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Old 04-29-2005, 09:44 PM   post #1 of 10
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Default spray type insulation question

We had a little problem last week, sump pump quit working so we got water in the basement. I had to tear out the bottom 2 foot of the sheetrock and 6 inches of insulation. So as it not to be such a mess next time (and there will be a next time ), I'm looking for something to use for replacing the 6 inches of insultation that will be impervious to water. Then I'll put down a plastic mop board and set wainscoating on top of that. Additional problem is the wall goes below the level of the floor a couple of inches, so it fills the gap with water.

So does anyone know anything about sprayon insulation, or have other ideas?
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Old 04-29-2005, 09:53 PM   post #2 of 10
 
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Default Re: spray type insulation question

Quote:
Originally Posted by old_nodaker
We had a little problem last week, sump pump quit working so we got water in the basement. I had to tear out the bottom 2 foot of the sheetrock and 6 inches of insulation. So as it not to be such a mess next time (and there will be a next time ), I'm looking for something to use for replacing the 6 inches of insultation that will be impervious to water. Then I'll put down a plastic mop board and set wainscoating on top of that. Additional problem is the wall goes below the level of the floor a couple of inches, so it fills the gap with water.

So does anyone know anything about sprayon insulation, or have other ideas?
I don't have a very good visualization of exactly the problem that you have other then you are certain that it will reoccur and in that case I would advise you to not fill that cavity with anything period and it will dry quicker/faster/better/ and not cause you more long term damage!!!
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Old 04-29-2005, 10:21 PM   post #3 of 10
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Default Re: spray type insulation question

They make a battery powered back-up sump pump. If you never have this problem when the pump is working I think you are addressing the wrong problem.
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Old 04-29-2005, 10:33 PM   post #4 of 10
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Default Re: spray type insulation question

If your basement walls are not open but have dirt up against them then you shouldn't really need insulation the last foot or so. If dirt isn't up against them then i would use a hard styrofoam insulation the last 6"-12". And i agree with the battery back up system.

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Old 04-29-2005, 10:48 PM   post #5 of 10
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Default Re: spray type insulation question

Quote:
Originally Posted by old_nodaker
We had a little problem last week, sump pump quit working so we got water in the basement. I had to tear out the bottom 2 foot of the sheetrock and 6 inches of insulation. So as it not to be such a mess next time (and there will be a next time ), I'm looking for something to use for replacing the 6 inches of insultation that will be impervious to water. Then I'll put down a plastic mop board and set wainscoating on top of that. Additional problem is the wall goes below the level of the floor a couple of inches, so it fills the gap with water.

So does anyone know anything about sprayon insulation, or have other ideas?
Sump pump was covered.

What do you have a stud 2 X 4 wall with the sheetrock nailed on it? The insulation is fibre glass? I presume that the reason the wall goes a couple of inches below the floor is because there is drain trench on the inside of the wall? Is the basement wall block?

It doesn't matter what you put on the wall if it gets wet it will show. Besides it is a good place for mold production. It really sounds like your best bet is to prevent the water from getting to the floor.

I know that they make splash alarms for swimming pools. I think that would be adaptable to the sump. If the pump doesn't work then the alarm will sound before the water fills the sump completely. At that point you could change the pump.

Or if there is room then you could put two pumps in the sump. Have the floats set so that one of the pumps is a back up, and will come on only if the water level is higher than the first pump would normally let it get.

The battery pump will work as long as the water flow into the sump isn't too great.
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Old 04-30-2005, 09:23 AM   post #6 of 10
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Default Re: spray type insulation question

Okay, I'll try to be a little more specific. First of all, we do have a battery backup in addition to the electric pump. I haven't gotten to seeing what happened to it, either it didn't work, or just couldn't keep up. The house is not used, so we just check it periodically, and generally by this time of year the problem is over so we were lax. And in fact, it no longer is taking on water. Interestingly, the electric pump started working as soon as I wiggled it a little. It will be replaced.

The basement does not have concrete walls. It has 2x4 studs with green plywood on the exterior. (Seems to be a good system, the water does NOT come through the walls, the sheetrock got wet from wicking up from the bottom.) The "void" I refered to comes from the floor being installed after the walls are put up, I assume to hold the walls from moving in. I'd like to fill that void so the water can't get in there in the first place to cause mold, but I understand that may be impossible.

Agreed, the best plan is to keep it from happening. I can't imagine why they do this, but the outside was tiled, then they ran it into the basement sump pump. Brilliant, until the sump pump doesn't work. I plan on digging that connection up this summer and drain it away from the house instead of into it. That should solve it, that's the only place the water comes in, is in that pipe running into the sump pump hole. Also if we could find an alarm for some peace of mind. We live a hundred yards from this house so that presents a problem of how that would work.
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Old 04-30-2005, 12:06 PM   post #7 of 10
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Default Re: spray type insulation question

Ah, so you have one of those wood basements.

The tile is put around the footing to intercept the water before it can get into the basement. The sump is placed inside so that it doesn't freeze in the winter. Since the footing is always placed below the local frost depth the ground water will always be there. That is why the sump is placed where it won't freeze, so that any ground water will go into the sump and not leak onto the basement floor.

Since no one lives in the house it probably isn't heated. Therefore defeating the purpose of the sump being in the inside of the house.

You wiggled the pump and it started to work. I bet that you have a mechanical float. The kind that is attached to a rod that is extended to above the water line. The rod has a couple of stops on it that turns a switch on and off. Sometimes the rod will hang up in its guides and not turn the pump on. I bet that when you wiggled the pump the float rod moved and started the pump.

If the house is on a hill so that you can drain the tile then that should work.
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Old 04-30-2005, 01:25 PM   post #8 of 10
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Default Re: spray type insulation question

Thanks Carl, that all makes sense. The house is heated, but that aside, I'm sure I could put the pump in a hole outside and keep it from freezing. I may have to do that or else run a pretty long tile to get it low enough. Is there a different kind of pump?
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Old 05-09-2005, 11:35 PM   post #9 of 10
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Default Re: spray type insulation question

The sump pump that I now use is a submersible pump. It is quite happy being totally under water. The float switch is like a rubber balloon that has a ball bearing switch in it. The ball makes contact when the water lifts the balloon and it tilts so that the ball rolls against the contacts. I have never had a problem with this kind of switch.

You could make your sump outside the house with this type of pump. Dig a hole and use 2 or 3 concrete crocks to form the sump. Only problem would be to connect the pump to the discharge pipe. Either use some kind of a hose connection. Or you could have the pipe come almost to the surface and then you could connect it up after the pump is lowered into the sump. This would work and the water would drain back to the pump and thus not freeze in the pipe. You would need to install one of those vacuum break valves in the high point of the line so that the water would drain back without siphoning.

The other option would be to have the sump outside the house, and have the pump in the basement next to the outside sump. It would pump out of the sump, and discharge into any pipe that you wanted to hook it up to.

You did sound like you could actually drain it without a pump. That would be great as gravity never fails, and requires no electricity!
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Old 05-10-2005, 06:27 AM   post #10 of 10
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Default Re: spray type insulation question

old nodaker,

I was going to suggest that you skip insulating that last 6" as it was probably below the frost line (what is the frost line in ND?) but with the wooden basement, I'm not sure if that is good advice. Let us know what you end up doing.

Cheers

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