For years we have talked about protecting the sill plate of basement walls from moisture rising up from the concrete. This could be water in the concrete from plumbing spills, or even from under the slab from a high-water table. The old standard ways to protect that bottom piece of wood on the wall was either to place a slip of vapor barrier plastic between the concrete and the wood, or use pressure treated wood for the sill plate. That stopped capillary action but didn’t do anything to let a real flow of water get under the wall in a flow towards the basement floor drain or sump pump.
Some hardworking carpenters would put spacers under the full length of the wall, little stilts to stand the wall off the floor to let the water through. Of course, the spacers themselves needed to be protected from the capillary rise of water from the concrete.
In 2021, a Montreal contractor/inventor came out with a fantastic new creation called TekSill for anyone who worries about how to dry out a flooded basement. He invented a snap-on spacer device that you can put on the sill plate before you start building the wall, or if you want to prebuild the wall on the floor, you snap it on just before lifting it up for installation.
The TekSill wall support is made of durable but flexible plastic engineered to properly support the wall. It provides the capillary separation between an ordinary piece of 2x4 and the concrete as well as a full drainage path that lets all the water in the basement drain immediately to the floor drain – no water backed up by the presence of a wall. The basement begins to dry out as soon as the source of the water is cut off – before you even begin to think of cleaning up.
If you are renovating an existing basement wall, either just to change things or because of flood damage, TekSill has a saw guide that allows you to cut off the studs at just the right height, remove the old sill plate and slide in a new one with the TekSill spacer already attached. That means you can add the TekSill under the wall without removing the wall.
This sounds like a pun, but I do believe that this invention has legs. Considering the cost of water damage cleanup, this could be one of the best investments you can make in your basement. Drying out a clean water spill is much easier than drying out a water spill that has become moldy because of trapped water.
WHAT ABOUT DRAINAGE MEMBRANES ?
Drainage membranes, llike Delta FL and others, are large plastic sheets that look a bit like little egg cartons. They seal moisture from the concrete off from the floor coverning and assure that any water rising will flow quickly and freely to the floor drain or sump pump. Of course if you place them inside a room, that water will stop at the walls. If you build your walls over the membrane the water can go under, but any water, like a plumbing spill or water entering the walls or windows during a flood will flow over the floor and stop at the wall. Installing TekSill first, or even over a continuous membrane, will assure that the wall does not trap water.
IF YOU HAVE A SUMP PUMP - GET TekSill !
To my mind, anyone who owns a sump pump is anticipating water problems and should look at this device which will allow flood water to get to the pump. Even without a sump pump, floor drains are not efficient unless the water can flow there.
Visit their website to get more information. Their Where-To-Buy tab lists their progress on distribution.