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Foundation Waterproofing

Hi, my house was built in 1964. It is quite likely that no work has been done on the foundation since it was built. During inspection, we were told that we have to correct the slope to send water away from the house, which is fine.
But should we do more? One contractor told us that we need to redo the French Drains and redo the waterproofing/membrane around the house (20,000$). He looked hard and found tiny spots of mould in the basement (which is at least 7 feet deep).
Any opinions on this contractor's suggestions? How can I tell if the foundation needs to be re-waterproofed? It's not a cheap job, I'd much rather redo my bathrooms :)


Re: Foundation Waterproofing

Is it a finished basement? If its unfinished I would just wait until you have a good rain to see if it needs anything more. (Obviously don't store anything valuable down there until you know) I wouldn't be overly concerned with a few tiny spots of mold, most basements are rather humid and if you looked hard enough you could probably find a bit in any of them.

Sloping the ground away from the house is always a good idea, as you don't want puddles of water sitting next to your foundation, and its rather cheap and easy to do. However I wouldn't spend big money on any waterproofing solutions unless you are sure you had a real problem.

Re: Foundation Waterproofing

Yes, it's a finished basement (painted paneling on the walls), and we are thinking about refinishing. There is also some general dampness in the basement in the summer (when not heating).

The slope we are correcting for sure. Also the water draining from the gutters goes down spouts that are buried into the ground right next to the house, another thing we are fixing asap.

Maybe tearing down the paneling to see that's behind there is a good idea?

Re: Foundation Waterproofing

I agree with jaguar; unless you actually see water, especially after a rain, I would not do major surgery on the foundation, which would cost big $$$.

Follow the recommendation to reslope the grade around the house exterior.

The first page of the site below also has some measures to take that are low-cost & relatively easy to do, such as making sure the roof gutters are not clogged & that they transmit all rainwater into the downspouts; the 2nd & 3rd pages of the site don't apply to your situation.

You don't have to wait for a rainstorm; play the garden hose on the roof & watch the action of the water.

The buried downspouts usually go to an underground drain pipe or drywell system that carries the water away from the foundation.

So don't break anything when you dig & explore these lines.

The site shows an x-ray view of the foundation & cellar; if a leak should develop, a low-cost sump pump is often installed to automatically expel the water out of the basement.


Re: Foundation Waterproofing

Thank you so much for your responses, and all the useful links! Really makes me feel confident that once we correct the slope and redirect water coming off the roof, all will be well!
And really, it took the contractor 10 minutes to find even a little sign of water damage, so I really don't think our problems are very serious at this moment and I think he really did take advantage of us not knowing anything about foundations.

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