Im getting ready to re-frame basement walls after basement flood (shocking images attached).

I'll be doing this for every wall portion that can possibly flood:

1) ridgid XPS foam insulation against side wall concrete
2) Pressure treated wood frame
3) cementboard + stucco finish (lime plaster) (instead of drywall+joint compound) -> as that survives standing water.

Now - as you can see from these pictures - house has drain tile around internal perimeter... and from what it looks like - existing rotten wall just sits on top of the pebbles....

Question - should I cover those pebbles with concrete prior to doing any framing?

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  • Obviously the porous surface was left to allow drainage. Whatever the solution, you probably want to retain that feature.
    – isherwood
    Dec 30, 2015 at 19:21
  • @isherwood I'm not so sure that's correct. From all of the videos I've seen of the drain tile install: vid1, vid2 - they always top it off with concrete layer...
    – Dannyboy
    Dec 31, 2015 at 0:19

3 Answers 3


Yeah, major mistake from the previous remodel with the the plastic over the insulation. All that does is hold moisture in and create mold. Your XPS and treated lumber sounds like a good plan. The plaster idea is also probably a good final finish idea.

Once you get the framing removed you should see the rough surface of the footing. It may look like pebbles but that should be the unfinished top of the concrete footing. Your wall is not load bearing just cosmetic so if it sits on the rough footing or the basement floor it should be fine.

The perimeter drain tile you spoke of is supposed to be on the outside of the wall at the footing and carry the water away from the house or into a sump to be pumped away.

Good luck!


My first concern would be why is the wall or slab leaking? I would start there. Make sure your foundation is sealed from the outside with a waterproof substance first. As for the inside, if water get's in and runs down the wall you must have a gap between the framing and the wall to let it run into the drain tile. I would not put my bottom plate on top of the gravel of the french drain. You can bump the framing out in front of the drain but you will lose a lot of space that way. You could also mount brackets on the foundation to attach to the studs so it does not rest on the floor. Or you can use wood spacers. Your plan for pressure treated wood and wonder board is good but a bit over kill. The key is to solve your water problem first.

  • Oh - I know why it's leaking alright. I live in the area with seasonal shallow water table. Trust me - aint nothing I can do about that. :) House was flooded because it was a foreclosed house and when I got it power was off so sump pumps weren't working.
    – Dannyboy
    Apr 4, 2016 at 15:38

Geez, that ain't nothing. I've seen a lot worse that were absurdly just re-drywalled & forgotten. Pressure treated or not, I'd tightly wrap & staple-on 6-mil poly strips around the new bottom plates & bottom 2-feet of studs, even taping all seams with aluminum tape for zero problems ever again. 304, 305 or especially 316 stainless steel screws (ZMAX screws at a minimum) through the bottom plates.

I'd also strongly suggest that you don't fill-in the gravel perimeter. Since, that's how the flood got out & will be your only convenience in future flooding. Which, is a huge convenience & safeguard if you're away next time, plus you'll be able to keep the drain tile system optimized by back-flushing...I'd back-flush prior to installing the new framing.

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