Our frame house is located right on the river and has a basement. Its size is approximately 1,500 square feet with about 1/3 on soil and 2/3 on concrete slab. The basement was quite damp and during strong rains could take on about 2 inch of water. The old sump pump could minimize the damage, but the accumulative damage was pretty strong. Especially in a frame house the structure is very susceptible to water and the damage and odor travels throughout the house.
When we bought the property last fall we decided right away that this has has to be fixed right away.
After researching a couple of companies we decided to go with IEM. They were courteous on the phone and were ready to dispatch a specialist the next day for a free estimate.
PJ arrived at our house and did a thorough inspection. Since nothing had been done in the 100 years before (except for the old sump pump) and our location right on the river he recommended to encapsulate the basement and install further water barriers around the property. So in detail they performed the following:
- remove old insulation, regrade the dirt, clean and disinfect the subflooring system
- dig a trench around the perimeter of the basement
- install a pipping system and and backfill the drainage system
- remove all 15 windows units and replace it with newer windows
- install drainage matting throughout the basement ground cover
- remove old sump pump and install a sump pump with 2 failover systems
- ensure all trench systems feed into the sump pump for max efficiency
- install a 20 millimeter thick polythene membrane on the ground
- install the polythene membrane on the wall to a height of 4 feet
- install an industrial sized dehumidifier to eradicate any further excess moisture
Foundation Wall Repair:
- remove plants, pavers and anything else which might interfere with work progress
- excavate soil around foundation wall completely around the building to about 2 feet
- clean and prep foundation wall surface
- repair mortar joints and concrete block surfaces
- apply a coating of surface bonding cement to all foundation wall surfaces
- apply commercial waterproofing compound on all of the surface areas of the foundation wall and footer
- install a french drain system and a discharge line around parts of the perimeter
The contract price was set fixed at around $45k and IEM estimated a 2-3 week time frame. During the project Clay and his amazing team encountered tons of unanticipated issues. The strong roots from the trees around the building had disintegrated the walls much more than was visible at first. Many bricks where simply hollowed out and Clay and his team were rebuilding a good part of the wall foundation completely from scratch. Since we're located in a historic district IEM could not simply install new windows, but were painstakingly remodeling each of the 15 windows by hand (sanding down, paint in previous color, sand clean each glass plate, fix all joints) and now those historic windows look like new. IEM also took care of getting the permits from the historic society to make the necessary changes.
Clay and his team worked highly professional and efficient. Nevertheless it took more than double the anticipated time to finish the project. All the trouble with the windows was neither in the contract nor was it anticipated. Nevertheless IEM did not charge us a dime extra.
I can highly recommend IEM. They were very professional, tremendously courteous, and surprisingly inexpensive regarding all the work that had to be done. Moreover, there were so many aspects to consider and it was great to have the same points of contact for all those issues (Clay and PJ). Both were very responsive to any concern and addressed them all. Moreover, even the company owner and basement guru John come out several times to make sure everything went smoothly. We feel very happy that we chose IEM. Our once damp basement which was ruining our frame structure is now a dry basement and solid for the next 50 years! The odor is completely gone and the whole house should get less hot in summer and less cold in winter.