Title:
Plug for waterproofing and method for using same
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An open vent plug minimizes blockage within a second hole drilled in a basement wall to minimize back pressure within the wall and insure ventilation through cells within the wall to drive water into a bleeder hole. The open vent port has a hole therethrough that forms an opening joining the cells and atmosphere. The vent port preferably has a screened opening at one or both ends to prevent debris from blocking the second hole, and sidewalls of the open vent port prevent the wall from crumbling into the hole and blocking airflow therethrough.



Inventors:
Fennell, Shawn (Freeland, MD, US)
Application Number:
11/499581
Publication Date:
02/07/2008
Filing Date:
08/04/2006
Assignee:
Octagon Enterprises, LLC (Laurel, MD, US)
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
52/169.1, 52/302.3
International Classes:
E02D19/02
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Primary Examiner:
DECKER, PHILLIP
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Volpe Koenig (PHILADELPHIA, PA, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. An open vent port 10 for insertion into a wall 42 comprising: an elongated body 12 having an open channel 18 extending longitudinally therethrough that joins two open ends 14, 16; and a screen 20 spanning the open channel.

2. The open vent port of claim 1 wherein the screen is located proximate to at least one of the two open ends 14, 16.

3. The open vent port of claim 1 further comprising a first lip 22 extending from at least one of the two open ends away from the body.

4. The open vent port of claim 1 further comprising at least one second lip 24 extending from the body located between the two open ends.

5. The open vent port of claim 1 further comprising: a convex first lip extending from the end with the screen towards the end without the screen; and a convex second lip extending from the body located between the two open ends; wherein the first and second lip are convex in opposite directions.

6. The open vent port of claim 1 further comprising a second screen 20a spanning the open channel.

7. The open vent port of claim 6 wherein the second screen is located at the end of the body opposite the end with the screen.

8. A method of waterproofing a below- or at-grade room having a floor 40 and walls 42 having an open cell 48 therein, the method comprising the following steps: forming a trench 44 through the floor 40 adjacent to the wall 42; drilling at least one bleeder hole 46 into the wall into the open cell; drilling at least one second hole 51 into the wall into the open cell; installing the open vent port of claim 1 into the wall; wherein the second hole relieves back pressure through the bleeder hole when water flows from the open cell through the bleeder hole; wherein the second hole provides ventilation to the open cell.

9. The method of claim 8, wherein the bleeder hole is drilled into the wall in an area within the trench.

10. The method of claim 8, wherein the wall comprises multiple stacked blocks, each having the open cell, wherein adjacent blocks' cells form at least one larger open cell 49 within the wall, and wherein the bleeder hole and the second hole both communicate with the larger open cell.

11. The method of claim 10, further comprising multiple bleeder holes, second holes, and open vent ports.

12. The method of claim 8, further comprising the step of installing stone into the trench.

13. The method of claim 12, further comprising the step of installing a perforated pipe within the trench, and wherein the stone covers the perforated pipe 52.

14. The method of claim 13, wherein the perforated pipe 52 directs water from within the trench outside of the room.

15. The method of claim 14, further comprising the step of installing a vapor barrier material 54 that covers the trench.

16. The method of claim 15, further comprising the step of covering the trench is covered with a cement mixture 56.

17. The method of claim 8, further comprising the step of installing a wallboard 62 over the wall, wherein the second hole and open vent port extend through the wallboard.

18. The method of claim 8, wherein the open vent port further comprises a first lip 22 extending from at least one of the two open ends away from the body, and the lip extends outside of the wall.

19. The method of claim 8, wherein the open vent port further comprises at least one second lip 24 extending from the body located between the two open ends, and during installation of the vent port, the second lip contacts edges 48a of the second hole.

Description:

FIELD OF INVENTION

The filed of the invention is waterproofing at- and below-grade rooms.

BACKGROUND

Ground and below-ground floors and walls often suffer water damage as water flows through the ground and into the walls and floors. This water flow at best causes dampness, and at worst, can shift a foundation or cause a catastrophic wall or floor cave-in. Between these two extremes lie the more common water damage effects like mildew, rot, and other property damage.

Water seepage into an underground basement often results from foundation settling. Some parts of the soil footing that the foundation rests upon may be weaker than others, and the result is an uneven distribution of a structure's weight, often stressing the wall and causing cracks, which create an entrance place for moisture.

This water seepage may be the result of heavy ground moisture. Areas in which clay subsoils, high water tables, or other poor drainage conditions can result in a tremendous hydrostatic force exerted by water in the ground that drives the water through a block wall's pores.

Solving these moisture seepage problems, particularly in below-ground rooms like basements, is the business of many companies. Their specialty is helping property-owners assess the sources of the water and seal against the water or redirect it.

The sealing solutions prevent the water's egress into the basement by sealing the basement walls and floor. For example, simply coating the interior of the basement wall is a common homeowner's solution that is unfortunately often ineffective because the coatings alone cannot withstand the hydrostatic pressure created by the water.

Another sealing solution includes using membranes along the outside surface of a basement wall. These membranes generally comprise fabric, tar, or asphalt that are disposed on the outside wall as a layer. This system is relatively expensive.

Another sealing example involves coating of waterproofing to the outside surface of the basement wall. Such a coating involves the use of bituminous emulsion or mastic without a membrane. The biggest disadvantage of this system is that its reliability diminishes under an extended and substantial hydrostatic pressure.

Solutions involving redirecting water can be done by rerouting gutters, grading the land outside the enclosed space, and installing exterior drains and runoffs.

