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Foundation Questions

apkitz's picture

I have a couple questions for the masses here....

The facts:  I want to build an Enercept SIP home coming up in the spring. I am an above average do-it yourselfer with enough friends that do concrete, plumbing, electrical and can give me advice on the other modalities I will need to build my house. My brother and I will do 90% of the work.

I live in Southern Minnesota.... Building in a well drained lot in the country that does have a slight slope to a small intermitent creek in a ravine. Soil is loam with some clay and gravel--average midwest stuff... Most likely will have a walk out basement. I am really considering the enercept SIP basement wall package as I can put it in myself-- which is 2x8 wall with 2x8's 12" OC--treated ply on the outside and OSB on the inside. For the skeptics-- I am not really worried about a wood basement as my dad and I put a 2x6 wood basement in 25 years ago at their house and not a drop of water yet and my friends have them too with no problems.... Wood basements are fairly common around here...

In keeping my basement dry it comes down to waterproofing and management...... wheather it's concrete, ICF or wood..... and there are a lot of hacks around here...and since I am building it myself--I want to get some opinions here from the old dogs and the new ones..

1: I have looked at form-a-drain---many people like it--although I have read if it does plug up with silt---it is a pain to jet as the corners are so sharp that the jetter can't make it around.... any thoughts?

2: Many on this site seem to favor good old preforated PVC at the footing rather than the black flexible stuff----and I think I agree..... any thoughts?

3: Crossovers!!!!! I plan on putting in an interior perimeter drain as well... (either PVC or FAD) along with Radon Migation.... In an aritcle here one guy says yea, some say nah----some are draining to day light--which I do have that option..but I am leaning towards a sump pit...  FAD mentions a crossover about one per wall, some have said every 6-8 feet, others say none at all, and I have seen one setup with only one cross over right where the outiside crossover comes through the footing-connects to the interior drain with a 4" cross and into the sump pit...some people keep them totally separate... thoughts?!?!?

4: NO DAMP PROOFING! I want waterpoofing..... But---spray?---rubberized or asphalt based?  Or sheet type? I like one of the articles here that uses spray--and then 1/4" foam over it to protect the coating from back fill damage.... What ever I do---I will in addition be also putting at least 6 mil poly around for extra measure and it cheap in the grand scheme...

Thanks for reading and I look forward to your thoughts and experience.  Andy

A couple of comments (post #207043, reply #1 of 4)

I prefer the rigid perforated PVC and prefer it to the flexible, but if it's installed properly I don't see a problem with flexible perforated.  I've never used form-a-drain.

If you have the option of draining to day-light by gravity, why introduce a pump--which won't work without power.  I've never used interior drains, but to me it doesn't make sense to connect an exterior footing drain to an interior footing drain.  The point of the exterior drain is to keep water on the exterior.  Maybe I'm missing something.

If you have to use a sump (post #207043, reply #3 of 4)

If you have to use a sump pump anyway, you're necessarily going to connect exterior and interior drains.  Using multiple connections is done mainly as insurance against clogging.


Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well-warmed, and well-fed.  --Herman Melville

Duplicate post (post #207043, reply #2 of 4)

Please ignore

Foundation Drains (post #207043, reply #4 of 4)

 The company I work for does a lot of daylight basements, usually on steep lots with crummy soils. 

We've never used form drain, so no opinion there. Our jurisdiction does not allow ADS, only PVC,  for footing or downspout drains. I would daylight the interior drains, not connecting them to the perimiter drains. We've never done interior drains, chosing to give any subsurface water a path of least resistance around the exterior. We traditionaly use a polymer product, GrayWall, that is sprayed on the foundation. DeltaDrain, a drainage mat, is then fastend to the foundation. Perforated PVC with generous amounts of washed 1-1/2" drain rock and filter fabric are our norm. I should note that our foundations are poured concrete. Cleaning and scraping of the footing/foundation joint is critical to us. Hope this helps or at least gives you something to think about.