Brick Footer And Water Proofing

 
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Old 07-17-2006, 02:10 PM   #1
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Brick Footer And Water Proofing


I performed a water proofing job on a house built in 1928. The footer is two layers of bricks, ie first layer was place directly on soil and about 24" wide. The second layer was place perpendicular to this layer and is about 18" wide. The foundation wall was then built on this second layerand is made of red clay tile blocks.

Water proofing invloved sealing walls with ironite cement, coating with a rubberized sealer and draping house with plastic membrane. Given this, I am confident that water seepage is not coming through the walls.

In placing the footer drain, I used 4" perforated pipe sitting in a bed of gravel about 2" deep. The top of my drain pipe is about even with the BOTTOM of the footer. Thus, the bottom of the perforated pipe sits about 4" BELOW the bottom of the brick footer. Under that there is about 2" of gravel.

Used washed gravel to backfill excavation two about 18" below grade and refilled the remainder with soil.

Here is the problem: water continues to seep into basement where slab meets wall. Broke a hole in the basement slab floor and dug out a little below footer. The hole fills up with water either after a rain or when opening a garden hose a few feet from foundation for a few hours and waiting until next day. This shows that water is getting to the INSIDE OF FOUNDATION WALL below the footer. That is, seems water is moving horizontally under the footer and appearing below the slab inside the basement. I tried placing a french drain in one area of interior wall and tied that into a drain, but water continues to seep in. It appears that water is being pushed up through the brick footer and into the first clay tile, where it seeps out onto concrete slab, which is about 2" thick.

Have tested flow in footer drain and all is flowing well to street, so clog in footer drain is definitely not problem.

Any thoughts?? Could problem be that my drain tile is BELOW the bottom of the brick footer?? Could hydrostatic pressure be enough to actually push water up through brick footer and into clay tile??
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Old 07-17-2006, 02:39 PM   #2
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Re: Brick Footer And Water Proofing


Have you tested the water for signs of chlorine and or fecal matter? It might be a busted sewer pipe and not coming from outside at all.

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Old 07-17-2006, 03:44 PM   #3
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Re: Brick Footer And Water Proofing


....yes, water is clean and no chlorine or fecal matter. Proof also came when I flooded near exterior wall w/hose and water seeped in about 12 hours later.

Still a mystery!!
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Old 07-17-2006, 03:53 PM   #4
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Re: Brick Footer And Water Proofing


Proof or coincidence. Was there any water run in the house during this time? My only reason for asking this is we had a leaking in a wine cellar that ruined our day for weeks until we proved it was coming from waste water generated by the household.

We got a smoke test of the "community sewer" by the local waste water folks. When the home filled up with smoke, they finally believed us.
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Old 07-17-2006, 03:55 PM   #5
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Re: Brick Footer And Water Proofing


If its still coming in, I'd say its a rising water table causing the problem and to add a sump and sump pump to keep water table below the level of the slab.
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Old 07-17-2006, 03:58 PM   #6
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Re: Brick Footer And Water Proofing


....because there is a walk-out basement where there is no water seepage. That side of house has foundation wall which is 4 ft below grade. Also, golf course 50 feet from house and 15 below grade of house and now water issues there....

Any thoughts on the fact that footer is only two bricks and placement of drain pipe BELOW footer??
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Old 07-17-2006, 04:22 PM   #7
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Re: Brick Footer And Water Proofing


Yes, the brick footing seems to be the path of low resistance, but not the least. I'd think your drain would the path of least resistance.

When you run these tests, are you getting water from the footing drain as well as over the slab at the foundation wall? What type of soil did you find below the footing in the area you dug out, and is clay a problem in this area of town?
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Old 07-17-2006, 05:15 PM   #8
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Re: Brick Footer And Water Proofing


The soil in the area is of high clay content...so that is definitely an issue and results in water problems in most areas.

After the job was done, water continued to seep into house. Firs step was to make sure the footer drain pipe was clean and had clear flow out to the street. Put hose in various clean-outs and dye tested....flow was good to the T at the sidewalk. Had city clean out from street to the T on property and that was clear also. This pretty much eliminated a clog in the footer drain pipe somewhere, at least in my opinion!

