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attempting to finish my basement...

Post in 'DIY and General non-hearth advice' started by highbody, Oct 4, 2010.

  1. highbody

    highbody New Member

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    so my girlfriend and I recently bought a house in North East ct. the house is about 1000sqf ranch with a semi finished basement that we are in the process of finishing.

    im hopefully going to make this thread a build thread for my living room... it will not go very fast but it has to get done or soon it will be my bedroom

    The previous owners "sealed" the floor with what appears to be a latex paint.. we have had alot of rain over the past week and water has seeped in through the basement floor (concrete slab) ..

    so i am hoping that i can get a little help on what steps i should take in order to make this space living space for us.

    so my first of many questions:

    what should i do, i know i need to take up the paint, clean and lay down some kind of sealer do you guys recommend?

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  2. Ratherbfishin

    Ratherbfishin Member

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    I too recently posted about finishing my basement, and after the 4'' of rain we just got found myself vacuuming out about 250 gallons of water. About half the basement had an inch and a half of water coming in from where the foundation meets the floor. So that gives me a better idea where I want my room. the short term plan is to install a sump pump where the water was ponding the most then clean and try to seal where I saw water coming in. Chances are we will not get 4'' rain storms often but the water issue needs to be addressed before any construction begins on the man cave. A finished basement seems to be a super investment as it adds alot to the value of your home. I just wonder what the @!#$$$# will jack my taxes up to.

    Steve
  3. ozzy73

    ozzy73 Member

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    highbody, before you do work try to find out where the water is comming from exactly.

    Up through slab, cove joint ( wall meets floor ), foundation wall ??

    Is your foundation poured or block ?

    Do you have a sump pit in the basement ?


    Ozzy.
  4. highbody

    highbody New Member

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    we currently are using the basement as a living room, i laid down a sheet of plastic, and have a carpet on top of that.. so im going to have to remove the couches and carpet before i can tell were the water is coming from exactly.

    the basement is poured and there is no sump...

    it has been raining constant for the past 4-5 days and it has been heavy. theres no other water anywhere but where the water is now, unfortunately its where im going to finish
  5. gpcollen1

    gpcollen1 Minister of Fire

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  6. highbody

    highbody New Member

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    i cannot open the file
  7. thewoodlands

    thewoodlands Minister of Fire

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    You need Acrobat Reader 8 or 9 on your computer.

    zap
  8. gpcollen1

    gpcollen1 Minister of Fire

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    Either download Acrobat for free or go to the second link and click on the 'Renovating Your Basement' article. It will give it to you in a preview mode i believe. Not sure how large it will be like that. It is a must read.

    Bottom line: If you get water running in or anything besides damp walls and floors, you need to install a drainage system sub slab. If you just get moisture on the concrete, you can probably get away with XPS insulation, 1 or 2 inches and then framing. You can install the trench drains and sump yourself if you are handy...
  9. Jotulf3cb

    Jotulf3cb New Member

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    FRENCH DRAINS!!
  10. SolarAndWood

    SolarAndWood Minister of Fire

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    I would count this rain as a blessing. Our current house had several layers of wall to wall carpeting and a brand new basement fix with a Lifetime Warranty when we bought it. In the end, I gutted the whole thing, excavated down to the slab on the lower side of the house and put a wall of windows in. Then put a drain system in. Only now is it bone dry as it turns out there is a spring uphill of the house. I highly recommend you get the basement bone dry year round one way or another before you put anything in it that can hold moisture and promote mold.
  11. ozzy73

    ozzy73 Member

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    Highbody any updates on what your planning to do ?
  12. jebatty

    jebatty Minister of Fire

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    For anyone buying a house and wanting a usable basement, water is a huge issue. Need to examine all areas where walls, woodwork, sheetrock, etc. and floor meet. Any chance of a water stain is a ticket for a probable expensive fix and/or a basement that can never be finished. We had a house/basement that for years on end would be bone dry. Then, lots of rain, and water would come up right through the concrete floor from hydrostatic pressure - not though the walls, from cracks, or where walls would meet the floor. We spent lots of money and got a partial fix (not as much water, but still some water), but never could completely end the water problem. Never, never again will I buy a house that does not have excellent drainage in all directions and 0 evidence, along with affidavits from prior owner, that never water seepage, leaking, etc, etc. Good luck on solving your problem.
  13. highbody

    highbody New Member

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    as of right now we returned all the pergo flooring that we had bought to cover the floor with.. we are going to tile eventually when we get the water figured out.

    the back of the house has no gutters and the front is improperly draining an im 95% sure that these are problems.. The previous owners ripped the gutters off the house to install the exhaust pipe for the stove.

    i ended up buying a Harman p61 pellet stove, i just need to adapt that pipe to the 6 inch thimble in the wall..

    we are ripping up the carpet this week and installing the pellet stove, this will allow us to dry the basement and look for more leaks when we get the gutters done in a week or so
  14. gpcollen1

    gpcollen1 Minister of Fire

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    That concrete floor is going to radiate a hole lot of cold in the winter time. In the summer it is nice but in the winter - not so nice. I am trying to do mine this winter. It will be 1 or 2 layers of 1" XPS with sleepers studs and plywood over top. Then comes the laminate floor or tile.

