So the first roadblock has been encountered – well two really. The less tangible one was that I got hit by the sickness that has been knocked down everyone in the family by me so badly that I could hardly breathe, let alone work, for a few days. Thankfully, that seems to have cleared up in the last two days and we’re back on track. The more significant issue is water.
So the basement has been entirely dry since the day we’ve moved in. After the grinding and crack filling of last time, I continued on to follow the current suggestion by the American Building Sciences institute of the best way to insulate and finish a basement. This involves fixing extruded polystyrene to the foundation wall and completely sealing in the cement from cold joint to sill cap. Done … until the rain came. On Monday of this week the temperature jumped to 50+ and the rain came pouring down. Unfortunately, you can see what happened near the soil stack exit. The hydraulic cement was not sufficient to keep the ground water out because of poor drainage! As my sister would say, “Francis Mahoney!”
This raises a whole lot of problems. The obvious answer (and I knew this), was that the drainage near here needs to be solved. If I dig down 4-5 feet and lay some slates, tar around the pipe, and then put a square of insulation above it, that should take care of the problem. Right? The problem is this: I won’t know if it took care of the problem until the next major rainstorm or until the Spring. This leaves me in a bind. How can I continue on this section of the basement knowing that there might end up being a leak behind my new wall. This is a definite setback … no smile this week.