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A do-it-yourself way to close leaks around basement floor My basement leaks where the cinder-block walls meet the concrete floor. I've been given a price of $6,000 to dig around the outside of the foundation, put in drain tile, apply asphalt to the block walls, refill, etc. The price seems too high. I came across a process called Channel Drain made by RBI Industries, PO Box 1016, Cumming, Ga. 30130. Please comment on this method.

Martin L. Lewis Orange, Conn.

The Channel Drain system captures the water coming through the basement walls by collecting and redirecting it outdoors or to a sump pump. Where the walls meet the floor, sections of plastic rectangular channels are applied, fastened with flanges, and then caulked.

Holes are drilled in the cinder block just above the floor to allow the water to run out of the wall into the plastic drain instead of seeping through the blocks at random. Material alone costs about $4 a foot, plus labor and sump pump.

Designed as a do-it-yourself product, it may be retrofitted to existing basements. First tested for two years, the product has been installed in a few hundred basements since January, the manufacturer says.

To this builder, the idea appears workable.

If I had a leaky basement, I'd compare the cost of Channel Drain labor and materials with that of waterproofing the basement walls from inside with a product such as Sealwall, or its equal.

Sealwall is made by Sealwall Products Inc., 36300 Lakeland Boulevard, Eastlake, Ohio 44094. The phone number is (216) 951-3445. It is a two-coat, simple-to-apply cementious-base process guaranteed by the company to waterproof sound masonry basement walls from the inside if the directions are followed to the letter.

You decide which route to take to dry up that basement.

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