Next test was to do the measurement. From grade to the top of the slab in the basement is 91.5". From the top of slab to the bottom of footer (i.e. two bricks and two inches of concrete slab floor) is another 7.5 inches. Thus, from grade to bottom of footer is 99".

I dropped measuring tape into cleanout at back (should be highes point as footer drain pitched to flow forward to street) and got a measurement of 103". Thus, the bottom of my footer drain pipe (the perforated pipe, holes down!) is about 4" below the bottom of footer. Also, there is probably at least a couple of inches of gravel under that.

I put a garden hose directly into gravel about 12" below grade. Let it run for 3-4 hours. By the next day, had dampness inside at the bottom clay tile which meets the interior concrete slab. I run a dehumidifer in that room for days to make sure it was bone dry prior to test.

Knowing this, I broke the floor and dug down a few inches below footer, or the second/lower brick in this case. While wet there, there was no water in the hole, which at deepest point was maybe 10" from top of conrete slab. Again put hose on outside and let it run for a few hours. By next day the hole on inside had a couple of inches or water.

Consequently, water is definitley on the inside side of foundation wall and under the footer. My theory, before digging hole, is that the water is also pushing up through the bricks and into the first clay tile. Here it leaks out onto slab. Of course water could also be pushing through the concrete slab, which at the edge sits on the upper brick and is only about 1" thick.

Since I have so much water coming in, also get some condensation higher up wall, but I pretty sure this is just a result of the seepage at the base of clay tile wall which is making air down there more humid and thus condensing on colder wall.

I guess first basic question is that if footer drain pipe is below footer, can the water which sits against the clay soil beneath footer actually get into brick and move up into clay tile and seep onto slab or come through the slab? This is my theory but looking for opinions if it is correct??!!

And thanks to all who chime in on this issue!!

Last edited by emtaboy; 07-17-2006 at 05:18 PM.
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Old 07-17-2006, 06:40 PM   #9
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Re: Brick Footer And Water Proofing


Could the brick from which the footing is made be porous enough to create a capillary action and wick the water away from the exterior drain tile?

I have done some work on houses with that same type footing configuration and it seems to me, that with those old bricks, if you put one end in a puddle of water in a couple hours the whole thing was wet to the touch.

Maybe the water is moving down the treated wall, hitting the clay at the footing base, weeping underneath and the getting wicked up the inside.

Does this make any sense to anyone else?
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Old 07-17-2006, 09:23 PM   #10
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Re: Brick Footer And Water Proofing


tgeb,

what you propose is possible to some degree.

emta,

Could you define the meaning of seep as you have used it to describe the quantity of water coming in?

How long have you been working on this and what has the weather been?

What type of climate are you in?

What were the conditions before you started the project inside the basement? are they better?

How much foundation shows above grade?

Is this seeping in one specific area?

What is the compass exposure of the area where you are having the problem?

You ask if water can push up through the slab or brick footing? Water can only push up through something if the source is higher than what it pushes up through and the place it comes up through is the only place for the water to go.

"It appears that water is being pushed up through the brick footer and into the first clay tile, where it seeps out onto concrete slab, which is about 2" thick."

In the above instance there would need to be standing water outside of the footing higher than the floor and in enough volume to have the weight to force its self up through the masonry. From your description of your drain this seems impossible.

Did you coat ALL walls except the walk out wall?

Did you coat from the bottom of the footing up to grade?

What is the wall coated with above grade?

When you have rain or do your test does the amount of water coming through the wall increase proportionally?

I have too many questions so I'll leave it at this. If you have pictures it would help.
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Old 07-17-2006, 11:32 PM   #11
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Re: Brick Footer And Water Proofing


here are some answers to denick's questions:


Could you define the meaning of seep as you have used it to describe the quantity of water coming in?

By seepage I mean that if I run a dehumidifier to make the area very dry and then turn it off, the floor will become damp to the touch after a day or so after rain. The first clay tile will also get wet. The concrete slab is obviously darker along the perimeter of the interior wall. In some spots the water pools slightly after heavy rain, but nothing that would splash up too much if you steped in it. But it is obvious that floor is wet.

How long have you been working on this and what has the weather been?

Waterproofing performed 12 months ago. Basement was dry into fall and through winter. Once spring came and rains, floor started getting wet again.

What type of climate are you in?

Located in Cleveland, Ohio area.

