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Masonry Concrete

fieldstone foundation
by: Carol posted: Saturday - February 20, 2010
The foundation of our home is fieldstone.  Consequently, when it snows, 
the snow closest to the foundation leaks into the basement through the 
fieldstone as it begins to melt causing puddles on the floor.  We want to 
make a game room down there but don't know how to waterproof the 
walls without compromising the foundation.

French drain
by: Loui421451 posted: Sunday - February 21, 2010
Fieldstone (common in New England states - a.k.a. 
flagstone in the Southwest) is very pourous as you 
said and will allow water to seep through.  However, 
that seepage is slow.  I suggest you build a French 
Drain with drain pipes around your house and leading 
away to a sewer or rock filled pit.  You can look up 
many designs on the internet.  I think the best would 
be to dig a trench around the house.  Line that with 
plastic sheating (100 mil should do) and put a layer 
of river rocks in the bottom.  Set the drain pipe 
(lots of holes) in that so it slopes to the exit and 
cover with river rock.  Put a layer of heavy gravel 
and then fine gravel over that.  Put a layer of sand 
over that and finally resod over that.

As the snow melts, the water will take the path of 
least resistance and flow into the drain pipe that 
leads it away from the house.

Just in case some water gets into the basement, I 
would install a sump pump.

I hope this helps.  Good luck,
Louis Whistler

by: FIXITRIGHT posted: Sunday - February 21, 2010
I agree with what Loui says and would add my 2 
cents.  Wrap the drainage pipe with a landscaping 
fabric so that any fine sand or dirt does not clog up 
the holes in the pipe over time and make sure the 
pipe is continuous and drains away from the house 
completely.  I would also put a perimeter drain on 
the inside of the basement as well, i.e. a typical 
french drain system with drainage pipe which is 
pitched into a sump pump pit and then pumped to the 
exterior and off the property completely-do not tie 
this into the outside drainage pipe system in case 
either one becomes clogged or is overwhelmed by the 
amount of water and renders the other non functional.

Any smart basement remodeling contractor will install 
a very professional 100% functional perimeter drain 
system first before they finish any basement.  It 
just doesnt mkae sense to finish your basement and 
hope you never get water chich could wreak havoc on 
your interior finish and furnishings, furniture, etc.

Not Possible
by: pahoehoe posted: Sunday - February 21, 2010
It is not possible to 'waterproof' a fieldstone 
foundation without going through massive expense in 
wrapping the foundation in a waterpoof membrane as 
well as installing crushed stone drains and sump 
pumps around the foundation and under the basement 

Especially if you also have porpus soil and a high 
water table.

Anyone who tells you different has either no idea 
what he is talking about or no experience with 
fieldstone foundations and such work.

In short: Unless you have typically at least $20,000+ 
US dollars to spend on doing this basement 
waterproofing thing 'right', forget the whole  
finished basement idea because you will otherwise 
just be wasting your money chasing bad advice....and 
still be left with a wet 'game room'.

by: davekoe posted: Monday - February 22, 2010
Ask a few stonemasons to take a look at your place. They may have 
some good suggestions.

wet basement
by: davekoe posted: Friday - February 26, 2010
There are of course many "basement waterproofing" companies. One method 
used by some of them is to drill holes in the ground all around the house and 
pump in "waterproofing" substances such as bentonite clay. If it works, it is 
inherently less expensive than French drains and sump pumps. There are reports 
that it doesn't always work. Go to google and look at "Basement Waterproofing". 
Look in your yellow pages. Talk to some of them but beware that not all of them 
are reputable.

It is possible and its a very easy fix...
by: eugene toto posted: Tueday - March 2, 2010
Hi Carol,

I apologize for being late in responding to these 
posts... I dropped an email account and I guess the 
questions from this site got forwarded to me that 
way..Now I have to go in search of them instead of 
just finding them ready for me to be read...

I have fixed many fieldstone foundation water issues 
for very little money...The cost figures of 20,000.00 
+ dollars mentioned by pahoehoe is just pure 
nonsense...You almost could lift your entire house up 
and pour a new foundation for that kind of money...

The 1-st thing you need to do is create a slope to the 
landscape around the entire perimeter of your home 
pitching everything away from the foundation and then 
make a cement-form around the entire foundation at 
least 2-ft out from the house and either allow the 
concrete apron to be visible forever or recess-it to 
ground level and allow the lawn to regrow over the 
cement apron and then you can mix small batches of 
concrete and from the basement side, force it into the 
cracks and spaces between the fieldstones. Using a 
small trowel and a glove you can perform this task 
very well. You can add color to the concrete so its 
not as visible or just leave it alone. Once you know 
your problems are behind you, you can then cement the 
floor and you'll have your game room without spending 
20 grand and still ending up with sump pumps and 
backup generators...Your problem is quite fixable, 
I've never not be able to completely cure this 
situation you have right now at your home...Not 
once...Good Luck...E.T.

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