Below Floor Drainage System in Progress

Here a proper sized, below floor drainage system also called a Hydrostatic Pressure Relief System is shown just prior to cementing the system back up. A 12” deep trench lined with crushed stone with a perforated ADS pipe laid in the center of the trench is topped with more crushed stone and then a dimpled drain board. The drain board is folded up the wall and serves as a vapor barrier to prevent moisture in the drain system from wicking up through the cement as well as a way for water to reach the system in the event there is any penetration from the wall above. This system is connected to an automatically operating sump pump which removes the water to the outside of the home.

Compact Sump Liner

Every drainage system requires a method of removing the water. Typically Basement Waterproofing Nationwide utilizes a mechanical method or Sump Pump. The Sump Pump is installed in a liner set below the floor. The typical sump liner or catch basin is 30” in diameter and 24” deep making it the lowest point in the drain system. Sometimes, as pictured here, it is more appropriate to install a smaller sump basin due to space constraints. 

Here we have located a compact 12” square PVC box liner that is 24” deep. The installation is compact enabling a solid 12” cover (not shown) to be fitted flush with the floor. In this case, we were able to remove and reinstall the bookshelves over the pump location and the homeowner did not lose an inch of floor space as a result. Neatly plumbing the discharge behind the paneling hides everything from plain sight yet the pump is accessible for testing or maintenance simply by folding a small flap of carpet back revealing the cover. An elegant solution. Also shown is a 4” channel grate which catches any water that possibly pushes in around the basement door eliminating the need to remove and replace the exterior door.

Buried Downspout

Roof water can aggravate a wet basement problem. Oftentimes diverting the roof water away from the home is a good place to start. Typical solutions usually involve unsightly and clumsy downspout extensions that lay on the surface of the yard extending 10 feet or more into the grass or landscaping. While appropriate in some situations these pipes must be moved each time the grass is mowed and, often, not placed back correctly so they do not function when you need them the most or the next time it rains. There are also so-called “Roll up” extensions that claim to unroll with water and roll back up when it stops raining and the gutters are not directing water to the downspouts. In our experience, these are ineffective and frustrating giving an illusion of help without delivering solid performance and should be avoided.

Basement Waterproofing Nationwide has identified and employed thousands of effective, permanent solutions utilizing a “bubbler pot” product. This hearty, solid PVC basin is set flush with the ground. Water is hard-piped from the downspout to the pot and water ‘bubbles up’ flowing passively onto the grass at the termination point. Each drain is custom designed for the elevation, pitch and landscape details of your yard. Multiple downspouts can be routed to one pot including the discharge of your basement.

This cement block home in Newark, DE was waterproofed using a Below Floor Drainage System including a sump pump as well as a high performance, vinyl wall board to control moisture and seepage through the walls. The combination of these two effective waterproofing systems by Basement Waterproofing Nationwide are guaranteed for the life of the structure regardless of ownership. (See warranty for details.)

Below Floor Drainage System with Vinyl Wall Board

This commercial building rests at grade and presented with a complaint of water penetrating the exterior wall at unknown points along its 250 feet in length. A trained waterproofing specialist identified the source of the problem as a seam at grade which had separated from the floor slab over the years. Further investigation revealed severe degradation to a course of block just below the level of backfill. Repair of the wall structurally along with the application of a Bentonite waterproofing membrane and exterior curtain drain were specified and installed.

Improving a Finished Basement with Vinyl Wall Board

A basement finished with the Owens Corning Basement finishing System in 2001 complained about a black stain he discovered on the wall upon removing a panel to gain access to a water meter. The inspection revealed no water penetration and, as there was an existing below floor system, Basement Waterproofing Nationwide specified the installation of its high-performance vinyl wall board as a vapor barrier. This vapor barrier was tucked behind the dimpled drain board and secured to the cement block walls.

Stairway Drains and Channel Grate Drains

Often the source of water seepage in a Wilmington, Delaware basement can be the stairway that leads to the outside from the basement. A builder will typically install a small, circular drain in the floor, at the bottom of a set of basement stairs. This drain may lead to a storm drain, sump pump, drywell or, in the experience of Basement Waterproofing Nationwide, too often to nowhere at all. Even when plumbed directly to a sump pump these small drains are easily overwhelmed by quick moving storms and, furthermore, readily blocked by one or more large leaves much like your sink drain is by food and debris.