What were the conditions before you started the project inside the basement? are they better?


Current condtions are about the same as prior to job. As much water inside as before...unfortunately!!

How much foundation shows above grade?

No foundation shows above grade. There is a brick veneer on house that is built all the way down to the footer. Thus, clay tile walls are covered by a brick veener.

Is this seeping in one specific area?

Seeping in consistent in around the entire dig. Areas that were more wet prior to dig are more wet now also. It appears that the entire system is failing....it is no better on inside than prior to job.

What is the compass exposure of the area where you are having the problem?

Areas face northeast and northwest


Did you coat ALL walls except the walk out wall?

All walls coated and also coverd by "Superseal Dimpled Membrane"...see more info on goolge if anyone cares. There was no problem at walkout walls so they were not treated. Those walls have about 48" which are below grade, compared to 91" around rest of house. Those measurements are from top of slab to grade...


Did you coat from the bottom of the footing up to grade?

Walls were coated completely. Appears that a masonry slope was placed from last brick of the veener down to top edge of bottom brick of footer. Picture a backwards "J", wall sloped out at bottom to edge of brick footer. This was treated and covered with membrane. Dimpled membrane was layed to edge of footer, which sticks out about 4" from brick veneer. Thus, don't think water is penetrating through wall or through top of brick footer, since it has been coated and covered.

What is the wall coated with above grade?


Above Grade their is brick veener which is painted white...latex paint I'd presume..

When you have rain or do your test does the amount of water coming through the wall increase proportionally?[/B]

Yes...more rain means more water seeping in...





I do have pictures but need to shrink them to attach on forum. I can email them if there is an email anyone would like to post. They are high resolution shots that can be zoomed in pretty closely to see footer and where drain pipe is placed.

My theory has water pooling in trench where drain pipe is. As water rises, some of it will be level with pipe but outside pipe while some will fill pipe. Clearly, water shouldn't rise and stay above pipe as it would first fill pipe and flow out to street. But it can rise enough to partially fill pipe while having water pooling outside pipe against soil that footer rests on. Thus, I am picturing water against the soil just under the footer on the outside foundation wall. I'm thinking that this water is finding its way horizontally into soil under footer, and being pushed up into bricks and into first clay tile. Perhaps tgeb's theory of capillary action weeping the water into the brick is correct and this is how water is coming in. If I had placed pipe within the 5" of brick footer (ie the bottom of perforated pipe somewhere within the 5" thickness of the footer) then less water could sit against soil under footer, and thus less/none would come under the footer. Of course, if brick footer is weeping water then even some water against side of brick would get sucked up into brick...so not sure if raising pipe so that bottom of perforated drain pipe is within the 5" thickness of the footer will solve my problem. Various local contacts think that this IS the solution(ie perforated pipe is place incorrectly..to low..should not be below bottom of footer), but I am reluctant to completely dig down again unless I am much more confident that this will solve problem.

What is fact is that if I put a hose close to wall on outside and leave it on for a few hours, by the next day there will be water in the hole that I broke open insde the basement. Since there was no water in this whole prior, and water is not coming from any other source...ie a a sanitary line or rain etc...then I come to the conclusion that water on inside is coming from garden hose, and thus my footer drain pipe is not operating as it should.

Ahhhh.....
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Old 07-18-2006, 10:35 AM   #12
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Re: Brick Footer And Water Proofing


You've build a boat, basically, and the bottom of the boat leaks.

I'd be willing to be that you're getting some flow from your drain system during this test, in fact, quite a bit of flow, but that a good amount of water is moving under the house and finding daylight on the slope below the walkout area.

Did you find any vapor barrier below the slab? If not, this area will have to have dehumidification from now on during damp seasons.

I'm back to a sump and pump. Put the sump at the lowest spot of the slab, where you're seeing the most water.

I think water is moving into the area below the slab UNDER your drain system. There is an undisturbed layer of clay that is acting like the bottom of a bathtub, and this foundation system is like a cardboard box with no top, turned upside down and pressed to the bottom of this tub. The sides of the box are waterproof, but the edge is not.

When it rains or you run a hose, you're putting water on top of this clay layer, and it can't move lateraly fast enough to prevent a rise in the water level below the slab.

And yes, brick and salt glazed tile will wick water.

