Basement Waterproofing MA | Wet basement solutions gone Green!

Published: 05th January 2009
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There are so many aspects to basement waterproofing but in this article I am going to focus solely on basement sub-slab perimeter drains (a.k.a. interior french drains). The process for installing these drainage systems is designed to relieve the hydrostatic pressure under the basement floor. Properly designed drain systems will accept water into them at a depth and pace to ensure that the water level does not reach the bottom side of your basements floor, or slab. The result of a properly installed and free flowing sub-slab drain is a dry basement by eliminating seepage and future flooding.

The installation process involves removal of 8"-18" of concrete around the interior perimeter of your basement, and/or in chosen water problem areas. A sump location must be chosen and dug out. All of the concrete must be removed and a trench must be dug 8"-12" graded from a far high point to the sump location. The grade is a necessary step in order to properly pitch the drain pipe. Virtually every basement waterproofing company has their own company procedures for drain installation. The drain is installed, usually accompanied by large amounts of river gravel or processed stone, it is lead to a sump location and then the drain opening is closed up and recemented. The sump pump(s) is installed and the discharge line(s) is fed to the outside of the building. Many companies offer drip moldings for the perimeter and vapor barriers so that water coming through wall-cracks and pipe penetrations can be collected in the drain below the floor. These are the main features of an interior french drain, though there are many other custom offerings from companies worldwide.

So how is Green Bear Innovations, Inc. going to help this industry go green. We have aligned our corporate values with waterproofing industry experts and come up with solutions to what we believe are flaws in the common designs of these wet basement systems. Most basement waterproofing companies train their installers to jackhammer the entire perimeter of the basement. This poses three major problems:

1. Jackammering a basement floor, or slab, with no detached edges causes a tremendous amount of stress and leads to microfractures in the remaining portion of the slab. Instead of having a wet basement or a flooding problem, now you could have a radon problem, as these microfractures turn into floor cracks.

2. The jagged edge that is created by the jackammer is NOT a clean cut. The cement is cracked in many directions including underneath the floor. When recementing is done, not only does it look terrible, but due to the fact that old concrete and new cement does not bond, in a year or two you may have efflourescence and maybe even mold seeping through where these two types of cement meet. (See below for more information about how Green Bear Innovations will ensure that his does not happen to you.)

3. Jackhammering is very labor intensive, time intensive and causes silica dust from the concrete to cover everything in your basement that is uncovered.

So what's the solution? Green Bear Innovations, Inc. will first use a concrete saw to cut a straight edge around the basement perimeter through the entire slab. We use a dust collector during this part of the installation process to reduce the amount of dust that can potentially settle on anything in sight. Once the perimeter cutting is complete, cross cuts will be made to section the waste concrete. A jackhammer, or hammer drill, will then be used to separate any stubborn slab pieces. Because the waste portion of the slab and the remaiing basement floor are detached, there is no risk of floor cracking.

We mentioned above that wewill ensure that efflourescence and mold will not seep through the separation made by this installation method. What GBI does is thoroughly clean and wash the cut edge and apply a cement bonding glue (SilPro) immediately before the recementing process begins. You will never have anything creeping through this man made separation in your basement floor.

Green Bear Innovations is dedicated to using recycled/recyclable materials during all installations. We use 3" and 4" HDPE perforated pipe which is 100% recyclable and in the near future recycled HDPE pipe will be available. We use as little PVC as we can. PVC is recyclable but remains the number one pollutant of our world's oceans due to the extensive recycling processes required for reuse.

GBI has eliminated an entire days labor and more, not by cutting corners, but by reducing the need for river gravel and recycling much of the soil that is extracted from the trench. We wrap our pipe with a stone mesh made from recycled plastic and place recycled low-float plastic pellets between the pipe and the mesh. This process eliminates the need for river gravel/processed stone and allows us to reuse the soil that was removed from the trench. Sandy and clay soils are mixed with clean fill before being used to ensue that water can freely enter the drain pipe.

Green Bear Innovations, Inc. offers energy efficient sump pumps and battery back up systems with all sub-slab basement drainage systems and even offers a water powered back up system. We also offer foundation wall vapor retarders and drip moldings made from 100% recycled plastics.

In summary, GBI is innovating the basement waterproofing industry in many ways. Our industry experience and extensive research have helped us save the earth's resources and save consumers money in a home improvement sector that is known for resource gluttony and unaffordability.

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