, I’m looking pretty closely at Radon Seal as a sealer. They also have some crack fix and injection kits available that work will with that product.

Any hints, tips, tricks, or product suggestions?

~Danny Boy

-- He said wood...http://hickbyassociation.blogspot.com/


14 replies so far

View SteveKorz's profile

SteveKorz

2134 posts in 3836 days


#1 posted 07-30-2008 10:32 PM

I helped my neighbor years ago dry up his basement, but his water was coming in where the floor meets the wall, all the way around. We took a concrete blade on an old skilsaw circular saw and cut a channel in the floor, then installed a 1/4 of a PVC pipe around the base of the basement (like quarter round trim or beaver channel). Then, all the water ran in the PVC pipe to the sump pump. That dried it up…. but you have a different situation.

Have you tried the HomeRefurbers site? If not, that would be my next stop.

The only other direction that I can give you is this or this .... sorry Dan…

—Steve.

-- As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another. (Proverbs 27:17) †

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Kevin

291 posts in 4080 days


#2 posted 07-30-2008 10:54 PM

Steve, That Sani-Tread looks like a pretty neat system. This would be the way to go if it works as well as they claim.

If you have cracks in your walls, you can do what I did. I used some hydraulic cement to seal them and have not had a leak since. You carve out a slot, kinda like a sliding dovetail joint all along the crack. Then pack the hydraulic cement into it. As it cures it expands and eleminates the gap. Mix up only a small amount at a time as this stuff will harden in 5 minutes or less. FYI – it gets pretty hot when you mix it, use rubber gloves.
I assume this method would work on the floor as well.

-- Kevin, Wichita, Kansas

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Kevin

291 posts in 4080 days


#3 posted 07-30-2008 10:55 PM

Of course, the best way to fix the walls is to do my afore mentioned method on the inside, the outside, and then coat the outside of the walls with a water proof membrane. Requires a lot of digging though.

I don’t like shovels that much, so I just did the inside.

Also make sure you have proper drainage away from the house. It won’t help against a rising water table, but will help against the single rain shower.

-- Kevin, Wichita, Kansas

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DannyBoy

521 posts in 3987 days


#4 posted 07-30-2008 11:02 PM

I just finished reading up on the Sani-Trend stuff. It does look like it would work great. It even addresses some of the issues that I was concerned about. The only problem is the cost: $100 a gallon (which only covers 240sqft). Comparing it to the Radon Seal: about $3,400 to fix with ST; about $400 to fix with RS.

Sani-Trend will have to really win me over to shell out that much more for their product.

~DB

-- He said wood...http://hickbyassociation.blogspot.com/

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lew

12270 posts in 3877 days


#5 posted 07-31-2008 05:08 AM

Danny,

Not to rain on your parade- pun intended- but as someone who has a basement work shop and also lives in an area where the water table can also rise far enough to cause sleepless nights; tightly sealing your basement has certain hazards.

When hurricane Agnes came thru Pennsylvania, we had 4 feet of water in our basement. All of the water was from the rising water table. The fire department came to pump us out 3 times. Each time the emptied the basement, water squirted in thru the cinder blocks like little holes in a dam. When they arrived the 3rd time someone mentioned that the pressure on the outside of the foundation might push in the walls. We elected to let mother nature empty the basement- this would keep the pressure equal inside and out.

In our area there are several companies that specialize in placing a drainage system inside of the basement- around the foundation perimeter. This is connected to a super sump pump. The idea is to remove the water before it can build up around the foundation. I doubt if it would work in a hurricane situation but it does seem to work for the “ordinary” situations. Yes, it is expensive. Several $1000’s.

Lew

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View brunob's profile

brunob

2277 posts in 4291 days


#6 posted 07-31-2008 05:15 AM

I put a small trough around the inside of my basement wall. Water comes in one side and out the other.

-- Bruce from Central New York...now, if you'll pardon me, I have some sawdust to make.

View SteveKorz's profile

SteveKorz

2134 posts in 3836 days


#7 posted 08-01-2008 07:09 AM

$3,400… yikes. There comes a point though…. if you need it dry, then you need it dry. I would have to ask them what kind of guarentees that they would have, or if you could install it (or if they have to have someone that is trained install it for a guarentee). If they have a warrenty, it still might be your best bet. Have a general contractor quote you a price on a garage the size of your basement and that might put things in prespective…. lol.

All kidding aside, I hope you find what you’re looking for, something that works in your price range. Just the water in your home alone can reak serious havok and bring lots of problems. Whatever you decide to do, let us know.

-- As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another. (Proverbs 27:17) †

View Timber4fun's profile

Timber4fun

218 posts in 3722 days


#8 posted 08-01-2008 06:51 PM

Drain tile on the exterior might be the key for you. The idea is that you want to catch and channel the water away from the house altogether. It then doesn’t have a chance to enter the basement. Might be worth investigating.

-- Tim from Iowa City, IA

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SteveKorz

2134 posts in 3836 days


#9 posted 08-01-2008 07:19 PM

Tim is right, if you have positive drainage away from the house, and it slopes away steeper than your basement is deep, then I would certainly consider natural drainage FIRST. If it is not steeper than your basement is deep, then I would consider using a sump, either external from the house (in a maintenance well) or reinstalling a new one in the lowest point on your basement floor. That still leaves a lot of moisture for your tools though. At that point, you may want to consider using the $400 paint sealer.

Keep us informed.

—Steve

-- As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another. (Proverbs 27:17) †

View DannyBoy's profile

DannyBoy

521 posts in 3987 days


#10 posted 08-01-2008 07:35 PM

My only issue is that I’d rather avoid doing any excavation around the house if possible. My wife and I were discussing this a few days ago too and we decided that there are a few things that we are going to do that involve minimal digging but are still drainage solutions rather than interior solutions.

One is putting a guard on the gutters to prevent them from clogging so easily. Also, speaking of the gutters, putting a pipe out to the road (buried of course) that connects with the drain. Those for sure are gong to happen.

We are also considering, since there will be a bit of digging there anyway, putting in a drain in an area where water pools a lot. I’ve done this work with my father before and know that it isn’t too back breaking if you DIY.

Long term, we are still going to seal the interior of the basement. There is enough concern for the house (not just the shop) that this needs to be done.

Next year promises to be a long home improvement year for us. (Right after we pay of this last car loan and start into it debt free!)

~DB

-- He said wood...http://hickbyassociation.blogspot.com/

View Timber4fun's profile

Timber4fun

218 posts in 3722 days


#11 posted 08-01-2008 08:52 PM

DannyBoy – you sound like Dave Ramsey (debt free comment). Sounds like you have your head on straight. Good luck.

-- Tim from Iowa City, IA

View SteveKorz's profile

SteveKorz

2134 posts in 3836 days


#12 posted 08-02-2008 12:09 AM

Good luck Dan… My wife and I are on that debt free road too… and next year is a home improvement year for us. It feels good to almost get rid of the debt…

-- As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another. (Proverbs 27:17) †

View KYSean's profile

KYSean

119 posts in 3718 days


#13 posted 08-02-2008 09:26 PM

I wonder if your insurance company would pay for a fix.

-- http://editedwrite.com

View Christopher's profile

Christopher

576 posts in 4042 days


#14 posted 08-02-2008 09:58 PM

Debt free? Is that legal?

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