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December 2012
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February 2013

January 2013

Waterproofing a basement - weather testing and floor demo

I had my basement waterproofed last December.  The company I used was Basement Waterproofing (WPN)Nationwide.  They did a nice job even though there were a few things I had to point out.  I waited till now to comment on how they did since I wanted to see how their work would hold up. 

During the job, I had to ask them to move the new sump pit's outgoing pipe so a door could be opened and closed properly.  They had removed the door and didn't allow space for it with the pipes.  They agreed the pipes needed moving and did so on the same day with no trouble.

They discovered part of my basement floor was an addition that contained a floating floor.  There was no footer around the addition. If they tried cutting a trench the walls would have nothing to rest on.  So they used a cove channel method to direct the water.  I was a little skeptical but they said they wouldn't add any extra costs to the modification even though it's more expensive for them.  Presently, several rain storms have come through and it continues to work successfully.

While removing the sill plate (wooden horizontal 2x4 studs) off the floor, the foreman said they would cut just the nails on the studs holding the sill in place.  That way I could just add new 2x4's for the sill.  After the sill's removal, I check the distance and showed the foreman the space was too big for one 2x4.  He said the space would fill up after they finished adding the concrete.  However, after the concrete was leveled off, the space was still too large for just a 2x4.  I will have to remove all the studs/drywall and redo the framing.  I was a little miffed by the promise of one thing and the delivery of another. 

But in the long run, I decided I needed to add insulation and re-organize where the lighting and electrical receptacles needed to go.  I only had a 1/2 wall covered with drywall, so I needed to frame all the walls and put drywall top to bottom.  I also need to first replace some jalousie windows with something more energy efficient, then I can frame around them properly.

As far as the team that did the waterproofing, I kept an eye on the progress throughout project to make sure I knew what was going on.  If there was anything I didn't understand, the foreman explained it in detail.  I also talked to the person that did the cove channel install in the side addition.  The rest of the staff kept to themselves.

There was an incident where someone kept walking through my Christmas yard decorations, which ripped off anchor cables and torn one inflatable decoration.  No one told me about it after the fact.  I found out on my own when the inflatable tried to inflate.  The store replaced it at no charge so I didn't hassle the waterproofing company, but I did report it so the foreman so he could remind his crew on how to conduct themselves.

After the project was done, a few weeks went by before the first rain storms came through.  After it rained all day, I checked the basement for any water seepage.  Everything was good, the relocated sump pump was running fine.  But I had water coming in through an exterior door frame onto the basement floor.  The exterior door opens to a stairwell leading up to the outside.  I sent pictures to WPN and they scheduled a guy to come out.

Upon inspection, the guy decided the exterior was leaking around the door frame.  They had installed a larger exterior drain, at my request, originally.  During the install, I think the frame was weakened a bit.  So the guy added more hydralic cement that would slope between my door frame and the outside drain.  Any rain that tried blowing against the door frame would fall back down into the drain.

It's rained enough now, that I think that may have fixed the problem.  There is one small spot that looks a little damp right near the corner of the door.  But I can probably fix that myself by checking the door's threshold for any gaps.

So now that the waterproofing is holding up successfully, I've moved on to doing the demo on the rest of the basement's crappy linoleum.  I thought it would be a pain, but it's coming up easily with just a floor scraper I bought at Harbor Freight.  The scraper has a removable blade that's very sharp and acts just like a large razor. I knocked out the floor in about 3-4 hours including cleanup.  There's some ceramic tile in the small addition also.  I tested removing it with another floor scraper I picked up at Home depot.  It works fast on the ceramic tile.  I think the ceramic is easier to remove in this case since the thinset isn't holding it very well any more.

The next step is to remove and replace the basement windows.


One consumable finally runs out

It's been 18 months since I moved back to the States.  So when I went to replace some liquid soap this week, I was surprised to find I had finally used up the surplus I've had since my days in Russia. I haven't bought any since 2009.  Does soap expire?  Guess I don't have to worry about it now.  If only the dog shampoo was that easy to go through.

rule #1 No one talks about this soap