Dry Guys Basement Systems Case Studies: Replacing a Wall in the Operation Center for First National Bank of Elmer, NJ

Thursday, January 2nd, 2020 by Cindi Reyes

Challenge

This basement in Elmer, NJ, has an electrical panel that is in charge of the power that is sent throughout their banking systems. Although it was not necessary, a piece of plywood was painted black and placed to hold the weight of the electrical panel. There was also a pipe where wires had been run from the ground through the wall. The electrical wires were encased in the pipe to prevent moisture from the conduit/ electrical line, preventing shorts in the wires. However, the ground began to settle and caused the pipe to drop a quarter of an inch in the outside dirt, which formed a gap around the original pipe entry through the walls cinderblock. This allowed water to start leaking from the cinderblock wall around the pipe. Thanks to our WaterGuard waterproofing system at the floor wall joint, most of the water went into our system. In spite of that system doing its job, there was still water that went into the gap from the pipe and saturated the wood panel and weakened the integrity of the wall. Not only would this compromise the electrical units of the wall, which ran the operation center, but could also cause communication problems with all of the branches on the bank itself. 

Solution

Products that were used to fix this issue were drainage matting, Z Channel, and a two-part epoxy. Drainage matting is a product behind the white product, Cleanspace Wall. Cleanspace Wall is a 10 mil poly and is the square on the wall as seen on a picture at the right. Drainage Matting is a "waffle-like" looking product that allows the wall water to drain down into the waterproofing system. The drainage matting is covered with the Cleanspace Wall to prevent moisture from the surrounding area from affecting the environment inside the basement. The Cleanspace Wall has attached the buttons directly into the concrete block, with a backup adhesive used while attached to the wall. Since waterproofing was done previous to the wall repair, a product called Z Channel was needed to retrofit the Cleanspace Wall product into the WaterGuard system for drainage.

A pipe penetration fix was done to scrub out and wash-out any dirt or sediment that had come around the pipe to make sure the Epoxy sticks to the cinderblock wall and the pipe itself. The pipe entry was also cleaned to remove any previous resin or leftover caulking left by the builder. The two-part epoxy will "follow" any leakage points down the wall to the waterproofing system, making sure water will not penetrate in the cinderblock wall again. Pipe penetration repair includes a separate thinner "Cleanspace Wall-like" product that is called Pinky, which is cut to fit around the pipe in a large radius and a construction-grade flexible adhesive is used to attach it to the block. A similar adhesive product was also left before the electrical panel was placed back into the wall by the electrician, Krise Electric. This ensured no moisture escapes, ever.

Project Summary

System Designer: Kim Gattuso

Foreman: Daniel R.

Foreman: Christian R.

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