For what its worth, I can't see that raising your drain would help at all. In fact, you're giving the water from the north someplace to go, once it hits the level of your drain. Trouble is, it can't move into your trench fast enough to prevent some of it from being forced under your trench.

Of course I might be all wet, and none of this be the case. But, if you run the water again, or see water in your observatoin hole, go probing for soft damp earth out from the walkout side of the house.
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Old 07-18-2006, 05:24 PM   #13
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Re: Brick Footer And Water Proofing


....I understand what you are saying, but besides the fact that this house has a walkout basement, I don't see how it would be different from any other house in the area with similar footer (two layers of bricks). All the soil in NE Ohio has high clay content and thus causes wet/damp basements. Since water will always find it's level, I'm not sure I understand how from, say, 30 feet away water might move toward house and seep under my drain system and up through floor. For this to happen one would have to assume that at some point below grade the soil becomes impentrable to water, then pools, and pressure pushes it to the sides. This would push it into the gravel against house, where the drain should act to move water away. Of course, if the impentrable layer is below the bottom of my footer, then water would move side ways and upwards...but that's very difficult to determine.

What I see happening, as a result of drain pipe being below the footer, is that the footer drain pipe can't move water away (perhaps my pitch is not as good as it should be??) fast enough. Water rests against soil below footer and moves through this soil and either up through brick footers or up through concrete slab.

Imagine if i put a completely water proof barrier 4ft from edge of footer, located right at the bottom of my brick footer. Now I have my drain pipe just above this level. As water moves down as it rains along the house, it will hit bottom where it meets the water proof barrier. Since it can't sink lower, water level rises. As it rises it will enter the drain pipe and move out to street. In this scenario, since the water can't get to soil under the footer, it can't move through the soil under the footer and get into brick footer/first clay tile and/or up through the interior concrete slab.

Now one problem with this theory is that if water falls beyond 4 ft will sink in the soil. If it get's down to bottom where it meets clay, it will start to rise. If this water then pushes into soil BELOW MY WATERPROOF BARRIER then it will enter soil below footer and I will have a problem again.

So does anyone think that water that drops down from soil that is, say, 6ft from footer, will move under my barrier and then come in house??

Also, I think that even If i treated the slab and the first two feet of clay tile with a waterproof barrier (say one of many sealants, both rubber and other on market), water would just be pushed up to say third clay tile. My clay tile walls are waterproof on outside, but not underneath. Given enough water, It think that water would be pushed UP the wall.

So, my working theory is still that if I can place a waterproof barrier that extends a few feet out from footer, and place my footer drain pipe above this, and water won't move sideways from beyond this barrier, then my problem might be solved??

Thoughts???
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Old 07-18-2006, 06:09 PM   #14
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Re: Brick Footer And Water Proofing


emta,

You can e-mail most people by clicking on their name and going to view profile.

Is this job for yourself or a customer?

Did you perform all the work personally?

How big is the area we're discussing?

Is the basement area a finished space or open?

What is on the walls inside the basement? What covers the tiles?

You said no foundation shows on exterior because it is a brick exterior. What height is the 1st floor from the ground outside?

Is it open and airy around the house? Or are there houses close by and large shade trees?

Is the basement closed up and cool?

Is the walkout across the whole back and when there is seeping how far back from the walkout does it start on the two sides?

Is there wet across the floor on the walkout side?

What is the makeup of the wall on the walkout side, interior and exterior? Does it face south? Does the sun warm this area inside?

How long do you need to run a dehumidifier to dry it up?

You state that the walls face NE & NW are there 3 walls that have been treated that make 3 sides of an open box and the walkout is the fourth?

What shape is the brick work of the entire house in? What shape is the roof, gutters, paint (on wood and brick surfaces) etc.?

Would you know if there is an open attic?

Can you see your drain pipe and does it run water out of it all the time?

When you do your test do you run the water outside the house just where the hole inside is our do you go a distance away?

I'm just building a picture with these questions and I have a suspicion.
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Old 07-18-2006, 06:13 PM   #15
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Re: Brick Footer And Water Proofing


Nick,
Hurry with your building and don't keep us in suspence.
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Old 07-18-2006, 07:00 PM   #16
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Re: Brick Footer And Water Proofing


Way too much stuff here to read, so i'll just give some input. Sorry if it was already covered.

