How to fix a leaky basement
June 25, 2008 7:18 AM Subscribe
Should I fix my leaky basement from the inside or the outside?
My basement: it leaks. What follows is plenty of detail, since I now know more about basements than I ever wanted to.
I've now had three contractors come to view it, and they're giving me contradictory advice: two say fix it from the outside, that works best, one says inside is the way to go. All three say I need weeping tiles. Two say they will put them on the outside of the wall, and apply a membrane, one says they should go inside.
The details: We live in a pretty old house (80+ years, as far as I know) with what looks like a stone rubble foundation. The parging is coming off the walls on the outside, and I can see that the foundation is damp. Inside, there's actually not much water, but the walls are damp and there is some water on the floor. Not much, but this hasn't happened before, and I suspect it will only get worse: we've have spectacular amounts of rain in Toronto season, and I believe there's more to come. One window frame has rotted wood, and needs to be replaced.
The complications: The basement is finished. Fixing it from the inside means we'll have to remove the drywall and part of the floor. If we go from the ouside, we have to dig up a concrete walkway and then replace it (it's a shared walkway and our neighbors will not look upon us favourably if we don't replace it).
I'm still struggling to understand what will work best/longest/be best for the house. If we fix it from the inside--isn't the water still penetrating the foundation? Isn't that bad? If we fix it from the outside, are we risking damaging the foundation in some way? (I've read that you should leave a stone-rubble foundation alone).
Do you have any experience with this? Any advice? Fixing this is going to be really expensive either way we go -- we can only afford to do it ONCE.