Fighting basement flooding – how to pump out water and make waterproofing

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Flooding of basements with groundwater is a fairly common problem, especially in the spring. How to drain the basement and how to prevent it from flooding in the future will be discussed in this article.

With the arrival of spring, many owners of country houses are faced with such an unpleasant problem as flooding of basements with melt and groundwater. If in the first case, it is enough to competently make an external waterproofing of the foundation and a blind area around the house for a solution, then these measures will not help from groundwater.

When the water table is high, the earth is like a sponge soaked in water. If the basement floor is below this level, then moisture enters the basement through all surfaces accessible to it – walls and floor plane. Therefore, waterproofing the walls will not save, because it only affects the walls. To completely protect yourself from flooding, you must either lower the water table or make a waterproof barrier. How to do this will be discussed in this article..

Drainage arrangement

This method is good because it allows you to fight the root cause of flooding – a high level of groundwater. The result of the work will be its reduction. Unfortunately, this method is far from applicable in any case. To understand why, let’s take a closer look..

A drainage system is, in fact, a drainage system through ditches or special drainage pipes. Deep ditches on the site are a dangerous thing and do not decorate its appearance, therefore it is not used for domestic purposes. With the help of them, you can, for example, drain a swamp in order to organize a place for a vegetable garden. We will consider a system of pipes. A drainage pipe is a pipe of a large, at least 100 mm, diameter, having a network of small holes over the entire surface, buried to a depth of drainage, that is, below the level of the basement floor, with a slope from the house and a free exit. Thus, the use of such a system is possible only on areas with their own slope. It is he who will ensure the natural flow of water and its free exit at the end.

Fighting basement flooding

Conclusion: if it is possible to make a drainage system around your home, then this is necessary. Both alone and in combination with other basement drainage measures, it will give excellent results and eliminate the root cause of flooding..

Arrangement of an automatic water pumping system

What if the plot is flat and has no slope? It is clear that there is simply nowhere to lead the drainage pipe. There is a simple way to drain the basement in this case – it is to equip an automatic water pumping system.

What is needed for this:

1. Organization of a pit inside the basement. A hole is dug about 500×500 mm in size and at least 500 mm deep. The walls are reinforced, for example, with brickwork – the main thing is not to crumble over time. Gravel 100 mm thick is poured at the bottom.

Fighting basement flooding

2. A special drainage pump with an automatic activation system when the water reaches a certain level.

Fighting basement flooding

The pump is installed in a pit. The connected hose is led out as far from the house as possible. As the level of the primer rises, water will first appear in the sump. At a certain moment, which one depends on the pump settings, for example, when the upper edge of the sump is reached, pumping will begin and excess moisture will be removed. Naturally, water will soon start to accumulate again. As the accumulation proceeds, the pump will turn on and pump it out. This will continue until the level of the primer drops. If its increase is the result of snow melting, then the period of operation of the pumping system is March-May.

Conclusion: a fairly simple and reliable system. Of the costs, in fact, only the purchase of a pump – a price of 5,000 rubles. for simple options and up to 20,000 rubles. for samples with an increased resource. The main disadvantage is that it does not eliminate the problem as a whole, but gives only a temporary solution, moreover, depending on the pump resource.

Arrangement of a waterproof barrier in the basement

There is a solution to the problem of flooding basements in houses on flat areas, which, although it does not eliminate the very cause, like drainage, but allows you to completely do without any temporary fixtures. We are talking about organizing a waterproof barrier inside the basement – in fact, a “trough” along the entire surface of the walls and floor. How this is done will be discussed further..

Generally speaking, there is no need to make such a barrier along the entire height of the basement walls. It is enough to raise its level 100 mm above the highest groundwater level. Of course, you can simply make a barrier to the level of the soil – the water simply cannot rise above, but the high price of the materials used in this method requires corresponding savings, and this can only be achieved by avoiding overruns. Accordingly, the first thing to do is to detect the level of the primer and, thereby, to determine the upper border of the waterproofing.

