I'm digging down by the side of my house--maybe two feet or so--and I see no sealant on the block, just efflorescence. I'm not going to make it all the way to the bottom, so I'm wondering if there is any value in applying a sealant (something like roofing tar) to the area that I've exposed or am I just wasting my time and money?
It's mid-60's vintage ranch.
Everything I've seen shows the moisture barrier going down to the bottom of the foundation. In my opinion, to only go 2 ft down is a waste of time as you would stil have the remainder of the foundation to sdmit moisture into the area on the other side of the wall. But I live in Florida where most homes are built on slabs, so what do I know about home construction in New york, maybe someone from that neck of the country will help
Well, I'm halfway between Florida and New York so I'll chime in. I agree with Nona, waste of time to seal just the upper two feet of foundation. All it would do is shed any water down to the area not sealed.
Joe is a few hundred miles north of me, maybe he can add his two cents worth.
Not may foundations mostly crawl spaces here.
One of my house is a slab that was pored to low and was cement blocks for the walls.
I had to dig it out and seal it because water came inside the house.
I see no harm in doing it.
Thanks Nona, Jaybee, and joecaption.
I dug down a little further and now see a very thin coating of black stuff (it's so thin, it looks like paint).
How far below grade is the sealant supposed to start?
The sealant should start at grade and cover all the way down to the footers. Sealant types vary but many are simple asphalt based paint-like coatings.
Any place below grade and on the top portion of the footer.
Make sure there's plenty where the wall sits on top of the footing.
Trowl on seems to woth best, not fun and make sure to wear old clothes and gloves, it makes a mess.
You weren't kidding about the mess!
The kind I bought, "Black Jack" for roofs and foundation, said to brush it on, so I followed the instructions. What a pain! The fibers in the sealant make it very difficult to brush on. The brush seems to pull the sealant away from the surface, so a spent a lot of time "pushing" it onto the surface.
As recommended, I'm going to apply a second coat, but this time, I'm going to follow your advice about the trowel. It has to be better than a brush.
I'd go unfibered. we had to reseal some area around window cuts where we put egress windows in the basement.
nice thing about nasty gooey asphalt sealant is you put plastic over it to protect it when you slide the sand back in against the walls, and it's not going to harden and crack in the seasons.
the "over the top" method shown on Holmes shows then places a Platon rippled plastic sheet over the top of these elements to protect against shovels, burrowing critters, and anything else damaging the plastic and asphalt protection.
as long as you're there, knock a hole in the floor someplace easy to get power to and a 2-inch PVC pipe outside from, and run screened drainage line into a tank there and around the house. cover with pea rock. put a sump pump there and run a line outside and downhill from the pump. now if the Global Warming folks are right, and we get fewer but more drenching rains, no worries about the basement flooding.
line should be above the footers, sloped 1/4 inch per foot or so towards the sump, and slip the dump line under the footers. don't chop up the wall or the footers.
sig: if this is a new economy, how come they still want my old-fashioned money?
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