Basement waterproofing system

It seems that this is a common practice these days. Home owner has water issues, calls a basement waterproofing company, and they install an interior basement system. This one had approval by the local jurisdiction.

First the sump pump. Improper wired with a purple extension cord, poorly discharged at exterior. (Just dump on ground so in can just seep down an infiltrate right back in) No back flow device.

Basement system. Panels installed at 1/4 wall level. Moisture readings 50% located above system.

My recommendation and observation.

The home owner was ripped off with an inferior system and exterior excavation is needed to properly waterproof the home.

Local Jurisdiction Building Inspector is inept. (The same jurisdiction approved a new heating system to vent up chimney with no liner/cap. Required by Ohio code. May be why chimney is heavily deteriorated.

Recommend qualified plumber and electrician to properly install pump that would not be needed if exterior excavation, grading and roof drainage was properly installed. Also a tree was recently cut down in close proximity of the home. I would have below ground storm drainage scoped to determine integrity.

Realtor/Home owner/Local jurisdiction all seem satisfied with system.

I say mold/moisture and improper. And I was asked there is a small hole in the block and I can see outside is this a problem?

I answer. Yes. The moisture is resulting in deteriorated mortar.

What do you say!!

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Someone applied a solution without diagnosing the problem. They do it all the time. The place to deal with basement water and moisture is OUTSIDE.

You guys are right on the money

The basement water DIVERTING company,like MOST, did NOT competently and honestly diagnose/identify WHERE the g dang water is FIRST entering!

Jeeessssus kristmas,wake up folks will ya please! ](,)](,)](*,)

Some OTHERS are also partly to BLAME for recommending this kind of CRAP and inept water-diverting cos.For instance, Haege and most of these other inept home improvement radio show hosts,dang skippy! Tied of these bums.They dont ‘KNOW’ chtt on THIS SUBJECT…PERIOD!
Same goes for MANY Bldg inspectors. I leave it there for the moment.

There are VERY likely EXTERIOR cracks and/or loose-cracked parging or NO parging at all on the outside of those block walls…and in one picture there is SOME amount of water coming in from ABOVE grade.

These morons should be SUED for recommending and installing an inside system that does NOT,will NOT stop-prevent FURTHER WATER from where it is FIRST entering on the outside.If the water isnt ELIMINATED/still entering then ya wont stop-prevent further-future MOLD/EFFLORESCENCE. And RADON can enter through the same exterior openings…so too can termites,ants,centipedes etc.

Interior french drains are a joke… I am amazed that anyone would buy off on such a method…being that moisture is a natural solvent (excellent one at that)…what do they think will eventually happen.

Good info. Nice to see you again John (err,…Mark). :smiley:

How ya doing Mr Kage :mrgreen:

A few pics of another inside waterdiverting system ](*,)

First 8 pics,other pics are of different house.Might have to sometimes click these links/pics 2 times,dunno what `im doing wrong w/them :-k

Again,the problems,exterior cracks `n lateral soil pressure,possible roots against wall.Cracks have widened a bit,homeowners have repeatedly cleaned mold off parts of inside wall,keeps coming back.Well,mold keeps coming back because water is entering through exterior cracks and probably some of the parging has cracked-loosened.ONLY way to STOP this water is exterior waterproofing.

Any possible roots against wall and the CLAY needs to be REMOVED and replaced with gravel…knothead inside system company doesnt understand any of this or doesnt give a chtt and recommends and sells homeowners the ONLY thing they do…install inside system. ](*,)

Yes,pipe is leaking at corner where it goes through wall will need to be replaced…2 part problem at corner.The money that was spent on the inside system should have been spent on exterior waterproofing.

As often as I see folks try and go against the basic physics of water it never ceases to amaze.

The whole idea of waterproofing a hole in the ground is nonsense anyway. Water is lazy and will take the path of least resistance ,which is generally through your basement.

If there’s any real hope of giving water that easy path and keeping it out of the basement it takes exterior excavation (or proper building in the first place).

Around here that means positive drainage around the footings and gravel backfill so gravity can work and let the water follow that easy path.

water diverting is not equal to water proofing

Last week we dug up and checked 28 year old crawl perimeter drainage tile that was found to be in excellent shape. How long does it usually take to deteriorate?

Mr Erol,

Following pictures are of exterior tiles, 60+ years

Sometimes the exterior tiles can get clogged,break etc.Soil/roots etc can get in `em. In our 30 years about 90% of the time the exterior tiles are FINE.

Sometimes when house was built,mister builder/sub have screwed up placed the tiles 1-2’ up from footing or placed them with 2-4" gaps between em or didnt lay them continuously…such as, they laid 5’ and then no tiles for next 5’ and so on.

Would NOT recommend the use of plastic perforated drain tiles at depths greater than 4’ or so as they can/could easily get crushed due to weight of backfill on top of `em yet many-not all builders continue to use the CHEAP plastic perforated tile at depths greater than 4’ and many city inspectors continue to OK them,a mistake imo.
–Selecting Perforated Pipe

Say this again,exterior tiles have NOTHING to do with water that very OFTEN enters a basement or crawl THROUGH exterior cracks,loose-cracked parging etc and is then seen inside the basement at,along the floor-wall joint.

