UGH ! Water damage in basement theater.

Discussion in 'Home Theater Projects' started by Tom Kay, Feb 17, 2005.

  1. Tom Kay

    Tom Kay Stunt Coordinator

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    Hello drier-than-me folks;

    First, I know this is a home theater forum and not a Bob-the-Builder forum, but this nasty leak is in my basement HT and it's going to halt my HT renos until I can control the water problem. Plus, you guys are smart and maybe you've dealt with this before.

    So, I had water come in through a crack in my wall. It's a poured cement wall, not a block wall. I am pretty sure, based on visual evidence where it's draining downward on the outside, and approximately where it's coming in on the inside. I have already framed/insulated/vapour-barriered and drywalled this wall, so I'm sort of stuck on the inside. I really want to avoid removing all of my work to date.

    Mildew could be a problem inside the wall. First, I have used Roxul insulation, which does not rot like the pink stuff, and second, I have thought about cutting a small hole in the wall and vapour barrier, and blowing warm air in from my vacuum cleaner to hopefully dry any remaining moisture between the wood studs and cement wall. Worth it?

    Next, I want to fix the crack. I plan to dig down to the footing on the outside of the foundation, in the spring, find the crack, drill and inject epoxy AND do the black goop and waterproof membrane. Double wammy. So here's what I need a bit of help on. Have any of you done outside patching of cracked concrete walls? Any further suggestions on how to do it properly? I'd like to avoid ever having this happen again and killing another basement carpet.

    Lastly, I'll be adding eves troughs which are absent now, re-grading the land around my house to slope away from the wall at all places, but my main question is just the how-to about fixing cracks from the outside.

    Also, would you be worried about mildew inside the basement wall that leaked? What lengths would you go to, to fix that problem?

    Thanks in advance for any help. Tom Kay, Ottawa.
     
  2. Leo Kerr

    Leo Kerr Screenwriter

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    We recently had several 'water events' where I worked.

    The abatement people did the following:

    1. Cut the sheet-rock away, at least 8-12" into the "known dry" area.

    2. Dehumidify like mad.

    3. Spray with a mold/mildew killer

    4. Patch.

    As for patching cracked concrete, well... there, I can't help you. I have enough trouble with sheet-rock.

    Leo
     
  3. Mike D.

    Mike D. Stunt Coordinator

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    This is probably the key, IMHO... Grade so there is a slope away from the house as far as you can, 10 feet is great... I built a slope away from my house, put heavy landscaping plastic on the slope, then mulch. Worked amazingly well, no water drains against my foundation anywhere and zero water problems for 6+ years (KNOCK ON WOOD!!! :)), and there WERE water problems before...

    I think your plan sounds about right for patching from the outside if you can dig down that far. Make sure there's no underground lines running into the house where you plan to dig.
     
  4. Travis_R

    Travis_R Stunt Coordinator

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    Yeah it sounds like you have a pretty good game plan, as far as the moisture already in there I wouldnt even worry about it at this point, so long as no more comes in that is, as long as you grade the yard so water drains away from the house and seal the wall the way you stated you will be ok, first thing to be sure of is that the dirt on the outside of your house is not higher than your sill plate, you want to be able to see at least 2 inches of the top of your foundation wall from the outside
     
  5. Tom Kay

    Tom Kay Stunt Coordinator

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    Here's an update on the wet basement:

    First, thanks for the replies. I appreciate any help.

    I just couldn't sit there, knowing there might be mold forming inside my basement wall and leave it alone. So, I got my utility knife and, being careful not to slice into the vapour barrier, I cut the bottom foot of most of my wall off. The extreme ends of the wall are still intact, down to the floor. Those areas were dry.

    I found lots of water stuck between the plastic barrier and the drywall. I did not expect this at all. I expected to have to poke a hole in the plastic, and then reach my hand in and find wet cement walls. The walls were dry, although they HAVE to have been wet while the water was draining into the room (unless it's all coming from the floor??).

    I guess the drywall got wet at the bottom, probably from the soaked carpet, it wicked up as much as it could hold, and held onto the moisture until I ripped it out. There was no mold, as this only happened two days ago.

    I am VERY happy that I have cut out the wet parts of the drywall, and allowed air to dry the plastic. I have a foot of lower wall repair to do, but hey, not the worst case scenario. I have learned a couple things:

    1. Keep the bottom of the drywall WELL away from the floor, even high enough so the carpet can't touch it. Cover up the obvious gap with baseboard trim. I'll even seriously consider using plastic trim that also can't wick up water, but I'll make that decision later.

    2. Go with your gut instincts, even if it means more work. If the walls feel wet, start cutting, a little at a time at the bottom, until you extend to the dry part of the walls. I have NO regrets doing this, and feel quite relieved that mold won't start growing there now.

    My biggest concern is doing whatever has to be done so this never happens again. I had a ratty old carpet, with no underpad. It's almost good to get rid of it. I won't feel the same after spending $1000 to have new carpeting and underpadding installed.

