Block Basements: My Pick

There is no perfect foundation, older homes and stone foundations had their good and bad points and they were the only real choice for hundreds of years.

Block Basements: Part Six

In part five we got the block foundation walls cleaned, covered in a waterproof coating and reset the drainage tiles, then installed a bed of washed stone. The stone acts as the clear base for the soil that will back fill against the house. Properly draining soil is the last step and can consume a large portion of the actual budget if it has to be removed and replaced.

Block Basements: Part Five

Last week we listed off the procedures that are needed to properly prepare a site for excavation around a block basement, in previous weeks we discussed waterproofing methods and reasons why block basements are known for water issues.

Block Basements: Part Four

backhoe digging up leaking basement foundation.

This week we look at what should happen when it comes time to dig up a basement and correct the problem. Actually, we are going to look at how a reputable contractor should begin. Over the years I have had numerous conversations with responsible foundation contractors and every conversation contains the comment

Block Basements: Part Three

Waterproofing a block basement

This is the third in my series on block foundations and we now look at the numerous kinds of materials, coatings and membranes on the market that are used to rectifying a wet block basement. One thing to get clear from the start, the terms damp proofing and waterproofing that are often used by some unscrupulous contractors as the same thing

Block Basements: Part Two

The number one issue with a block basement is moisture; blocks are not waterproof…period. Water will penetrate any mortar crack, open seam or just about any opening for that matter and we all know that the blocks themselves are porous. I have seen cases where a contractor drilled a hole in the second course of blocks and the water actually flowed out.

Block Basements: Part One

Block basement under construction.

With well over 40 plus years of building, renovation and building assessment experience block basements are continuing reminder that they need special care and understanding. Part one in this 6-part series begins with some background.