Category Archives: Basements

A Lesson for DIY Landscapers (& Professionals, too)

Posted by in Basements, What happens when ...? | October 16, 2017

Ever wonder what happens when you plant a tree sapling too close to a basement wall? This is what can happen, “Many years later.” This is probably much closer to a wall than anyone would purposely plant a tree, but… Read More

A Primer on Basement Wall Distress (Encore May 1, 2017)

Posted by in Archive 2004 thru 2011, Basements, Buying/Maintaining a Home, Cracking, Foundations | May 01, 2017

So, you have found your dream home: perfect location, quiet street, great landscaping, room layout fits your life style, colors match your furniture. You can’t wait to relax on the screened patio or that swing on the large front porch.… Read More

A Lifted (Heaved) Basement Floor Slab

Posted by in Basements, Concrete, Unusual, Water Sources, Weather Events | August 08, 2016

What would cause a concrete basement floor slab to lift in this fashion? The basement floor slab was lifted up about eight inches or so.  The area of floor slab over the sanitary sewer lines was lifted more than the… Read More

What Can We Tell from This Photo? (Case Study 10)

Posted by in Basements, Simple Forensic Methods, Water Sources | August 10, 2015

This photo was taken at the base of a basement wall. We note the following: The moisture staining on the wood stud and the cardboard box indicate that there has been water infiltration. The multiple rings of the moisture staining… Read More

What If I Don’t Fix My Leaking Basement?

Posted by in Basements, Concrete, Masonry | May 04, 2015

What can happen if I don’t properly address groundwater infiltration through my basement wall?  That is, assuming that the basement or foundation wall is not overloaded by the combination of earth and excessive groundwater pressures, what could possibly go wrong?… Read More

What Can We Tell from This Photo? (Case Study 4)

Posted by in Basements, Cracking, Masonry, Simple Forensic Methods | October 20, 2014

  This is an exercise to develop the abilities of observation. What can one know from examining this photograph? The pattern of the joints under the coating indicate that this is a concrete block wall. The coating appears to be… Read More

Is It True? Are Two Pumps Better Than One? – Part 2

Posted by in Basements | March 19, 2012

Our previous article, Part 1 of Is it True?  Are Two Pumps Better Than One? discussed some of the issues of a foundation drainage system that uses a sump basin to collect ground water and a pump to discharge the collected… Read More

Is It True? Are Two Pumps Better Than One? – Part 1

Posted by in Basements | March 08, 2012

For decades foundation drain tile have been placed around basements of dwellings to collect and drain ground water from the soil, especially during and after a rain storm.  These drain tile are commonly comprised of short lengths of clay tile… Read More