    If I discover anything new, and feel it's of benefit to others, I'll pass it on. Again, I know this is an HT forum, but I think some my find this useful while building their dream room. I have seen some spectacular HT's and I'd hate to see a stupid thing like water damage wreck someone's hard work. I consider myself lucky that it actually happened now, and not opening night.

    Cheers, Tom.
     
  6. Michael Whitney

    Michael Whitney Stunt Coordinator

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    Newbie here.

    I am starting to build in my basement Billiard and HT rooms in the next few weeks. Putting Drilock on the walls interior and exterior where I can easily get to it. (Waterproofer) Putting Dricore panels on the floor over whole basement to isolate concrete and Framing.

    Yes, keep the Drywall well above the concrete floor. Any gaps can be looks adjusted with trim moulding.
     
  7. Ian_J

    Ian_J Stunt Coordinator

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    I recommend you use a fan and dehumidifier in the basement just to be sure. You can rent both of these units at Home Depot or Lowes. Also, spray the inside of the walls with a mold killer and or light bleech mixture. Mold takes at least three days to show up so you'll need to keep an eye on it. I know all this junk because I've been trained.

    This is my company www.restronic.com

    You can find more info here www.ascr.org

    Good luck.
    Ian
     
  8. MarkMel

    MarkMel Screenwriter

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    What about the Owens Corning basement system? I was just at a home show and that looked like a good solution for damp basements.
     
  9. KrisM

    KrisM Second Unit

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    Tom, how big of an area did you have to cut out? If it is a large area, you might want to consider cutting 24 1/2 inches. If you take a sheet of drywall that is 48 inches and cut it in half you end up with 2 peices that are 24 inches. When you put the new drywall on, you'll have a 1/2 gap from the floor to the bottom of the drywall. Trim will cover the gap as has been mentioned. You will also have one bevelled edge on each peice that you can butt up against your existing wall, giving you some room to tape and mud the joint.
    However, if this is a small area this doesn't matter much.[​IMG] But having done flood restoration, it is alot quicker cutting to 48-1/2 inches if there is alot of drywall to replace.

    Regards
    KrisM
     
  10. Tom Kay

    Tom Kay Stunt Coordinator

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    Hi Kris

    I have removed about 13 or 14 inches from the bottom of the full wall. So one sheet of drywall will give me 3 strips, only two with the bevel. Overall, it should work OK.

    My big concern is confirming exactly where the water came in. The rest is just grunt work, like the patching.

    I'll probably also spray some light bleach into the wall cavities, just to be pro-active on mold.

    Cheers, Tom.
     
  11. Ian_J

    Ian_J Stunt Coordinator

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    If you really want to find out where the water came from you should contact a restoration company in your area that can take IR pictures of your wall. IR pics will show where the moisture is. Cost is between $200 and $350.00 per pic.

    http://www.steamaticofsacramento.com/newatsos.html

    Ian
     
  12. Jim Sentry

    Jim Sentry Stunt Coordinator

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    This happened to basement theater addition twice. The first time the Builder was so slow to react to the problem mold got out of control.

    Insurance Company ordered the whole room cleaned out to the studs. They also took all my equipment and furnishings since they would no longer be covered by any warranty, mind you the theater was only about 3 months old.

    Then a mold remediation company had to come in and treat the room with a special encapsulation.

    Total cost of claim was about $52,000.

    The second time the Builder reacted a lot more quicker and wound up installing 2 sump pump systems. We have been dry ever since.

    My next house will be built on a slab and the theater will be on the main level.
     
  13. Leo Kerr

    Leo Kerr Screenwriter

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    I don't know this for certain, but based on my water experiences at work the last half year, it's really bad.

    The only thing I can see worse than water damage would be fire and fire-supression related: smoke, fire, and water all together!

    Anyway, I got to learn a great deal about water remediation... first we had a starter-flood; someone torched a sprinkler head while soldering copper pipe. Sprinkler ran for about 20 minutes before it was finally cut off. What fun...

    Then about four weeks later, an improperly installed &/or tested &/or something else sprinkler head popped off in the middle of a Friday night and ran for four hours before it was cut off... 15,000 gallons of water on the third floor. It went everywhere, and the remediation tag for that was insane. The big dessicant truck was something like $15,000 per day!

    One... 'saving grace' was that the floors in most of the areas were terrazio or marble, rather than wood or carpet. But it was a mess...

    Leo Kerr
     
  14. Ken_McAlinden

    Ken_McAlinden Producer
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    I am actually having this installed in my basement as I type this note. I will post how it works after I've lived with it a few weeks, but my brother has had it in his house since last Thanksgiving and he has been very happy with it.

    The only real drawback is if you are a hardcore DIY-er, they don't sell their material for self-install. On the other hand, all of their installers work for Owens-Corning or are contracted by Owens Corning, so you do not pay for anything until all the work is done, all local inspections are passed, etc.

    Regards,
     

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