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Old 09-02-2010, 02:20 PM
 
14 posts, read 20,284 times
Reputation: 22

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Hi all,
My hubby and I have been looking for a house with a basement for over 8 months. When we do find a basement home (rare) it has water issues.

We found a house that we love, but the basement is definitely wet.

We've been asking around and have been told it probably just needs to be waterproofed, as there is no apparent damage (newer home) - but we aren't used to damp mildewy basements (from Canada where everyone had a finished basement and no water issues). Does anyone around here have a dry finished basement? What is the safest and best way to treat/waterproof basements down here? Any recommendations for contractors?

Thanks for any insights!
Colleen
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Old 09-02-2010, 03:44 PM
 
Location: Easley, SC
511 posts, read 1,252,451 times
Reputation: 107
Have you tried All Dry? It is possible to have a basement here with no water issues. My mother in law has a full poured concrete basement on her home and she has had no problems. I have a basement and do not have water problems, but mine is not poured concrete. It does have the exposed dirt and that will always give off an odor of must.

I sold a home that had standing water and we did have a basement specialist come out. He installed a sump pump and water-proofed the wall. I would have to look up the name of the company as we asked that the seller pay for it and they picked the company.
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Old 09-02-2010, 03:52 PM
 
Location: Travelers Rest SC
745 posts, read 1,832,348 times
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I certainly know of people with dry basements but they are in newer homes. The key is in building the basement properly to begin with. Now days, they have a gravel bed all around the basement. There are perforated drain pipes embedded in the gravel. The walls are waterproofed, and it is back-filled with gravel. Landscape cloth covers the gravel to keep dirt from clogging the gravel, and then topsoil is graded in place. The drain pipe either carries the water down hill, or on level ground, there is a sump pump to handle the water. Other important factors are the soil itself (some places just can't have a basement!), the way the topsoil is sloped away from the house, and having full roof gutters to carry the water away from the foundation. Done at the time of construction, all of the above doesn't add much to the cost of a home; in fact, it is code now. I don't know what you could do to an existing home short of digging away the soil and doing all of the above. The cost of that would be ridiculous. Any sealer you put on the inside of the basement walls WILL eventually fail. I have seen systems where they construct a drainage ditch inside the basement, but that's going to result in high humidity in the air.

That was probably more than you wanted to know, but there is one more factor with all basements. The basement walls will always be cool because of the ground temperature. When you introduce hot humid air in the summer, the walls will sweat, just like the outside of your ice tea glass. So what you might be seeing in a damp basement is condensation, not actual leakage. You can either run A/C, or get a really good de-humidifier, and plan on running it during the summer.
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Old 09-02-2010, 05:13 PM
 
Location: Sun City Center, FL
177 posts, read 563,840 times
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Nine years ago when we were looking for a home in Greenville County, we thought that we wanted a basement. But when we looked at homes with a real estate agent, every home with a basement had a musty wet smelling basement. So we gave up the idea of a basement. Since then we have heard numerous times about flooded basements.

I would recommend against having a basement here.
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Old 09-02-2010, 06:48 PM
 
Location: Greenville County, SC
275 posts, read 1,477,909 times
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I have a full walkout basement under my house. Basement is about 2400 sq. ft. The basement is unfinished and I have no moisture problems. I do run a dehumidifier for about half of the year.
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Old 09-02-2010, 07:05 PM
 
Location: Not where you ever lived
11,544 posts, read 23,643,955 times
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You have to find the source of the water. It is very expensive and labor intensive to dig a ditch below the floundation, and maybe the frost line, to install a French drain system. Generally speaking, even in a very high humidity area, you shouldn't need a de-humidifier in the basement that is dry. You don't want a part dirt/parf dinish basement unless you can wall off the dirt side and seal it completely. Damp dirt or a musty odor is a red flag for possible Mold Spores in your basement. What you want is a dry basement, gutters that work properly and the dirt next to your house graded toward the lowes place, and if there is none then it should be re-graded higher next to your house. If you are patient, you may find a no-basement house/ with a crawl space, that has a roomy attic and an extra room or two.

Been there. done it all, and doing it again - but wiser and better. .
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Old 09-13-2010, 03:21 PM
 
Location: Cleveland, Where Penguins Dare
337 posts, read 391,054 times
Reputation: 96
Default No basement

Quote:
Originally Posted by dlhanson View Post
Nine years ago when we were looking for a home in Greenville County, we thought that we wanted a basement. But when we looked at homes with a real estate agent, every home with a basement had a musty wet smelling basement. So we gave up the idea of a basement. Since then we have heard numerous times about flooded basements.

I would recommend against having a basement here.
I second dlhanson. Its estimated that 60 percent of U.S. homes have wet basements, and 38 percent run the risk of wet basements with mold. Source: The wet cinder block wall basements of Greater Cleveland, Ohio
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Old 09-16-2010, 03:48 AM
 
14 posts, read 20,284 times
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Default Thank you!

Thank you all! We weighed it all out including costs and time involved to fix, and have decided to go with a house without a basement. Longer growing season means we don't need to preserve the same way and store our foods in a cool basement, so that helps too. Always awesome to visit City-Data to catch up, learn, and get questions answered.
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