On Nov. 22, 1963, former marine sharpshooter Lee Harvey Oswald fired three shots at a motorcade from a sixth floor window in Dallas, Texas.
Regardless of the fact his target was moving, and possessing a mail-order rifle procured only months earlier, two out of the three shots are direct hits, instantly killing then-President John F. Kennedy. The degree of difficulty and circumstances relating to the assassination bring forth theories of a conspiracy, with even the possibility of a second shooter.
On June 3, 1934, the drilling and blasting relating to the construction of Highway A82 along the coast of Loch Ness, disturb a sleeping water monster from the depths of the loch, enabling London surgeon R. K. Wilson to take a silhouette type photograph, confirming the existence of Nessie, a creature whose sightings date back to 565 AD.
On March 14, Sam Slushworth descends the stairway towards his finished basement. As he makes his way towards the beer fridge located at the far end of a room not so fashionably decorated in 70s-styled wood paneled walls, a Mickey Mouse clock, and bright orange-carpeting, he experiences the uncomfortable sensation one gets when moisture quickly makes its way into your socks, the dreaded soaker.
Examining the room, Slushy notices a few other areas where water has seemingly infiltrated the carpet.
Was there a conspiracy to kill the president? Does an ancient sea dinosaur inhabit the depths of Loch Ness? And, where did Mr. Slushworth’s basement water come from?
Unfortunately, all are yet to be solved mysteries.
However, we will qualify ourselves to explore a few hypotheses regarding basement water, dismissing the two other mysteries until another day.
A basement is kind of like the hull of a ship, and is essentially a concrete tub surrounded by groundwater. However, and unlike the hull of a boat, which can be made of such impermeable products as steel, fiberglass, or some type of plastic, basement walls (including the ICF foam block systems) are largely made of concrete— a solid, but still very porous, type of material.
Basement floors are also made of concrete, solid but again, in no way impervious to water.
So, how’s a homeowner to defend against water infiltrating the basement, when the basement walls and floors inherently allow moisture to pass through?
Until somebody comes up with a suitable alternative to concrete, the homeowner is left with little choice but to seal their concrete walls and floors by the best means possible.
If you’re having a home built for you this spring, or will be buying a home presently under construction, then the answer to having a dry basement for the next 30 years – dismissing any natural disasters of course – is simple. Take the $5,000 to $6,000 you’ve budgeted for a big screen TV, dual chaise loungers equipped with cup holders and cooler, along with voice-activated lighting, or any other non-essential expense, and steer these funds directly into the concrete foundation fund.
If you plan on finishing your basement, then avoiding water infiltration will be absolutely essential. If a finished basement flood is something you’ve experienced in the past, then the frustration and trauma of surviving that issue is no doubt fresh in your mind.
So, be sure to demand nothing short of the best in foundation-sealing techniques this time around.
Basement floors should have a 10-millimetre plastic vapour barrier and two-inch thick rigid foam directly under the concrete slab.
Your basement’s concrete wall should be sealed with a rubber membrane, followed by a one-inch thick layer of comfortboard (rock fibre matting), then draped with a continuous roll of plastic dimpled membrane.
As a result, how the contractor plans on sealing your foundation is a conversation every homeowner should be a part of.
Due to Mr. Slushworth’s water issues happening after the concrete membrane had been installed, and the foundation backfilled, this foundation breach could be a very costly fix.
Next week, we investigate the possibilities.