What follows is a list of the many, generally unsuccessful ways we have seen others try to eliminate water problems in their basement. Often these methods are very expensive.
- Excavate the soil around the foundation, install a french drain next to the footer, and tar the foundation. This may work, as long as the home is on a slope and the water can flow by gravity out of the drain tile. Unfortunately, this is very expensive, messy, and very difficult to do, since there are usually decks, patios, shrubbery, sidewalks, bilco doors and porches along the perimeter of the home. To top it all, no contractors that we know of will give a life-of-the-home warranty.
- Install an additional concrete floor on top of the existing one. This is very expensive, usually doesn't stop the water from coming in and doesn't solve the dampness problem. Also, when we come in afterwards to install our system, we have to charge extra for the additional time needed for excavation.
- Install a concrete "shoulder" where the wall and floor meet. Once again, this may mean money wasted. Even if it does temporarily stop water from coming in, it does not control the dampness problem.
- Painting dry-lok on the walls. This makes the walls look good, but it will only stop water from coming through the wall, temporarily. Eventually, it will chip off. Also, it doesn't stop water from leaking onto the floor from where the walls and floor meet or through cracks in the floor. In fact, the dry-lok will, over a long time span, cause your cinder block wall to disintegrate. Cinder blocks, unlike concrete, can't hold up to constant moisture which is kept in by the dry-lok.
- Dig a ditch outside and install a french drain. This may help, but it doesn't solve the water problem completely.
- Parge (stucco) the interior walls. This may make the walls look better, but you'll still have dampness and usually it doesn't stop water from coming in to the basement through cracks in the floor or at the bottom of the wall. After several years, the moisture will damage the stucco and it will flake off the wall.