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Interior Basement Drainage Systems

clock February 20, 2011 19:19 by author blogadmin
Hire a waterproofing contractor to install a basement waterproofing system. A sump pit and open back system will eliminate excess water from your basement.




When it comes to draining water from around and under basements there is a single preferred method and a whole host of less desirable methods. This preferred method is named many things but has a few basic elements that engineers and professional waterproofing contractors prefer.

1.       Sealed System

2.       Pitched Drain Piping

3.       Cold Joint Drainage

4.       Below Slab Drainage

First of all, any plumbing system must be sealed from the living area to prevent increasing humidity levels which can lead to mold growth, higher radon levels and bacteria growth. This can be seen in many older homes which have a damp and musty cellar smell due to poor drainage and open cavities in floors and walls.

Secondly, any plumbing system must be based on the simple principal that water, among other things, flows downhill. Without positive slope, pitch, water will sit in place opposed to flowing downhill to a collection point where it can be directed away from the foundation.

Next, water enters a basement from a path of least resistance. Often times this path is the cold joint between the footing and wall. Water can migrate through this joint due to pressure caused by the downward force that saturated soils place on the footing.

Lastly, interior drainage systems must remove water from beneath the basement floor. As many homeowners know, basement floors become cracked due to water that is trapped below the concrete floor. This trapped water is constantly looking for a path of escape and can crack a concrete floor very easily.

So with this information in hand it becomes very simple to determine the best interior basement drainage system. The system must be closed, or sealed from the living space. This will include a sealed sump pit and sealed piping system that is laid around the perimeter of the basement walls. Many systems have open backs designed to capture water that is running down the walls. These open back systems will capture wall water but remember if things can get in they can also get out. These open backed systems allow water vapor and radon an easy path to your living space. Closed or sealed systems prevent this phenomenon from happening by their very nature of being sealed from living spaces.

Open backed systems have another primary fault and that is the fact that they are laid on top of the footing. Concrete footings are poured flat so that the basement walls can be poured or laid upon a flat surface. Any drainage system that is laid on top of the footing cannot be pitched to drain the water that they collect. The water sits in these systems promoting mold and bacteria growth which can cause clogging and health concerns. Also, if you place drainage pipe, along with a bed of clean gravel, next to the footing you will gather the water before it comes in contact with the basement floor. By doing this you can prevent floor heaving and cracking. Open backed systems that sit on top of footings must have the water rise above the bottom of the concrete floor before they can accept any water. Closed systems allow water to enter much earlier and since they are next to the footing they can be pitched toward a sump pit for collection and discharge.

Before you contract any waterproofing company to solve your basement moisture problem keep the above items in mind and demand that the proper techniques are used. Now that you know what must be included with your new basement drainage system, ask questions and do not be fooled by their slick answers.


All helical anchors are the same, right?

clock February 12, 2011 19:41 by author blogadmin
Not all helical piers are made the same. Know what kind of helical pier you have to increase the longevity of your home's structure.


From a distance, helical anchors from manufacturer to manufacturer look similar, but are they? In simplest terms – No they are not the same. As a matter of fact, there can be huge differences in helical anchors. Some suppliers use old oilfield pipe (known as J55 pipe) and this can make a huge difference in longevity and structural safety of the helical anchor.

First of all, the used oilfield pipe available for the helical anchor market is pipe that is deemed no longer fit to be used in the oil rig. With the high oil prices and the pipe shortages, the oil rig operators are wearing it out before they sell it.

 Let's talk about salt water in oil production. Most of the existing wells in Texas, Oklahoma and the Midwest are classified as stripper wells. These are wells that produce a 90% / 10% mix of fluid on a daily basis. This means that if the well produces 10 barrels of oil a day, it also produces 90 barrels of saltwater per day. The affects of saltwater on steel pipe does not need explanation. Furthermore, periodically, acid is drawn down the wells to help the flow of fluids into the well bore. Once again, not much explanation needed.

Last but not least, the most destructive effect on oil field pipe is known as rod wear. Inside the oilfield pipe, which is known as drill stem, are the sucker rods. Now very quickly, a brief lesson on oil production. The pumping unit sits on the surface. Attached to the horse head on the pumping unit is the bridle. Attached to the bridle is the polish rod. Attached to the polish rod are the sucker rods. Down deep in the hole is the rod pump. To pump this fluid (saltwater & oil) out of the hole, the horse head, the polish rod, the sucker rods and the pump have to go up & down constantly. These rods, going down through this pipe are rubbing against something and that something is the used casing pipe (J55 pipe). Oilfield operators generally will not stop using this pipe until they have determined that 30% or more of the wall thickness is gone.

To spell it out, these super hard rods, rubbing constantly against the casing pipe, causes some very thin spots inside the pipe. So, pipe that was nice and thick when it was new, has salt-water corrosion, acid corrosion and very thin spots due to "rod wear". Does this sound like pipe that should be used to manufacture helical anchors that provide structural support?

Obviously not all helical anchors are the same. Manufacturers that use old oilfield pipe may be putting your structure at risk. Why would they do this? Cost is the only reason. New structural steel pipe cost a bit more but is certified to specifications and is designed to provide years of structural support. Not all helical anchors are the same, as a matter of fact, there are major differences between helical anchors.



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