Next, you need to decide what exactly needs to be done to create a waterproof barrier. Two options are possible here:

  1. If the basement is a reinforced concrete monolith-trough, poured at one time, then it will be enough to treat it from the inside with impregnating waterproofing. This is a special mixture that penetrates into the pores and microcracks of concrete and contains additives that crystallize in water. The crystals formed clog all the pores in the concrete, thereby forming a waterproof barrier – which is what we need..
  2. Any other case, including a reinforced concrete monolith, poured several times, because even this option cannot be considered a full-fledged monolith, since each new pour on the existing concrete gives a strongly permeable boundary between different layers, for water it is, in fact, almost a crack. Penetrating waterproofing, clogging only microcracks and pores, will be powerless here. What to say about all kinds of combined options, for example, walls made of concrete blocks or bricks, the floor is a monolith. In this case, it is necessary to make an additional inner layer of waterproofing materials. Coated or glued waterproofing is poorly suited here, since it has an increased risk of delamination, especially under water pressure. It is necessary to use materials that have high adhesion to concrete and brick surfaces and create a high-strength layer so that it does not crack over time. We will consider this option..

First, let’s decide on the necessary materials and tools. We will need:

  1. Sand concrete mix.
  2. Impregnating waterproofing.

Fighting basement flooding

  1. Reinforcing waterproofing.

Fighting basement flooding

  1. Mixer and kneading container.
  2. Brushes, rollers, brushes.
  3. Spatulas.

Getting started.

We have a basement with walls made of concrete blocks, the floor is a monolith, which was poured after the walls were erected. With the arrival of spring, the basement is flooded. By the way, this also happens in the case of prolonged rains..

Fighting basement flooding

It is quite obvious that the main problem areas are the abutment of the walls to the floor and the tile joints..

1. We pump out water from the basement. This can be done by hand or with any suitable pump such as a toddler. It should be noted that they are of two types: with a lower or upper water intake. It is clear that it is better to use with the lower one. By fixing it vertically, you can pump out almost all the water. In our case, there was no such pump, so the pumping had to be done in two stages: pumping out with the pump to the lowest possible level – about 30 mm, and manual residual pumping.

Fighting basement flooding

Fighting basement flooding

As it dries, the pump will appear from under the water. Very important! It only cools when it is in the water, therefore, you need to constantly water it so that it does not overheat. Next, we place the pump in a large bucket, where we scoop out water with a suitable tool..

Fighting basement flooding

We sweep the rest of the water with a brush into one puddle and pump it out in the same way. As a result, we get an almost dry room. Water, of course, will come. If it is slow and does not interfere with the work, then you can proceed to the next stage. Otherwise, the work will have to be postponed until a more suitable time..

2. We process abutments of walls and floors, as well as seams. We knead the sand-concrete mixture and use a spatula to form plinths with a height and width of about 40–50 mm around the entire perimeter of the room. We putty the seams between the plates with the same mixture. We leave to dry. The next day, when the skirting boards are up, we proceed to the next stage – treatment with impregnating waterproofing. The increased humidity in the room will not hurt – the impregnation works in water, the main thing is that there are no puddles. We pump them out as described above..

3. Mix the waterproofing mixture with a mixer according to the attached instructions.

Fighting basement flooding

Fighting basement flooding

4. With the resulting creamy mass, use a brush to cover the entire surface to be treated..

Fighting basement flooding

We leave to dry. After the time specified according to the instructions, apply the second layer. After processing, water will not flow through the concrete surface – these are the planes of the blocks and the entire floor. Seams and abutments remain. We will process them when the second layer of penetrating waterproofing dries.

5. If necessary, then pump out the water again.

6. Mix the armor solution according to the instructions.

Fighting basement flooding

7. Similarly to penetrating waterproofing, apply the resulting solution with a brush to the entire surface to be treated. We pay special attention to the seams between the slabs and abutments.

Fighting basement flooding

Fighting basement flooding

8. The first layer is base. It is necessary to maintain the set time for setting and apply a second layer. Before this stage, all the flaws will be clearly visible, in the form of oozing micro-holes. The water leaves clearly visible traces, in the photo there is a whitish strip. In this case, you can see the place of flow.

Fighting basement flooding

The result is puddles that need to be drained.

Fighting basement flooding

9. Knead the solution a little thicker and process the leaks. Fill the floor with the next creamy mixture. It is convenient to spread the finished mixture with a roller:

Fighting basement flooding

or with a flat brush:

Fighting basement flooding

As a result, we get a very durable, absolutely waterproof waterproofing layer..

Fighting basement flooding

If after the second layer there are still holes with oozing water, then you need to repeat the procedure in the places of leakage as many times as necessary. Usually, after the third layer, there are no such places..

So, the described methods of draining the basement will certainly allow you to get rid of unnecessary water and protect the inner basement from high humidity, and which option to use should be decided individually, based on specific cases and goals..

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