    Did you get to read the buildingscience.com papers??
  15. highbody

    highbody New Member

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    i printed the building science papers at work so i have them now..

    i cant afford the head room to lay a sub floor. i would be banging my head on pipes.

    the tile place said i would be able to tile over the concrete even if water is seeping in the basment. I dont trust that. and id rather address the issue...
    like i said i guarentee it is related to the poor drainage on the outside of the house with the gutters... im going to call for a few quotes for gutters, id like to get them before winter snow hits
  16. Willman

    Willman Minister of Fire

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    Perimeter drain into sump with dual sump pumps with 1 battery back up. If you can vent the drain up through house to sky you get a radon removal system as well as a method to dry under slab. There is a baseboard style wall drain that is installed before concrete is poured. Use the system Platon on top of concrete. Can also be used on walls to direct flow down into drain.

    Steel studs and Dens Armour plus for walls foam insulation. Theres an all in one foam and stud panel out. Spendy though.No studs needed.



    https://www.spycor.com/v/vspfiles/templates/1/assets/Platon Subfloor Product Brochure.pdf

    Will
  17. northernontario

    northernontario Member

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    As for insulated floors... my brother was praising those interlocking 2x2 subfloor panels this weekend. Comparing the two styles (one is better insulated than the other), he said definitely spend the extra and get the insulated style. His friend went the non-insulated route, he went the insulated route... apparently makes a HUGE difference in the comfort level in his basement.

    Get those gutters back up, and if that doesn't solve it, consider an extra french drain 5ft out from the house. Do some reading on them... they are meant to pull water away from the house before it gets to the bottom of the foundation.
  18. highbody

    highbody New Member

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    thanks for the info on the insulated pannles. are you talking about the ones at lowes? do you have any info on them?

    the gutters are going up soon.. im sure it will solve the problems.. but we will see...

    im going to install the stove this weekend just to get some heat in the house so i dont have to turn on the electric heat.
  19. oconnor

    oconnor Minister of Fire

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    Instead of the 2 x 2 panels, you can buy the dimpled plastic in 100 ft rolls and lay plywood over it. The rolls are also used a lot for exterior drainage - they are ram set to the cement wall underground to allow the water a place to go. By reducing the hydraulic pressure, the water stops seeping thru cracks in the concrete.

    If you go the panel or roll route, remember to lay the floor before you put the walls in - keeps the bottom plates from rotting off.
  20. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

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    I'm also (extremely slowly) fixing up the basement.
    I'm thinking of staining the concrete floor and using area rugs.
    Maybe the rugs could be removed and dried and/or treated if they got wet.
    I've seen some red-stained floors and I think it looks good.
    Not sure if you can do it yourself though - might be a learning curve and you only have one chance to get it right.
  21. raiderfan

    raiderfan Feeling the Heat

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    That's more or less what I did. I had a room area in my basement with a carpet cut out to fit the whole area of the room. But when I would get water down there (only in spring when it rains AND the snow melts from the ground -- combined) and the water made it over to the carpet, it was a pain in the ass to dry.

    Plans to do the room were in the works, and I was going to get new carpet and cover the whole area again. Started thinking about it and decided that I would just clean thouroghly, and paint the floor with Ben Moore's patio and floor paint. Then I would throw some Home Depot area rugs down there, for the same reasons as you: If they get wet, who cares, hang them out to dry or get new ones.

    The floor came out great with a cream color paint and the dark gray area rugs look good with it. Best thing I ever did. Clean up after having friends over for the game is easy, too.

    As far as concrete staining, I don't know what that entails. But if you wanted to paint it, that should work too. Just use good paint!
  22. highbody

    highbody New Member

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    painting the floor doesent sound like a horrible idea.. but ill have to run it by the boss (Girlfriend) first and see what she has to say about that..

    i personally like the idea and would make it very easy like you said to clean up after the dogs, mud, water.. as we do use our basment door as the main entrance to the house when its just us

    we were looking at stampped concreete for a while also.. but the prices are a little hught for that..

    im sure my g/f is looking for a more finished look in the basment which the tile would be better... but for me i like the painted idea.. any pics of your flooring raiderfan?
  23. SolarAndWood

    SolarAndWood Minister of Fire

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    I painted my last basement. House was built in 1900, had coal and oil appliances at some point, drainage issues, etc. I completely gutted it including all the electrical, plumbing and HVAC. Before the mechanicals went back in I sprayed the underside of the 1st floor with kilz, UGLd the walls and replaced the old rotten windows with glass block with vents. Then sprayed the walls and ceiling with high gloss white and did the floor in battleship gray. It made an amazing difference and the old house smell was gone. I used Sherwin Williams floor paint and it held up perfectly even with high traffic, carts, bikes, and equipment being moved across it constantly.
  24. raiderfan

    raiderfan Feeling the Heat

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    I'll post some pics tonight.

    haha -- I'll have to have my boss (girlfriend) do it for me when she gets home from the gym!!
  25. raiderfan

    raiderfan Feeling the Heat

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    Here you are, highbody. Some pics of the floor. My house was built in 1895, so the floor wasn't exactly a smooth one!! If your floor is a newer poor, it could look real good with a high quality paint!!

    Attached Files:

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