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LeeH 07-23-2010 05:29 PM

condo concrete cracks
My elderly mother is a little stressed due to water coming into her basement.

She lives in a small 'garden home' which means that it's attached at both sides. When there's a heavy downpour, there is a large 'bowl' of water - maybe four or five inches deep and two feet around - and it's right up against the foundation but over on the neighbour's property, just across the property line. Also the membrane on the foundation is exposed at that point and it has pulled away a bit from the cement so when that 'bowl' fills up, the water spills between the membrane and the foundation and makes it's way into my mum's basement (but not the neighbour's).

So the insurance adjuster came today and told my mum that a) she has a crack in her foundation that she has to fill and she should hire a professional to do that and b) the depression on the neighbour's property that fills up with water is not a problem and if she just fixes the crack everything would be fine.

I don't know much about construction but the first point sounded reasonable and the second point sounded nuts. Did I miss something? Is water against the foundation now ok?

Both her and the neighbour have spent a bit of money landscaping their properties (the lots are very tiny though). The neighbour's was already done when my mom moved in about three years ago and the neighbour blames my mother's landscaping for the problem and says she should fix it on her side. And the insurance adjuster, again to my surprise, agreed.

But from my perspective, the guys my mom hired did everything right and properly sloped the soil away from the house. The guys that the neighbour hired did everything wrong and relied on the water spilling onto my mom's property to carry the runoff (rather than making sure it ran straight back from the house). Now that my mum has a raised bed between the properties, the flaw in their sloppy work is exposed (at least in my mind).

Should I be getting a second opinion on this? It's not really about insurance money as there's been minimal damage so far. We just want to convince the neighbour that he needs to do the tiny amount of work to fix the grading. I would have thought that it would be in his own interest but maybe the insurance guy is right and water against the foundation is not a big deal. Thoughts anyone?

mudmixer 07-23-2010 07:18 PM

Who's insurance agent?

If she called, the information is hers and it is not available to the neighbor. If it got out contact the insurance company or change companies.

If the information is actually private and confidential, then she can discuss the joint problem with the neighbor. If she called the company she can say said there was a problem with the drainage of the area between the units.

The raised bed your mother put in could actually be separating her area from the neighbors existing landscaping and trapping water.

If there is a crack in the foundation, that is your mom's problem.

LeeH 07-23-2010 07:34 PM

It was my mom's insurance agent. The neighbour is not aware that we've been talking to the insurance company.

Yes I'm sure it is my mother's raised bed that is preventing the water from escaping (on to her property), but it seems to me that the fault is really with the neighbour's landscaping which should be directing water away from the building rather over into the next property. The fact that it was there first doesn't really make it right.

oldognewtrick 07-23-2010 11:09 PM

LeeH, does the property have a homeowners Assn?

LeeH 07-24-2010 06:09 AM

Yes it does, although it's in disarray at the moment as the president has resigned.

oldognewtrick 07-24-2010 06:20 AM

Lee, check the covenants of your moms homeowners assn. Find out who is responsible for fixing what. The condo I own, the assn. is responsible for fixing structure.

LeeH 07-24-2010 07:53 AM

That's a good idea. It's not actually a condo but they may have some mechanism for handling this kind of issue.

itsreallyconc 08-17-2010 05:01 AM

we're on retainer for 1 of the largest condo management offices in atl - think they manage 1,200 - 1,500 properties,,, the proper fix ' would be to inject the crack w/hydrophyllic polyurethane,,, w/o actually ' seeing ' the crk, that's the best solution i can offer,,, the alternative is exterior excavation down to below the crk & sealing w/fiber-modified asphaltic roofing cement protected by delta-drain or something similar.

typically, our condo assoc's are responsible for all exterior & structural issues as the owners only own interior wall-to-wall,,, we repair several of these problems each month,,, no, its never been suggested that water against your mum's bsmt walls is a good idea, either :eek: - best

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