Ready for Wall Work? - Part Two

Previously, we talked about the initial stages of wall work: placing the concrete, installing the anchor bolts, etc. to ensure you have strong, sturdy walls. Now it’s on to the next steps! Once the forms are off, you are now ready to have the drain tile run on both sides of the footer and properly waterproof the walls. This steps are crucial in ensuring the sustainability of your home, and should not be overlooked.

There are several good methods to waterproof a basement wall, all are rubber based and carry a minimum 15 year warranty against leaking of any kind, except for foundation failure. Do not accept asphalt based products. These are for damp proofing only and do not ensure your walls are waterproof.

Most systems also have a layer of insulation that is applied over the rubber membrane. This aids in insulating your basement and protects the membrane from rocks during the backfill operation. The membrane should be sprayed over the top of the footer and up the enter wall to the top. Do not stop at the brick ledge as it is common that the bottom row or two of your brick will be underground and the brick on your home are not waterproof, which will allow water to run over unprotected concrete wall and leak into your home.

The drain tile that was placed around the entire inside and outside of your foundation should be properly covered with crushed gravel to keep dirt from plugging it up. The drain tile on the outside needs to run to daylight if it’s a slopping lot or to the sump pump if it’s a below grade basement. The inside drain tile should always tie into a sump pump, whether it’s a slopping lot or a below grade basement. The entire inside of your basement is now ready to get gravel placed to the proper sub-grade which will allow you to start your plumbing ground work. You should always have a minimum of 10” of gravel below the basement floor. This follows for proper drainage and proper structural support of the floor.

The plumbing rough-in will be done once the rock is placed. Once the plumbing rough is done, you will re-grade the rock smooth and it should be mechanically compacted. This will help reduce settling and cracks in the basement floor. The pipe that goes in during a plumbing rough is pretty straight forward and if done by a professional plumber you normally do not have any issues. You need to be sure your builder has provided for floor drains where needed or desired and all stacks will hit future walls. Additionally, if any water lines need to be run the slab, insure they are encased in a protective sleeve. No copper should come into contact with concrete.

The next step is to properly treat the floor for termites. The floor method is widely regarded as the most effective long term. The entire floor area is heavily sprayed with a termite barrier treatment.

Once these steps have been completed, you are ready to pour the floor!