John, thank you. Good Information. :cool:

What I meant to say, is that we had plastic perforated drain tile installed along the inside of the crawl space perimeter. 2-3’ down tied into a 3/4 Zoeller pump with battery back up in a sealed system. About 5-6’’ cement covers the 10 mil vapor barrier. The water table is somewhat high near the home and cannot afford major trench digging. The foundation was found to be crack free.

Any inside tiles that are perforated or butted agst each other etc can/could get clogged too.Sounds like you are A-OK.

Some who install inside systems will put a clean out in.

Those who have dirt floors are often going to see/get water on floor `cuz
…its a dirt floor.Those of us who have concrete bsmt/crawl floors do not SEE the water that IS under concrete floor.Some just need to pour
a floor.

Erol,you mentioned no cracks…you have poured crawl walls then?

You prolly know, block basement/crawl walls OFTEN have exterior cracks etc on the outside and are not visible on the inside.
And all the crawl walls we`ve seen have no parging,nothing on the outside

Quite a few basement walls have no parging etc either, not as many as crawls though.

Some poured walls can have lil imperfections/gaps on outside at bottom of wall,can sometimes stick our scrapers through em.Water can enter at floor-wall joint through these gaps too. And sure,trying to divert some surface water away doesnt hurt.

If ya have block crawl walls and did need em waterproofed they most often are not deep,pretty easy hand-digs,less work/materials so less
costly.Example…3 crawl walls,1 is 30’ and 2 @ 24’ea. 78’ total.Now it depends on depth.Say they`re 4’ deep…prolly cost about $4-5 thou.
Those that are 2-3’ deep would less…2’ deep cost $2,500.

Hey Mark,

Call me, I have a client that would like to speak to you about there basement


Opinion only - Lets’ get away from holes in the ground! Man emerged from caves only to build his home over one. Is that progress?
In our geographic area (most of the NorthEast), with relatively high water tables, here is my tongue-in cheek definition: Basement: an in-ground swimming pool you try to keep water out of.

If I built another home, even with all the building science we now know, there is no way I would put money into a hole in the ground! Better into an additional above ground square footage. I would go with a properly constructed and insulated slab, add piers and build up from there with attention to both insulation and vapor barrier construction and placement.
Heat and cool with geothermal ground-source coupling wells and radiant pipes in the floor.

Thanks Mike :wink:

Mr V,

Hear ya but at the same time…

…‘IF’ basement walls were built better (reinforcing rod etc)
and WATERPROOFED `n backfilled w/most-all gravel there would be LESS
problems.At best,many walls were ONLY parged-damproofed and most were backfilled with same excavated soil along with other crap like roots,cans,bricks,blocks,boulders,pieces of concrete and other debris.

Quite a few additions/porches have problems too,pull away from house,settle etc.How about many in/around Texas,slab-problems due to
expansive soils.
–Severity of Problem
…Each year shrinking or swelling…billions(2004 article) in damages to
houses,buildings etc…MORE than TWICE the damage from floods,hurricanes,tornadoes and earthquakes

U S Army Corps Engineers…lateral pressure

I practice in the northeast, and here is the justification for basements: since the footings have to go below frost depth, it only means a little more digging and a few more courses of block to create a basement, and that affords expansive storage and utility space that, to duplicate above ground, would mean increasing the size of the house by either 50% or 100%, depending on whether it was one-story or two-stories. That is not an economical choice, and in many older suburban areas with smaller lots, it may be simply impossible.

I’ve done hundreds of basements and crawl spaces that do not admit water. Does anyone think that after nearly 50 years in practice, I’m just lucky? And most of those were done before I learned some real truths about basement waterproofing from none other than Mr. Bubber in his many incarnations.

I recently designed an additon with a wine cellar, and I specified polyethylene film waterproofing and gravel or crushed stone backfill, as recommended by Mr. Bubber. Maybe added a couple of hundred dollars to the cost of the job, but by doing so, protected a wine collection which may be worth thousands. Made sense to me…why don’t others do it?

I would love to see a Nachi TV video on Basement structure, exterior water proofing/excavation.

Maybe J. Bubber and others could do one sometime in the future.

Being able to properly report on cracks and why the crack in the pattern they do and moisture intrusion, excavation.

It would be neat if they did a onsite epside of a house with water/cracks and then show how they fis it.

Thanks for all the info and responses.

You can find bunches of photos of why basements leak and how to fix them on:
presented by Mr. Bubber’s evil twin. Highly entertaining and immensely informational.


I am not speaking of the tile drain that is typically used up north (don’t even get me on northern builders vs. southern builders…be like starting the civil war all over) the issue here in North Carolina where there isn’t a frost line, all though we go 12 inches deep…explain to me how an interior french drain is going to help keep water out of a crawlspace where the water table rises.

Crawl spaces have so many issues that in my opinion are far more problematic than basements up north of which most are in decent conditions…at least many of the ones I have seen in southwestern Ohio.

I recently hired a legal immigrant…from Norway…he and I could talk all day about moisture management…he just shakes his head at some of the construction methods he sees around here.