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Basement Drainage systems


Bryan
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I am looking for some good information on the correct way to install a basement drainage system. I have a client with a two year old home with a walk out lower level, constructed from ICF. They have had issues in the past and recently removed some of the drywall to find mold and water intrusion. We had a bunch of rain today and the wall is leaking pretty good. I believe that the exterior drainage system is really screwed up or non-exsistent.

Bryan

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You're probably right. How "deep" is the foundation, i.e., how far below grade is the footing (at its deepest point)?

Reason I ask......

The number of things that could be wrong, and the cost to correct them, depends a lot on how much excavation might be necessary to correct things.

Any bsmt. can be made dry, but I wouldn't immediately go for installing foundation drainage until I'd figured out a lot of other stuff. It's likely you'll need it, but there's also the possibility of inadequate dampproofing, cracks, major cracks, screwed up subgrade water movement, etc., etc. The best drain tile installation in the world isn't going to correct fundamental problems with the foundation.

Got any pictures?

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Kurt,

The deepest part of the foundation is about 11 feet below grade; therefore, excavating and doing anything to the basement wall or drain tile will not be fun or cheap.

The dampproofing is the 3 feet wide sheets of membrane applied vertical to the ICF. The perimeter drain is the "form a drain' material ran to daylight and a sumppit in the basement. I have only seen that product used twice, and both basements had leak issues.

As far as cracks, it is hard to tell given the foam forms. He has removed the drywall in one of the rooms and popped out some foam cores, and the concrete, as well as the back of the drywall was wet.

Exterior grade could use improvement against the house; however, there is good fall from 3 feet and out.

No pictures at this time I will stop by and get some.

Thank so far, Bryan

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The dampproofing is the 3 feet wide sheets of membrane applied vertical to the ICF.

That might be the problem right there. The stuff I see is always applied horizontally, beginning at the bottom where it overlaps the footing, and then each successive course overlaps the top of the first in single fashion. If they've applied that stuff vertically, they've now got a whole lot of vertical joints for water to come through. How did they terminate that stuff at the top to make sure water didn't get behind it?

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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Boy, that was my first thought too. The material should be "shingled" down the wall.

My second thought is the *form a drain* stuff. God only knows what happened to it during backfill. Or installation. I like the idea, but man it makes me nervous. Lottsa opportunity for it to get mangled during construction.

When I'm looking @ completely "mysterious" bsmt. water problems, I'm surprised by how often it is traced to something really, really stupid. On my latest bsmt. water entrance report, I postulated that somebody forgot to connect the drain tile. I was vilified by every party to the construction process. After the hubbub settled, they finally agreed to videoscoping the drain tile.

It wasn't connected.

Don't rule out something really simple and basic. Don't rule out anything, period.

Exterior drainage is, of course, always the first thing to correct, regardless of anything else.

I don't have any credible experience with ICF's. Only seen a few. It could be another engineered material story, i.e., installed in the contractors perceived methodology instead of the engineers installation requirements.

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I think we have multipule issues related to the problem. First the dampproofing is not terminated, so I know some water is getting in there. However, when we first looked at this a few weeks ago, when the ground was still frozen, the concrete wall was still wet/damp.

I do not think the ICF would play that much of a roll in the issue; however, the way they are poured, very slowly to avoid a blow out could create a cold joint. The main challenge would be how to terminate the dampproofing materials to the foam.

Well at this point I am not ruling anything out.

Bryan

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