Here are a couple of shots of the basement.
The paneling and old counters removed and exposing the staircase. You can see the old water well under the stairs. Also visible is the back door landing structure and the stairs that lead up to the kitchen. Those two double 2X4 posts perched on bricks are so wrong for good structure.
Here I’ve freed the old water well pump. There’s still water in the well! It’s 30′ down, but it’s there. I took the old pump out and wired it up, the motor ran, but the pump had seen better days. We’ll think about how to get the well working later.
Here’s some nice 1930’s brick work. This is in the wall that bisects the basement into two rooms. I think this was originally to be an opening into a crawl space, but they decided to put a full basement on the other side of the wall instead.
Here is the patch that covered that elegant brickwork. The sign is a portion of a work scheduling board – back when this subdivision was built in 1930. This is done in chalk and has been there for 82 years. Pretty amazing! It reads:
Green Co. No. 1 – Worked Wed at 518 Villa Drive – Sid King called out – See the Boss. Talked to Sup, He is to dum – let him eat sh…
Apparently there was one disgruntled worker on that job – even during the Great Depression.
So now is the time to address the basement waterproofing. Although there was little water seepage, the future plans were to use this space as additional living space. I know the best way to waterproof a basement is from the outside. That’s not really an option in this case – cost is just too much to do a proper exterior foundation drainage system. I have used the B-Dry System in 2 other 1920’s buildings with very good results. There are several other systems available. It is sometimes called a french drain system.There can be problems with these systems. They can clog over time. There are other systems on the market that have an access hatch that will allow cleaning. I have the B-Dry system in our gallery that was installed in 1989 and still works fine.
So here’s how it’s done.
Here is the wall that is common with the stairs. There will be waste ejector pump and a sump pump located here. The concrete floor is broken up along the interior of the basement foundation. 12″ of dirt is removed for the drain pipes. I also ran some additional drains for a sink, full bath and condensate drain for the air conditioner.
All exterior walls were dug up and a polypropylene pipe is buried at the footer. The trench is filled with gravel before the cement is replaced. Because of the two room configuration of this basement, two sump pump systems were needed.
This is the second sump pump in the workroom. This is a labor intensive job. The work crew takes two days to do the job. There were 8 workers. Nope, I didn’t haul the countless 5 gallon buckets of dirt out and gravel in. I watched them do this before, and I wouldn’t DIY this job – I’m crazy, but not a masochist.
The original sump pump is gone. The walls are drilled to allow water trapped in the walls to drain into the weep pipes which then drain by gravity into the sump pump. They finish the floor openings off with a high strength cement.
The other side of the basement that will be a workroom eventually. There was a fireplace down here originally. The living room fireplace is directly above. I closed this one in, as the masonry fireplace wasn’t up to code to use – and I didn’t want a fireplace in my workroom anyway.
Next time – it’s pumpin’ time – not water, but concrete.