The fact that your footer drain is below the footer has no affect on this problem. From what you described about how you installed your drain system, waterproofed and backfilled with stone, this foundation should be drier than a preachers sheets.

With this heat and humidity, I have seen foundation walls form condensation on them where the sun beats on it during the day. This may be a cause to why some of the clay tile is damp in one spot.

To me, it sounds like you have a underground spring that is under the slab. What may have to be done is a drain from under the slab and connected into the outside footer drain.
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Old 07-18-2006, 09:45 PM   #17
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Re: Brick Footer And Water Proofing


don't forget the most important principle....fluid seeks it's own level.
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Old 07-18-2006, 11:24 PM   #18
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Re: Brick Footer And Water Proofing


First a warning....very long post follows so I apologize in advance for being so verbose. This has been a very frustrating problem and after exhausting my local sources I turn to this forum for more enlightenment!!


Is this job for yourself or a customer?

This job was done on my own residence.

Did you perform all the work personally?
Yes...done by my crew.

How big is the area we're discussing?

..... ______
.....l.........l
.....l.........l........walkout 4ft below grade
...w.l.........l_________________
...p.l.....................................l
...r..l.....................................l walkout 4ft below grade
...o.l.....................................l
...o________________________l
...f...........waterproofed

Imagine you are facing house..a center hall colonial. House sits up on small hill which slopes down to the right. Thus, the right side and rear of house are the walk out basement where the basement floor is about 4 ft below grade. About 70 feet from back of house is golf course which is another 15 feet or so below my backyard. Given that there is no water problem on golf course, I don't think I have a spring or aquifer below my house.

Shape of house is like an inverted "L"....like this: ( l__ ) with the driveway on left and the kitchen/garage behind the left side of house. Entire front side and left side were done....about 110 linear feet in total. There is no basement below garage. Footer tile here wraps around house at basement foundation wall under garage. The property slopes down on the front/right side. The right side of house and the entire rear of house is part of walk out basement.

Is the basement area a finished space or open?

About 60% if finished...an old ceramic floor...like in an old bathroom. This is the walk out section on right and back of house. If facing house it is along the right side primarily. I do have water seepage here too...as the front part of basement is fully below grade while the right and rear side are the walk out part. The walls in finished part are coated with plaster over the clay tile. Should also add that the finished part is about a foot ABOVE the unfinished part. That is, you step up one step to the finished part from the unfinished part. The floor is solid so the soil level here must be higher than the unfinished part...there is no crawl space! Ceramic floor in concrete. It stops about 4" from clay tiles. When I bought house the gap between ceramic floor and clay tile was basically dirt as the original concrete/mortar must have disentegrated over the years due to water. I filled the this gap with concrete.

What is on the walls inside the basement? What covers the tiles?

Plaster over clay tile in finished part and painted and/or exposed clay tile in the unfinished section.

You said no foundation shows on exterior because it is a brick exterior. What height is the 1st floor from the ground outside?

Given the hill that house is on, this one is not that simple!! At front door you would walk out and go down about 5 feet down stairs to driveway. At side door where driveway is you step down about a foot to grade. At side exit on right side you'd go down may 6 feet to ground. And at basement door at rear you go up about 4 feet to grade. Confusing I know!!

Is it open and airy around the house? Or are there houses close by and large shade trees?

Yes...open and airy. Some trees but none overhang house. Largest shaded area is on the right side where there is no seepage issue.

Is the basement closed up and cool?

Yes...i keep it closed up and it is cool. I realize that this allows humidity to sink and condense on wall/floors, but amount of water/dampness goes beyond just humidity. If I open windows and place a fan in unfinished section I can partially dry it up but not fully. I have been in many basements in the area...all old houses...and have never seen this problem. Yes, a dehumidifier sometimes has to be run, but not 24/7 like in my case. For example, it would be impossible to have carpet in this basement as it would be soaking wet...even if running dehumidifier. Lucky for me that I have a ceramic floor in the finished part!! That said, I do know that water is getting beneath the slab. A few weeks back we had extremely heavy rains and I could see dark spots in the slab in the middle of basement. No dampness/water like along the foundation walls but definitely somewhat wet to the touch.