Basement Waterproofing Nationwide uses high capacity box drains in these applications to yield permanent results. In this case size definitely matters and a 12” box drain is the right size for nearly any stairway drain problem.  The grated cover is anti-clog providing enough surface area to catch even the largest volume of water Mother Nature can throw at it. The drain is hard-plumbed into the sump pit for removal outside. Very often it is appropriate to install a channel drain on the interior of the door both as a backup system as well as to avoid replacing the basement door should there be a sealing problem around the door and it is not convenient to replace the door at this time.

Window Well Drain

When you have basement windows in your Baltimore home’s foundation they can be a problem. Given the right amount of rain and the wells that keep the dirt back can actually fill with water allowing it to spill over onto the walls and floor of your basement. Basement Waterproofing Nationwide’s solution in these cases is custom made window well drains. Often a builder or remodeler or even some waterproofing companies will post hole dig on the outside to the footing filling the hole with stone on the premise that:

  1. There are footing drains present
  2. That these supposed drains are in working order
  3. That the excavation to these drains will not compromise them down the road.

We find that approach to be fraught with difficulties. BWN prefers to positively control the flow of water plumbing it directly into the sump pit by means of these custom drains. A cement floor can be poured at the base of the well making clogging less likely and facilitating easy cleaning of leaves and debris. An atrium drain allows for the water to continue to drain even in the presence of moderate leaves or debris.

Crawlspace Encapsulation

Crawl Spaces are unique environments. As the name implies they are areas of less-than-standard height, usually 5’ and below of headroom where access is limited to a “crawl.” There are a variety of reasons builders or designers will use a crawlspace as a foundation to build upon rather than a full basement.

  • Cost
    • The cost of construction is less. Less excavation, less foundation materials, less finish (typically no cement floor.)
  • Design
    • Often in a multi-level home or where the designer wishes to employ a recessed or sunken living room, for example, that portion of the foundation will necessarily be recessed into even a full basement creating a crawlspace.
  • Geological
    • High water table
    • Preponderance of rock or ledge
    • Other stability concerns

In any event, most crawlspace foundations are substantially different in environments posing unique challenges.

  • Less use leads to less conditioning of the air
  • Lack of proper cement floor can lead to increased humidity
  • Lack of appropriate finishes on the foundation wall interior also leads to greater moisture content

Often Crawlspace encapsulation is a good solution. Here we encapsulate the floors and wall of the crawlspace with a durable and permanent barrier preventing moisture and other contaminants easy access into the crawlspace itself. Once encapsulation is performed correctly we can add a dehumidifier to this space thereby lowering the moisture level and effectively limiting the growth of microorganisms.

Other benefits of Crawlspace Encapsulation include:

  • Water control
  • Barrier to insects
  • Creates a clean and attractive space where you can store items safely
  • Brightens the crawlspace

Complex Dewatering Systems

There are situations that indicate a building will require more than waterproofing.

  • Standing or ‘ponding’ water on a property
  • Run-off water (surface) causing erosion and other nuisance issues
  • Actual penetration of water to an at or above-grade structure due to either of the above.

When there is a source of surface water runoff that threatens the viability of a building’s use or is simply a nuisance, De-watering systems of various complexities can be employed. The purpose of these systems is to attract, direct and remove the water in question to a more suitable location. Often a Complex De-watering system is used in conjunction with a waterproofing membrane to achieve a measurable result because of the layering of multiple waterproofing approaches.

Crack Repair

Cracks in foundations walls are never good. No builder says in his or her sales brochure “OUR basements are sure to crack and leak water!” yet foundations do, at times, crack. Cracks in a residential foundation can be categorized in many ways.

  • Settling – Here a foundation moves downward as a result of unstable soils, erosion or premature loading of a foundation.
  • Lateral pressure – Here the ground on the outside of a foundation exerts pressure on the wall beyond the wall’s ability to withstand causing fractures. Often this type of failure can be the result of improper materials (8” block as opposed to 12” block for example). Additionally backfilling too early (before the concrete reaches its tensile strength) can lead to these cracks. At times excessive sudden or gradual mechanical compaction of the ground (think big truck close to the wall or large bush growing into a larger tree) on the outside can be the source of this pressure.

Repairs to a crack in a foundation vary based on

  • Type of foundation
  • Size and direction of the crack
  • Whether the crack is leaking or not
  • Displacement of the foundation

Crack Repair Solutions

BWN has several proven methods for repairing your cracked foundation.

  • Epoxy injection
  • Carbon-fiber staples and wall straps
  • Urethane injections as a waterstop
  • Structural piers within an existing cement block wall
  • Steel I-Beams
  • Cosmetic surface seal

A detailed inspection will reveal the appropriate solution for you.