Tuesday, May 3, 2011

A Little Wetness Problem Solved

No, I’m not talking about incontinence or my underarms (thank goodness!) but rather an area in our finished basement which has been a reoccurring problem after heavy rainfalls last fall and this spring as I described in this post. I had finally had enough of the wet weather giving me this headache to deal with in our basement so we decided to bite the bullet and try to resolve the issue. Our first step was to pick up some hydraulic cement from the big box store. This stuff is used to patch foundation cracks which is what we anticipated we were dealing with given that the wetness kept occurring in the same localized spot.

Once home and the kiddo went down for a nap Jens and I got to work ripping out a section of drywall. I let Jens have his fun doing the demo part since I was a bit nervous about what we’d find behind it the drywall. However, to our amazement, things weren't nearly as horrid as we were both imagining. First off the basement appeared to be finished correctly meaning there was actually wood furring strips, styrofoam insulation, and a plastic vapor barrier behind the drywall. Score! Secondly, our ‘foundation crack’ where we were expecting a large gapping expanse the size of the Grand Canyon going all the way up the foundation wall happened to be a small crack the size of a pen tip about 6 inches from the floor.


Although the crack wasn’t much it was weeping water at a steady rate, thus the huge wet area in our basement carpet cap which was acting like a sponge. The carpet tack strips were also rotted from the wetness where it appeared that the strips were acting like a water dam until they pretty much rotten through so a few carpet tack strips will need replacement. But now for the magic …. how we patched our crack.


The process was pretty simple: mix cement cover crack and hold there with a trowel for 3-5 minutes until it firmed up enough, and smooth out the patch with the trowel. Yep, like I said it was like magic.


It still doesn’t look very pretty in our basement but things seem to be drying out and our patch appears to be doing its job. Wohooo!

Once the patch is fully cured we’ll start patching the wall back up and putting the carpet and trim back down to return it all back to normal. But for now I’m just relieved that our wetness problem seems to be taken care of and Jens and I are both kicking ourselves for taking so long to get this done since it was so simple. It seriously took us less than 40 minutes. Now we know, but hopefully there won’t be a next time since we plan on putting gutters on the house to make sure we don’t have water running down along our foundation walls. I guess we live and learn, right?

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