Basement Waterproofing Tips

Leaking Basement Door

The basement door consistently leaks at every high-volume rainstorm. The opening has been hermetically sealed from the outside with 50yr caulking, and the builder replaced the door when it was proved to him that there was a significant problem despite his caulking job. After all repairs, the hose flooding the walkout did not show any water leaking into the basement.
But water can still be seen coming in at the space where the PT 2x4 and the jamb side of the door contact the basement floor. You get a tube of food coloring and flooded the exterior of he doorway only to watch all of the dye run towards the sump drain and no color showed in the basement. The PT 2x4 has constantly remained saturated about 4" up from the floor where the water enters the basement. You’ve begun to wonder if the PT2x4 extends below the slab floor and into the drain tile for the sump well.
If the 2x4 in fact is in the sump well, and hydrostatic pressure within the drain tile during high-volume rain falls is forcing water into the basement from below the slab, then what is the best method to repair it? You’re mostly concerned with being able to get the door re-installed in one day, but wonder if it's possible since there may be some concrete work.

Analysis and Solutions:
It may be that the stairwell was added after the house slab and foundation were poured. What leads one to this conclusion is the joint just in front of the threshold. It also appears that there has been quite a bit of patching along the wall/riser/slab joint. In this area, migration may be occurring. A possible approach would be to remove the door and door casing to verify what is happening. The possibility still exists that the PT 2x4 is wicking moisture because of a settle out area. There is a polymer product (liquid) on the market that can be injected into affected wood areas and that it will set hard thus stopping the wicking.

Sealing Stone/Brick Basement Walls

You just purchased a 1900 home that has a VERY damp basement. (it had been sealed up for YEARS!) You’re drying it out with two high-end dehumidifiers that are pulling about 4-5 gallons a day. There's a HUGE difference in just a week.
There is no standing water or signs of it, just dampness mostly due to improper spouting runoff, you assume.
The walls are stone and brick covered with some kind of plaster/mud that's SEVERELY deteriorated and falls off to the touch.
You would like to remove it and re-do the whole thing then paint and /or drylock it.

Analysis and Solutions:
Our basement walls also consist of mortar and limestone rocks/blocks, and we had lots of moisture coming through. The basement was VERY damp, and we were forced to get a dehumidifier.
We did a lot of thinking and attempted to research possible solutions. The end-all fix to the problem is to have the exterior portion of the foundation dug up and sealed. Because we did not have the $15,000 to $25,000 to have that done, we had to come up with a more creative solution.
We ended up stripping the coating/paint/mortar from the walls with a variety of tools, including a Bosch SDS hammer drill with the chisel, scrapers, etc. We then plugged the really moist holes with hydraulic cement. Then the big holes were filled with mortar. Next, we coated the walls with fiberglass-reinforced water-proof wall cement (forget the name, but it was white). After that cured, we used Bloc-Loc from Porter Paint. That stuff is really nasty, and we recommend using it with plenty of ventilation. After THAT, we painted the walls with white exterior gloss paint.
This may seem like overkill, but we did this over a year ago, and after even the heaviest of rain, the basement is bone dry.
This process was very labor intensive and VERY messy. We completely sealed the section of basement off with plastic, including the ceiling, that we were working on to prevent any dust from getting to the rest of the house. We also managed to get some Tyvex suits, which worked great. In addition, a good respirator is a must. It took us roughly six months to get the process completed, but we are very pleased with the results.

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