Moisture Project

Discussion in 'Remodel Forum & Blog' started by molo, Jan 16, 2007.

  1. molo

    molo New Member

    Messages:
    840
    Location:
    cold new york
    Hello folks,
    I am in a very humid part of New York State, and this year has been very wet. As a result of the humidity and rainfall I have a serious moisture problem. I am considring this problem a serious one and the project (moisture remediation) a potentially large one and a project that I want to research thouroughly and do correctly.

    Some info; The home is a one story ranch with an unfinished basement. The home sits on a hill so there is a place to drain water. Right now much of the water is going into the unfinished basement. The unfinished basement water collects in any time it rains. The water sits there for days at a time. The rooms above this water (1") start getting mold on the walls and ceilings. Plus the floor joists and all the pipes in the basement are dripping with water. There are no fans in any of the bathrooms or the kitchen.

    Plans for remediation: Firstly we need to stop the water from entering the basement (not sure how), secondly we need to prevent moisture that is created within the rooms of the home from staying in the rooms of the home.

    I have been told that there are some sort of power vents that you can install in the attic that will do more than evne installing bathroom vents. Does anyone have any knowledge on these?

    Please if anybody has experience with or suggestions for how to address this moisture problem I would be grateful.

    Molo
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2007
  2. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    21,817
    Location:
    New England
    I grew up in Spencerport, so I have a feeling for moisture in the basement - our house was about a 1/4-mile from the town's spring fed water supply.

    First, you need to do some landscaping to ensure the land slopes away from the house on the uphill side with a swale or something. Basically, direct the water around the house.

    You may need to install a french drain to move any water below grade around the house to the low side.

    Make sure any gutters direct the water away from the house far enough, and doing it into the french drain will help, too.

    You may want to dig a sump pit and install a sump pump. Unfortuneately, you would normaly want drain tile under the floor (does the crawl space have a floor?).
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2007
  3. Randyj

    Randyj Master Plumber

    Messages:
    1,047
    Location:
    Alabama
    Jad's advice is the usual route and good advice. I recently read a research article done in Florida where attic moisture is also a big concern. Research with sprayed on foam insulation to the underside of the decking of the roof alleviated the problem of attic moisture. Based on that... I would also suggest insulation between the floor joists and moisture barrier (plastic) attached to the bottom of the joists. My question about that is whether or not it would entrap moisture...but it would also assist in preventing moisture condensing.
  4. Cass

    Cass Plumber

    Messages:
    5,980
    Location:
    Ohio
    A few years back I worked on a home in Southern Ohio that had insulation between joices and plastic below. It was on a crawl space that had some moisture. About 1/3 of the joices had rot on them and the owner had no idea until I told them about it. I had ripped down some of the plastic to find a leak and that is when I found the problem with the joices.
  5. hard to believe

    and yet i do believe you, molo.

    Search using these words or any combination: french perimeter weeping drain tile.
    e.g. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/French_drain
    and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Weeping_tile

    The house must be quite big if it has bathroom(s) while it is only one story ranch style. What I find hard to believe is that a large basement would be built, all concrete, without a big hole for a sump pump. Is this true?

    One person asked about the crawl space, but when I read "unfinished basement" I picture a concrete slab and concrete walls that go up above ground level. Is this right? If so, the only thing unfinished about it is that it is the walls are bare concrete, not drywalled, and the floor is bare concrete, not finished in any way. Is this right?

    If all this is as I picture it, you have outdoor work to do, like Jim said, and every step has to be done right. Even which kind of sand and how it gets packed down. This is common knowledge in cold-basement-land (for readers living in warm-land).

    david
  6. molo

    molo New Member

    Messages:
    840
    Location:
    cold new york
    The basement is 1/4 concrete slab (at it's low point where the water collects) The other 3/4 is soil that is sloped towards the lower concrete slab. (I have scoured the floor for a spring inside the basement and haven't found any). The walls are concrete block that go 2' above grade. I can see moisture beads on the inside of the concrete block foundation wall.
    I know that I need to address the outside issue, but I also believe that I need to research how to best remove the moisture that is created inside the rooms of the home.

    Thanks,
    Molo
  7. what Jim said is valid.

    whatever i can say to really really discourage you from spending any time energy or attention to the symptoms, which are above the basement (i.e. in the rooms), and to encourage you to focus 100% of your time energy attention and money on the source of the H20, which is below the first floor, will be the right thing to say.

    When there is a moisture problem in the attic (or upstairs) it is because of a wet basement, in this climate zone you and I are in. Not only should you see no water in the basement but you should also have next to no humidity seeping through the soil and into your "conditioned" space, ideally. You are lightyears away from that ideal state of affairs. Sad to say.

    david
  8. molo

    molo New Member

    Messages:
    840
    Location:
    cold new york
    This is why I'm considering this a major project. I will start outdoors stopping the water. Just have to figure out how. I am honestly not impressed with french drains, it seems as if it's just a matter of time before the holes in the drain will allow enough silt in to eventually plug the drain.

    I should note that I have been on the Consumer Reports website to research wet basement/moisture problems. Rather than rating specific methods they rated Licensing Agencies for companies that do moisture remediation. The top rated agency has only TWO companies that are listed within 2 hours of me. Neither of these companies will travel this far to work. So I am left to research this on my own.

    I have read about excavating the foundation and placing a water proof membrane of heavy plastic or acceptable material around the foundation as well as foiundation drainage. Does anybody know about this procedure or these materials?

    Let's put it this way.. If I'm going to spend alot of money to excavate the foundation and then refill around it, I want to make sure I won't be doing another 10 or 20 yrs from now. I want to do this right the first time.

    Molo
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2007
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