Floating basement floors do not actually connect to the walls; instead there is a gap where the floor and wall come together. Many homeowners don't even know they have a floating basement and think that the space between the walls and floor is a French Drain. A floating basement is not a drainage system, but rather a way to prevent the basement floor from cracking. The floating floor allows some breathing room for the ground to rise and swell without causing structural damage to the home.
A house with a basement starts with a hole about 8 feet deep. The basement in then constructed in three parts:
- The footings are then formed and poured. The typical footing in a ranch style home is 16” Wide by 14” Deep.
- The 8” thick wall (either poured solid concrete or hollow concrete blocks) is then centered on the footings and built up to about 7’ 3” in height.
- The slab floor is usually 4” and is poured concrete.
If no Radon gas is present, most homes will have a floating slab. This is usually done by tacking a 1” thick piece of rigid insulation to the inside of the foundation wall before the floor is poured. After the floor has cured for a few days the foam insulation is burned out with a torch, leaving a clean 1” gap around the perimeter.
A French Drain basement waterproofing system drains the water from the block walls with weep holes. A below grade drainage pipe delivers the water to the sump well on purpose. The system is designed prevent water from flooding your basement. It is installed inside the basement, below the floor, around the perimeter. This French Drain controls the water, delivers it to the sump pump(s), and discharges it out of the house. This system comes with a lifetime guarantee that your basement floor will not have any water on it.
An interior French drain is much less likely to clog than an exterior, partially due to the fact that it is not sitting underneath several feet of soil.
A-1 Basement Solutions gives free basement health inspections to New Jersey homeowners. Contact A-1 Basement Solutions at 908-322-1313, http://A-1Basements.com for a free in-home inspection and detailed quote.
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