Basement Drying >> How To Clean A Dirt Basement After Flooding

In Two Harbors, the owners of a home built in 1920 and added on to in 1988 decided to fix their cold basement with an exterior insulation retrofit. The house is located in a rural area with clay/gravel How To Clean A Dirt Basement After Flooding soils, and the basement had no evidence of moisture intrusion from groundwater. Physical obstructions to excavation included two decks, one on the north side covering more than two-thirds the length of that wall and one on the east side covering about one-fourth of the wall length.
The homeowner decided to have the decks removed to access the full perimeter of basement, and the decks were reinstalled How To Clean A Dirt Basement After Flooding after the insulation retrofit. Therefore, 100% of the foundation walls were insulated. The homeowners plan to insulate the rim joist area above the basement wall from the interior at a later date. Each of these retrofits went beyond the current code minimum of R-10 for basement insulation for new construction.
The cost information gathered from these two retrofits suggest that this approach is within the How To Clean A Dirt Basement After Flooding cost range estimated for "mature market” application of current advanced approaches to deep energy retrofits, at $7–15/ft2 range (Ueno 2011). More research and analysis would be needed to ascertain if these costs are affordable (i.e., cost-effective) and thus scalable. Specific energy calculations were not done as part of the work for these case studies.
Additional research would also include energy calculations to How To Clean A Dirt Basement After Flooding estimate the reduction in heat loss from the measures undertaken in each case. Existing homes typically contain physical obstacles that would create financial and physical hardship when excavating the soils to fully access basement walls and footings. These obstacles include, but are not limited to, unstable soils, utility connections, concrete steps, decks and porches, cantilevered floors, landscaping, and attached garages.
In an attempt to understand both the frequency of occurrence and the nature of obstacles that would affect the How To Clean A Dirt Basement After Flooding widespread implementation of an exterior basement retrofit approach in a cold climate, five prototypical neighborhoods in the Minneapolis area were investigated. For each neighborhood, one square block was selected as representative of the typical mix of housing for that neighborhood.
The mix of housing found in these neighborhoods was typical of established neighborhoods in the upper How To Clean A Dirt Basement After Flooding Midwest and included one and half story bungalows, one story ranch, split-entry ranch, and one and half story Cape Cod styles. Most had basements. Obstacles deemed common, readily visible, and significant were concrete stoops or steps, attached garages, sidewalks abutting a foundation wall, sidewalks adjacent to a foundation wall, bays without a foundation, porches, decks, additions without a foundation, and vegetation.
 Obstacles were counted for each house, and an estimate of the amount of existing perimeter How To Clean A Dirt Basement After Flooding (expressed as a percentage) that was easily accessible was made for each house. Appendix A includes data tables and aerial photographs. The data collected for the 140 houses in five neighborhoods show that although physical obstructions are nearly always present in an older existing home with a basement, most of the time 75% or more of the foundation perimeter appears to be accessible to some form of excavation without removal of the obstacle.
The single most frequently occurring obstacle is a concrete stoop with steps leading to an entry door (Figure 7). In this cold climate, such an element often sits on a foundation extending several feet or more into the ground, making temporary removal of this particular How To Clean A Dirt Basement After Flooding obstacle particularly difficult. Certain frequently occurring obstacles such as adjacent but not abutting sidewalks, plantings, and a projecting bay without a foundation suggest that an exterior foundation retrofit is possible, but conventional excavation methods would be unsuitable.
 In established neighborhoods, roots from mature trees presents another obstacle that suggests that a minimally invasive approach to accessing foundation walls is desirable. Overall, the How To Clean A Dirt Basement After Flooding characteristics surveyed support the concept that many older homes with basements would benefit from an exterior insulation retrofit if a method existed that was less invasive and less expensive than the current conventional method.
To enable apples-to-apples comparison between technologies and materials, we specified a prototype house as an How To Clean A Dirt Basement After Flooding example. This imaginary house is 30 ft by 30 ft, giving a total perimeter of 120 L.F. We specified a minimum 6-in. wide trench (this can vary significantly by excavation technology) that is dug down to the footing, a depth of 7 ft. This gives an area of 840 ft2, and a material volume of 15.6 yd3.
To be successful, a foundation insulation retrofit should reduce building energy use in a cost-effective manner and also reduce risks associated with factors like water intrusion How To Clean A Dirt Basement After Flooding and moisture accumulation in vulnerable materials. An optimal solution would involve a quick and surgical excavation with minimal damage to landscape features and house components.
Then the resulting trench would be filled with a material that would reduce heat loss through the basement walls and reduce moisture loading in the basement from the soil. Above-grade portions of the basement walls could be insulated with rigid board foam or rigid mineral wool How To Clean A Dirt Basement After Flooding panels, and a protective cover material, typical of new-construction practices. The insulating material must ensure a significant boost to the thermal efficiency of the basement walls.
Additionally, its thermal performance should be minimally subject to degradation by water accumulation, as can happen even with extruded polystyrene, or by silt accumulation. It is known that by insulating the wall from the outside, the wall is made warmer than it was when it was uninsulated. Building science How To Clean A Dirt Basement After Flooding principles suggest that this will cause the wall to be drier than it was when uninsulated, as long as it is allowed to dry to the interior (Rose 2005), even if the exterior water problem is not completely managed by the retrofit.
To a significant degree, the insulating material would ideally possess inherent waterproofing capabilities. It should be noted that, no matter how waterproof a retrofit exterior foundation wall insulation system is in practice, it will have no effect on capillary rise through the footing or from the floor. If needed, a waterproofing layer How To Clean A Dirt Basement After Flooding such as reinforced polyethylene membrane could be draped into the trench either on the wall side or the soil side; however, simpler methods will be preferred, because additional steps complicate the application and therefore increase cost.

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