More effective redirection involves capturing the incoming water and directing it from inside the basement to outside the basement. Such a water removal technique involves a series of common steps discussed with reference to FIG. 1, in which the interior of the basement is shown to the left of the wall 42, and the exterior is shown to the right of the wall 42.

First, an existing basement concrete floor 40 is removed to form a trench 44 adjacent the wall 42's edge. This trench 44 is usually formed approximately 12 inches from the wall 42's edge and parallels the basement's interior wall 42 to form the trench 44 for a drain, described in a subsequent step. (The wall 42 is shown as resting on a footer 64.)

Second, once dug out, the blocks 42 facing below the floor 40 are bled by drilling bleeder holes 46 through the block walls 42 into the core pocket/cell 48 (and into the mortar joints between the blocks) to remove excess water trapped therein.

Third, and depending on the type of wall material, the walls 42 may be treated with coatings 60 and/or a wallboard 62 may be installed over the block wall 42.

Fourth, the trench 44 is filled with washed gravel 50 or similar stone, which envelops a 4″ A.D.S. flexible and coiled perforated piping 52. The trench 44 is covered with a vapor barrier material 54 and finished to grade with a cement layer 56. To aid in drainage, a rippled material under the vapor barrier can direct water from the bleeder hole 46 into the trench 44.

This interior drain system directs water from the pipe 52, where it flows to an area outside of the enclosed space, or to a pump (not shown) that pumps the water outside the basement.

This drain system works well, but one feature improves its performance. It can readily be seen that when the bleeder holes 46 are punched through to the cells 48 within the block walls 42, water exits more slowly that it would from on open vessel. The reason for this is back pressure: as water exits the cells through the hole, the space it once occupied must immediately be filled by the surrounding air; otherwise a vacuum results. As water leaves the cells 48 through the bleeder holes 46, atmospheric pressure forces air into the wall 42 to take its place, and slows the water exiting the cells 48. This doesn't prevent the water from exiting the cells 48, but it does slow its flow. (In a different but more common context, the flow of liquids exiting a can or bottle is regularly interrupted to allow air to enter, resulting in the familiar ‘chug-chug’ sound.)

To minimize back pressure, a second hole 51 connecting the cell 48 (or larger cell 49 formed of adjacent cells 48) to atmosphere is drilled into the wall 42. This second hole 51 allows air to enter the cells 48 and drive water through the bleeder hole 46.

The problem with this solution is that the second hole 51 often gets clogged with debris. Particularly with cinder block walls, the block 42 may crumble around the hole 51 and air flow. Once the second hole 42 is clogged, it becomes useless, and back pressure can prevent or inhibit the flow of water through the cells 48 into the French drain, causing water build-up within the cells 48, and potentially damaging the basement.

SUMMARY

The open vent plug minimizes blockage within the second hole and insure consistent airflow through the cells to drive water into the bleeder hole. The open vent port has a hole therethrough that forms an opening joining the cells and atmosphere. The vent port preferably has a screened opening at one or both ends to prevent debris from blocking the second hole, and sidewalls of the open vent port prevent the wall from crumbling into the hole and blocking airflow therethrough. The screen prevents insects from entering. This airflow also allows for continuous ventilation, thus airing out the walls after periods of heavy rain. Other features of the invention are discussed below.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING(S)

Further features and advantages of the invention will become clearer from the description of some preferred embodiments, made with reference to the attached drawings.

FIG. 1 shows a partial cross section through a wall, floor, and drain system of the prior art.

FIG. 2 is a side elevation view of the inventive open vent port.

FIG. 3 is a front view of the open vent port of FIG. 2.

FIG. 4 is a rear view of the open vent port of FIG. 3.

FIG. 5 is a partial cross section through a wall, floor, and drain system showing the open vent port of FIG. 1 installed.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT(S)

FIGS. 2-5 show the open vent port 10 according to the invention. The open vent port 10 has an elongated body 12 with an open channel 18 extending longitudinally therethrough that joins two open ends 14, 16. The channel 18 also has at least one of screens 20, 20a to keep it free of debris.

The open vent port 10 has a first lip 22 extending from the open end 14 away from the body 12. This first lip 22 overlaps a surface of the wall 42 to prevent debris from entering the hole from inside the basement.

The open vent port 10 also has at least one second lip 24, preferably three lips 24, that press against the interior surface of the second hole 51 to secure the open vent port 10 in place within the wall 42. As best seen from the Figures, the first and second lips 22, 24 are preferably convex in opposite directions; the second lips being convex to aid in installation.

As best seen in FIG. 5, during a method of waterproofing using the open vent port 10, the open vent port 10 is pressed into the second hole 51 to join the open cells 48 to atmosphere (or at least the pressure within the basement). Once installed, the open vent port 10 and screens 20, 20a keep the channel 18 through the port 10 open. The result of the channel 18 remaining open and free of debris is that it relieves back pressure and allows air flow throughout the hollow cores of the block.

The open vent port 10 is preferably made of polyethylene. The first lip 22 has a preferable diameter of 1.5 inches and 1.25 inches long. These dimensions are chosen as the preferred dimensions based on their being commonly used with block walls 42.

It will be apparent to those skilled in the art that changes may be made to the construction of the invention without departing from the spirit of it. It is intended, therefore, that the description and drawings be interpreted as illustrative and that the following claims are to be interpreted in keeping with the spirit of the invention, rather than the specific details set forth.

It is also to be understood that the following claims are intended to cover all the generic and specific features of the invention herein described and all statements of the scope of the invention that, as a matter of language, might be said to fall therebetween.