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1900 Stone Foundation without footings


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PLEASE no shoulda, coulda, woulda. I have a situation that I need advise on. There is a similar situation that was posted on here, but the only advise was don't, and I already did, so...

I bought an old house and totally renovated it. Early on I made the decision to go with radiant heat to keep the basement open so I could finish it off (big expense), because it has a walk out to my pool. The basement was not very wet. It had a few issues with water coming through the wall. I had a company come in and install a perimeter drain system designed to have a vapor barrier that will let that water come off the wall and go behind a flange into the drain. It worked well, except there were areas within the room that were still damp from water wicking through the floor. (see pix). The contractor guaranteed a dry basement and ended up refunding me because those areas were from degradation of the concrete over time, and admitted he should have recognized that when he initially came out. Moving forward... after having several masons came out, they all agreed I would need a new floor, and could re-use the drain system already there. It's the one on the left... https://waterproof.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/Waterproof-Product-Catalog.pdf . Part of my willingness to go with a new floor was I wanted the floor leveled because towards the back (the uphill side), it gradually rose to 4" higher ( a layer was added on top of the original at some point). So they needed to dig down 4" in part of the basement and level the whole floor.

I hired a mason, they removed the floor, and determined there is not a footing under the foundation (they already suspected or knew that). But he other thing now is that the existing concrete floor varied in thickness and was only 2" to 3" think. So they had to go down another inch to allow 4" for the floor, 3" for the stone, and in the back area another 4" to level it. It was a lot of work but is done.

Issue- now the mason is saying he is concerned about digging deeper around the perimeter for the drain system, and undermining the foundation because they have already dug down an additional 4-8" from where it was. He is actually asking ME what I think! The homeowner! Now I am scared, and am furiously searching online on what to do. Below is a picture of the system. The problem being 1) there is no footing, and 2) we are adding 3" of stone that needs to go in because the dirt has already been dug out.

Question #1 - looking at that diagram, what should be done? That diagram shows dirt under the floor but mine will have stone. The mason said he always drops the drain lower and is not confident having the drain basically sit within the layer of stove vs. below. Is it ok for the drain to be within the stone layer, or maybe dropped only an inch or 2?

Also.... Question #2 - After the floor was removed they discovered there was a solid clay pipe in the lower corner of the uphill side that came through the wall and ran towards the back and (I think) out a drain. It was working because water is now coming in it. They say they have never seen that. What could it be for? My theory was is was a weep hole to keep pressure of that uphill wall. Can anyone confirm this? Why bring it though the foundation?

Thank you

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I'm in coastal Louisiana where basements are rare, so I've no background to advise you.  I'm just trying to figure out why some folks, when they build a house, they start by digging a deep hole in the earth to get under the frost line but then expect that hole to stay dry.  Did the fellas who built this house of yours over 100 years ago expect the basement to stay dry?

Edited by Marc
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Don't put a footing drain where there's no footing.

"Waterproofing" contractors have caused major failures to many stone and brick foundations.  I get called in as the expert witness.

The clay pipe is for the original gravity drain. It no longer functions as originally intended, but illustrates that the builder expected water in the basement and gave it a path out.

https://historicbldgs.com/stonefoundations.html

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Well my time machine is broken, so I can't answer you, however in our time, just as an FYI... finishing off basements is a common thing. Can old stone foundations be finished off and kept dry? Yes, they can. So given you have no background to advise me, why are you even responding?

 

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2 hours ago, Jean said:

Well my time machine is broken, so I can't answer you, however in our time, just as an FYI... finishing off basements is a common thing. Can old stone foundations be finished off and kept dry? Yes, they can. So given you have no background to advise me, why are you even responding?

 

I would remind you this site embraces good manners and civility.  

I mostly do litigation support for methods and materials and believe Bill has given you some good advice.  

Maybe give us a general location so we can have an idea about how it was all put together.

 

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