Basement Drying >> Safely Get Water Out Of A Flooded Basement

Reinforce walls and footings to minimize shrinkage cracking and cracking due to uneven settlement. To retard movement of radon through hollow core masonry walls, the top and bottom courses of hollow masonry walls should be solid block, Safely Get Water Out Of A Flooded Basement or filled solid. 

If the top side of the bottom course is below the level of the slab, the course of block at the intersection of the bottom of the slab should be filled. Where a brick veneer or other masonry ledge is installed, the course immediately below that ledge should also be solid block. Safely Get Water Out Of A Flooded Basement Parge and seal the exterior face of below-grade concrete masonry walls in contact with the soil. 

Install drainage boards to provide an airway for soil gas to reach the surface outside the wall rather than being drawn through the wall. Safely Get Water Out Of A Flooded Basement Install a continuous damp proofing or waterproofing membrane on the exterior of the wall. Six-mil polyethylene-lapped, taped and placed on the exterior of the basement wall surface will retard radon entry through wall cracks. 

Seal around plumbing and other utility and service penetrations through the wall with polyurethane or similar caulking. Safely Get Water Out Of A Flooded Basement Both the exterior and the interior of concrete masonry walls should be sealed at penetrations. Install airtight seals on doors and other openings between a basement and adjoining crawl space. 

Seal around ducts, plumbing, and other service connections between a basement and a crawl space. Safely Get Water Out Of A Flooded Basement Do not place air supply or return ducts under the slab or in the footing. Intercepting Soil Gas. The most effective way to limit radon and other soil gas entry is through the use of active soil depressurization (ASD). 

ASD works by lowering the air pressure in the soil relative to the indoors. Safely Get Water Out Of A Flooded Basement Avoiding foundation openings to the soil, or sealing those openings, as well as limiting sources of indoor depressurization aid ASD systems. Sometimes a passive soil depressurization (PSD, with no fan) system is used. 

If post-occupancy radon testing indicates further radon reduction is desirable, a fan can be installed in the vent pipe (see Figure 2-10). Safely Get Water Out Of A Flooded Basement Subslab depressurization has proven to be an effective technique for reducing radon concentrations to acceptable levels, even in homesSafely Get Water Out Of A Flooded Basement  with extremely high concentrations (Dudney 1988). 

This technique lowers the pressure around the foundation envelope, causing the soil gas to be routed into a collection system, avoiding the inside spaces and discharging to the outdoors. Safely Get Water Out Of A Flooded Basement A foundation with good subsurface drainage already has a collection system. The under slab gravel drainage layer can be used to collect soil gas. 

It should be at least 4 inches thick, and of clean aggregate no less than 1/2 inch in diameter. Safely Get Water Out Of A Flooded Basement The gravel should be covered with a 6-mil polyethylene radon and moisture retarder. A 3- or 4-inch diameter PVC vent pipe should be routed from sub slab gravel layer through the conditioned portion of the building and through the highest roof plane. 

The pipe should terminate below the slab with a "tee” fitting. Safely Get Water Out Of A Flooded Basement To prevent clogging the pipe with gravel, ten-foot lengths of perforated drain tile can be attached to the legs of the tee, and sealed at the ends. Alternately, the vent pipe can be connected to the perimeter drain system, as long as that system does not connect to the outdoor environment. 

Horizontal vent pipes could connect the vent stack through below grade walls to permeable areas beneath adjoining slabs. Safely Get Water Out Of A Flooded Basement A single vent pipe is adequate for most houses with less than 2,500 square feet of slab area that also include a permeable subslab layer. The vent pipe is routed to the roof through plumbing chases, interior walls, or closets. 

A PSD system requires the floor slab to be nearly airtight so that collection efforts are not short-circuited by drawing excessive room air down through the slab and into the system. Safely Get Water Out Of A Flooded Basement Cracks, slab penetrations, and control joints must be sealed. Sump hole covers should be designed and installed to be airtight. 

Floor drains that discharge to the gravel beneath the slab should be avoided, but when used, should be fitted with a mechanical trap capable of providing an airtight seal. Safely Get Water Out Of A Flooded Basement Another potential short circuit can occur if the subdrainage system has a gravity discharge to an underground outfall. This discharge line may need to be provided with a mechanical seal. 

The subsurface drainage discharge line, if not run into a sealed sump, should be constructed with a solid-glued drainpipe that runs to daylight. Safely Get Water Out Of A Flooded Basement The standpipe should be located on the opposite side from this drainage discharge. 

While a properly installed passive soil depressurization (PSD) system may reduce indoor radon concentrations by about 50%, active soil depressurization (ASD) systems can reduce indoor radon concentrations by up to 99%. Safely Get Water Out Of A Flooded Basement A PSD system is more limited in terms of vent pipe routing options, and is less forgiving of construction defects than ASD systems. 

Furthermore, in new construction, small ASD fans (25-40 watt) may be used with minimal energy impact. Active systems use quiet, in-line duct fans to draw gas from the soil. Safely Get Water Out Of A Flooded Basement The fan should be located outside, and ideally above, the conditioned space so that any air leaks from the positive pressure side of the fan or vent stack are not in the living space. 

The fan should be oriented to prevent accumulation of condensed water in the fan housing. Safely Get Water Out Of A Flooded Basement The ASD stack should be routed up through the building or an attached garage or carport, and extend twelve inches above the roof. It can also be carried out through the band joist and up along the outside of wall.

To a point high enough so that there is no danger of the exhaust being redirected into the building through attic vents or other pathways. Safely Get Water Out Of A Flooded Basement Because PSD systems rely on natural buoyancy to operate, a PSD stack must be routed through the conditioned portion of the home. 

A fan capable of maintaining 0.2 inch of water suction under installation conditions is adequate for serving subslab collection systems for most houses (Labs 1988). Safely Get Water Out Of A Flooded Basement This is often achieved with a 0.03 hp (25W), 160 cfm centrifugal fan (maximum capacity) capable of drawing up to 1 inch of water before stalling. 

Under field conditions of 0.2 inch of water, such a fan operates at about 80 cfm. Safely Get Water Out Of A Flooded Basement It is possible to test the suction of the subslab system by drilling a small (1/4-inch) hole in areas of the slab remote from the suction point, and measuring the suction through the hole using a micromanometer or inclined manometer. 

The goal of a subslab depressurization system is to create negative air pressure below the slab, relative to the air pressure in the adjacent interior space. Safely Get Water Out Of A Flooded Basement A suction of 5 Pascals is considered satisfactory when the house is placed in a worst-case depressurization condition (i.e., house closed, all exhaust fans and devices operating, and with the HVAC system operating with interior doors shut). 

The hole must be sealed after the test. PSD systems require near perfection in sealing of openings to the soil, since the system relies on a 3- or 4-inch pipe to vent more effectively than the entire house. Safely Get Water Out Of A Flooded Basement Sealing openings to the soil is less critical for radon control with ASD systems.

Although it is highly desirable in order to limit the energy penalty associated with conditioned indoor air leaking into a depressurized subslab, and from there to the outdoors. Safely Get Water Out Of A Flooded Basement ASD fans have service lives averaging about ten years, with a higher life expectancy if the fan is protected from the elements. Since an ASD system may be turned off by occupants, service switches are usually located in areas with limited access.

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