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serpentine5 10-25-2010 11:51 PM

holes in my foundation
4 Attachment(s)
I just bought a house that has a partial slab / partial earth basement. the basement is divided in 3 with a partial wall dividing the earth from the slab, and a full height wall cutting the slab in two kind of making a T with the earth above the top of the T. on the right side of the T at the top, a previous owner built a decent work bench on top of the partial wall and it extends over the earth part. I know that the left side of the earth part leaks water when it rains heavily. So I was concerned about moisture on the work bench side because I want to set up my leather shop there. The previous owner built a peg board wall from the top of the work bench to the floor joist above. I pulled this all down to rebuild it better and to add a plastic moisture barrier behind the wall and under the work bench so protect my leather and leather tools from potential moisture from the earth side.
Well, when I tore down the peg board wall I went in the earth area (that I could not access from the left side because of ducting for my HVAC system, but it is not enclosed and does not need venting) and laid plastic over the earth, and while I was in there I found two holes at the bottom of the foundation at different heights, the bottom of the foundation in this area steps up to the end of the house.
I have no clue if these were put there when the place was built in 1945, or if this is something that has happened since or what... I want them closed up, but have no clue what to do, use or whatever. I will attempt to include pic I took with my phone while I was in there.
Any and all help and advice is greatly appreciated.

serpentine5 10-26-2010 08:50 PM

the hole in the first pic is leaking water into the earth area. Has been raining for about 5 hours, some strong rain, some not so strong, but it is coming in there. the earth is soaking it up and it is not pooling at the bottom of the slope, but I have water in there now. Think there is another place also cause there was a standing pool on the original sheet of plastic that I covered with new plastic, but I havent gotten into the area to look around.

inspectorD 10-27-2010 05:09 AM

First, you need to get the water to run away from the foundation on the outside.
Fix gutters as these are the #1 issue.
Make sure your downspouts run away from the foundation for at least 6 feet.
Next make sure any soil near the foundation slopes away at least 1 inch per foot if you are having big water problems.

What is happening is you are washing away the soil that supports parts of your foundation, this will continue if you do not fix the water problem.

Good luck.

serpentine5 10-30-2010 11:17 PM

Cant fix the problem, the house is built into a hill... I cannot slop the earth away from the house on the top side, which is the joining wall to where the holes are.
I need to know what to do about the holes... can I fill them? dig them out? Can I great stuff them? What do I need to do?

inspectorD 10-31-2010 07:22 AM

Well, you can just use some inexpensive mortar or concrete in a bag. Just mix it thick so you can pack it in, and push a board up against it to help it stay while it dries.
The soil will continue to wash away over time, or find a new spot to create another problem.
Hill homes are always a fun thing to deal with when it comes to water pushing against the foundation. I had to slow my water down by building a large 1 foot tall, diverter bank up the hill to get the water to go around. Then planted some small bushes to hold it together. It helps, but I still get small amounts of water on big rains, just not the swimming pool I had earlier.
I feel your pain.:D

serpentine5 10-31-2010 11:28 PM

Come spring, I am looking to get a backhoe in here and put in some french drains and attempt to bring in some clay to top everything off but thats down the road.... but right now I need to get these holes closed up before I finish the wall and close it in. Would hate to have to get in there afterwards and have to tear it all out again....

itsreallyconc 11-05-2010 05:22 AM

my advice is to wait til you can repair the problem outside as anything done inside will not be permanent.

nealtw 11-07-2010 10:12 PM

that part of your house was never intended to be used for a basement It doesn't have a good seal on the outside or proper drainage at footing level. The holes will need to be filled but thats not your big problem. Untill or if you ever fix the wall and drain. Trench the water inside to lower side, if you can't run it out, dig a sump and pump it out. cover the dirt and wall with plastic to keep water out of the house framing cut vents and get good airflow under floorjoist. and others have made good suggestions onkeeping water away from house outside good luck

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