Saturday, June 14, 2014

Day 69: Foundation Water-proofed and Backfill Started


The last three days were pretty tiring, and today was no different. But it's a good tired. It's nice to see progress. Today we finished cleaning off the footings, waterproofed, installed drain tile, placed gravel, and started to backfill the foundation. 

We'd spent the last few days cleaning mud off the footings, and had most of it done. When I arrived at the site this morning some more mud had crept onto the footings. I used the leave blower and propane torch to dry the remaining mud. Once the mud film was dry, I scraped it off with the hoe and swept it again with the broom. I then wire-brushed the walls of the foundation where mud had been flung or otherwise come in contact with the walls. I also wire-brushed the top of the footings. Emmy helped with this process. Then I used the leaf blower to blow all the dust out. Finally, the footings were ready. It was a good thing, too, since the waterproofing guys had shown up. Doesn't this footing look clean enough to eat off of?

The waterproofing we used is a spray-on, asphalt based material. The contractor had a pump mounted to a flatbed truck with a long house and a long arm. It took about one hour to spray the house. I had the honor of being this contractor's last waterproofed house, as he'd just sold his equipment to someone else (the guy standing watching).

Once the foundation was completely sprayed, it had to dry for a few hours. I spent this time mowing Steve and Kims property and along our driveway. Steve and I then returned to install the drain tile, along with the waterproofing contractor, who was to be our guide.

First, we placed a layer of fabric along the top of the footing. This fabric prevents "fines", or silt and mud, from getting into your drain tile. Then we installed 4" drain tile on top of the fabric. We used couplings and elbows to make the installation easier and more precise. Our contractor thought that the fabric under the drain tile was overkill, but I figured you only do it once, and it certainly couldn't hurt. I'd spent the last three days staring at mud along the footing, and I wasn't about to let any of it get in our drain tile.

With the fabric and drain tile installed, we then placed gravel on top of the drain tile and fabric. The gravel is "clean" or "washed" gravel, meaning it doesn't have dust or small particles in it. It serves as a filter and guide for any water that comes from above (draining down) or below (rising groundwater). The drain tile is perforated, so that it allows water to seep into it. It then drains it away from the foundation. The point is to keep water from building up along the foundation such that it creates enough pressure to push through the foundation in into or under the house.

Our contractor used a Bobcat to drop gravel on top of the drain tile and fabric along the east and west sides of the house. Normally, a foot of gravel is used, but we put in about two feet, to be on the safe side. 

We then turned our attention to the front of the house. This was a bit more challenging, since we had a log more space from our excavation (I slide the house back 7 feed after the hole was dug). We dropped gravel from above where we could. Here I am holding the drain tile in place with a 2x4 while gravel is "thrown" by the Bobcat.

When we had placed as much gravel as possible by "throwing", we then had to start part of the backfill to get the Bobcat close enough to place the rest of the gravel. He did this by digging into the edge of the excavation from the high side and pushing that dirt into the hole. He then repeated and pushed more and more dirt in, forming a ramp he could drive down.

We continued with this method, and the repeated the process above of installing fabric and drain tile before placing any gravel. 

While we were installing the backfill and drain tile, Kim and the kids kept busy by moving some boards left over from the form work. All part of keeping a job site clean. Mandy kept busy as well.

Our contractor stayed and placed the gravel on all but about 8 feet of our foundation. We left this area clear so I could install a sump drain. This drain was done by placing a "T" into the drain tile. We dug a hole under the footing and into the house, and then dug a hole inside the house for a sump pit. This was done by hand, and is much easier typed than done. That clay is hard digging. This was done at the end of the day, and I was pretty worn out. But it was fun because Reed helped. We each dug on one side and eventually broke through.

Once we broke through, Steve installed the "T" and ran a length of drain tile wrapped in the drain fabric through the hole. We then installed the fabric and gravel as above. It was a little precarious placing the gravel, since our ramp down was fairly steep. Steve did a good job of getting the gravel in there and not running into the house or tipping over. Once the gravel was in, Reed and I put on the fabric, and Steve did a few loads of dirt to start the backfill for this area. By this time it was dark and we called it a day.

Daily StatsHours Worked
All Time695485306.5$13,496.75
Summary of 6/14/2014
Work Done Today
Prepped foundation for waterproofing, applied waterproofing, installed drain tile, gravel and fabric, started backfill
Materials Used Today
Drain tile and connectors, drain fabric, drain tile and fittings, dirt
Who Helped Today
Steve, Kim, Mandy, Reed, Emmy, Abby, Will
Contractors On Site
Vanderford Construction

1 comment:

  1. It sounds like keeping the mud away from those footings was harder than expected. I remember when my house was being built the footings were also the thing giving us issues. However, now it's my concrete walls are giving up on me. I've been having a lot of water leaks in my basement and I know that it has to be coming from the concrete. What do I do to prevent this from getting worse?