What's the right thing to do? Waterproofing basement foundations walls

Discussion in 'Shower & bathtub Forum & Blog' started by johnfrwhipple, Oct 15, 2012.

  1. johnfrwhipple

    johnfrwhipple Bathroom Design & Build - North Vancouver, B.C.

    Messages:
    4,223
    Location:
    North Vancouver, BC
    Yesterday I went into work for a half day and when I entered into the home I noticed a load of water in the one back room. The leak was on the North Wall of a new home I'm building two barrier free showers in. I hate seeing water on a basement floor! I had not done anything that could cause this leak so I went on an investigation to find out what the problem was before I set up.

    What is the right thing to do here? I was hired to build a couple showers, not fix the exterior foundation waterproofing problems. That said it's Sunday and the builder is not around. It seemed silly to me to leave it another day (it had obviously been leaking a lot since Friday night) and the rain was just pouring down this weekend in Vancouver.

    [​IMG]

    This is what I found.

    I opened up the poly (6mil vapour barrier) and found water getting in from the plumbing waste line penetration.

    [​IMG]

    The first thing I tried was packing in a little poly around the pipe. I then went and spread out wood chips and saw dust on the floor to pick up the water. The poly didn't work so I got my light set up and noticed a few saw cuts in the back. The saw cuts no doubt from the wet saw that cut the square hole in the foundation wall. Water was dripping in along these cuts and with my light I could see it clearly.

    [​IMG]

    I was preparing the shower floors so only had a few tools and materials with me. Then I got an idea. I was told that Ardex's X32 could be used to fix tiles underwater last week at my supplier. If the X32 sets under water then perhaps I could use it to fill in the saw cuts and stop the water from getting in????

    [​IMG]

    I tried it and I think it worked! I'll be checking this morning. It poured again last night and I will know soon enough if my patch worked.

    So my questions are;

    1). What is the proper way of waterproofing this penetration in a home's foundation wall?

    2). Is it required to have flexibility in the design?
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2012
  2. johnfrwhipple

    johnfrwhipple Bathroom Design & Build - North Vancouver, B.C.

    Messages:
    4,223
    Location:
    North Vancouver, BC
    Fixing a leaking wall in a basement slab.

    So the builder and the plumber had a few words yesterday morning. I could not make out much and I was trying to stay out of the hole thing - but what I did here was that the builder wants the front of the house dug up so the patch can be done right. Not sure the plumber is going to like digging into 4' of clay and mud.

    I also sent a copy of this link to Ardex and received a reply back that my approach is nothing more than a band aid and the builder needs to fix it better. I was told Ardex does have a solution for this kind of a repair and I'm heading to my supplier now to see if they stock the product.

    Here is a part of the email from Ardex's Robert Russell;

    ....We do have a waterproofing material in our arsenal of products called ARDICOAT PLUS that will provide a long term waterproofing solution. It is part of our Engineered Concrete Repair System products. Check it out on line at www.ardex.com
    Give me a call if you have any questions.

    Best Regards,
    Bob

    Robert Russell
    Regional Sales Manager, Western Canada
    ARDEX Americas

    www.ardexamericas.ca
    C: 403-801-4681


    I have not seen the Ardicoat Plus but will try and get my hands on some today.

    JW
  3. DavidSeon

    DavidSeon New Member

    Messages:
    47
    Location:
    MS Gulf Coast
    I think that was your wisest approach. Otherwise, you might have to eat any future problems that affect your work.
  4. johnfrwhipple

    johnfrwhipple Bathroom Design & Build - North Vancouver, B.C.

    Messages:
    4,223
    Location:
    North Vancouver, BC
    Cracked Basement wall in West Vancouver - Styrofoam Insulated Foundation Wall System

    That was always in the back of my mind when doing the patch. I used some poly to ensure I didn't get any mortar between the pipe and the foundation wall. I check my patch yesterday at about 1:00 PM and the water has found a new way in.

    All the wood chips are doing there thing.

    Two days back I got another call from a long time client about another basement foundation wall leak. We stopped by yesterday at the end of the day to take a look.

    Does not look good.

    [​IMG]

    It appears some sort of insulated building block was used. I ripped out the styrofoam yesterday with the home owners help to inspect. What I found was that there is these yellow clips that go right through the foundation (or they appear to) and there is a tall thin crack following these clips from grade to about 6' off of grade ( about 1' above rust line in picture).

    What kind of genius invented these forms? Who puts a hole in a foundation wall every 8"? I'm thinking that these holes got wet - froze - and split the foundation wall just like the stone masons do with their steel wedges.

    I had David remove the gutter down spouts from the rain water leaders and we bagged the the down pipe with plastic 4" piping. We ran these plastic bags a long way from the house and today we are going to dig a little drainage ditch to see if we can help drain away the muck in the back of the house.

    Lucky for me I have waterproofing inside to do and will miss the Lion's share of the digging!!! LOL

    JW
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2012
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