Is the walkout across the whole back and when there is seeping how far back from the walkout does it start on the two sides?

The walk out is across entire right side and 45 feet in back. If facing house at back, the walkout basement would be in front of you with the kitchen/garage "wing" behind main house. Under that is the unfinished section of basement. There is no seepage in walkout section of basement...ie the part where the basement floor is only 4ft below grade. Everywhere else where the basement floor is completely below grade (about 90" plus) there is seepage.

Is there wet across the floor on the walkout side?

See above....but no wetness in walk out section...ie only 4ft below grade.


What is the makeup of the wall on the walkout side, interior and exterior? Does it face south? Does the sun warm this area inside?

On walkout side where basement is finished, wall is plaster finish against clay tile. On outside of clay tile there is a brick veneer which goes down to footer. The back side of house faces southeast so it is sunny, but the right side of house is in shade except in afternoon. But keep in mind that in these sections of basement floor are only 4ft below grade.

How long do you need to run a dehumidifier to dry it up?

24/7 to keep it some what dry. As it is a big basement and I have only two residential grade dehumidfiers, I can never get entire basement dried out unless humidity is low and temperature is cool. Ther are many small rooms in basement, so I can close door in one and dry it out. This is what I did in the "test" when I put hose near exterior wall for a few hours and found first wetness along first clay tile/slab and later a big puddle in the hole I broke in the floor!!

You state that the walls face NE & NW are there 3 walls that have been treated that make 3 sides of an open box and the walkout is the fourth?

I hope what I wrote above helps explain this, but only two sides where there was seepage where done. If facing house, the entire front, except below front door there is a portico, and the entire left side upto garage. No basment undergarage. The right side and rear where not dug up as there was no problem there, but again these areas have basement floor only about 4ft below grade.

What shape is the brick work of the entire house in? What shape is the roof, gutters, paint (on wood and brick surfaces) etc.?

All in good shape now. When I bought house there was tuckpointing that needed to be done as previous owner had clogged gutters which caused water to run down brick veneer and destroy the mortar. But now roof, gutters, paint, etc all in good shape.

Would you know if there is an open attic?

Not sure what you mean, but attic is unfinished and "open" I think. It is rather large and is about 9 feet in the middle. House has a flat room in middle of main house between two chimney stacks.

Can you see your drain pipe and does it run water out of it all the time?

Well can look down clean outs and they are dry. Have flooded all clean outs with garden hose for a few hours and do have flow down at "T" on the property. Also dye tested and had flow also. City cleaned out from "T" on property out to street also. Am convinced that footer drain pipe is clear and flowing. Also, putting water into footer drain system did NOT cause any noticeable increase in water seepage in basement.

When you do your test do you run the water outside the house just where the hole inside is our do you go a distance away?

I place the hose almost directly above where I broke hole open in basement slab floor. Again, leave it on for about 3 hours or so and by next day water is in hole. Have not placed hose away from hole, but I suspect that the farther away the less water in hole, if any.

I'm just building a picture with these questions and I have a suspicion.

Please share...I'm all ears!!!

Last edited by emtaboy; 07-18-2006 at 11:37 PM.
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Old 07-19-2006, 04:22 AM   #19
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Re: Brick Footer And Water Proofing


Nick,
Looks like you have plenty here to work with, guess you won't make it into the chat room. When you're done building you're mental picture please share.

Emta,
I think you have severe codensation problem, need a good commercial grade dehumidifier that will handle the sq. footage in your basement. Keep all the doors open down there, get it to operate so it don't have to depend on being emtied to be running. Let it go for a week and I think you'll find your problem solved. Next!
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Old 07-19-2006, 07:58 AM   #20
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Re: Brick Footer And Water Proofing


jmic,

I agree that a good commercial grade dehumidfier will correct the moisture in my basement, but this is not fixing my problem. Seepage will continue moving through claytile/slab but will be sucked up and drained by dehumidifier. What the long term effects on the clay tile will be is unknown. I have seen plenty of buckled/disentagrating walls around here as a result of people ignoring the problem. There are many vendors who sell "inside jobs" that use panels, a trench, and a sump pump. I could have done this too but I call that "water control" and not waterproofing.

Of course, eventually if I can't figure this one out I will indeed follow the route you suggest!

Thanks to everyone for their input!

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