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-   -   Basement Walls - weeping help (http://www.houserepairtalk.com/f45/basement-walls-weeping-help-10936/)

toofast 03-11-2011 11:04 AM

Basement Walls - weeping help
 
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I will start by saying I've lived hear for about 5 years and it is a new house with poured concrete walls.

I have a sump pump and it is working away...I should add that when the hose was built, "French drains" I think they call were laid, outside walls were tarred and foamed, etc. etc...

I should premise this by saying we've had unusual amounts of snow/rain this winter, but the walls have been perfectly dry up till now.

I've attached a "few" pictures to help visualize.

I am freaking out...I don't assume there is a "easy" fix. Meaning I have to wait till spring, dig out the entire foundation, etc. etc. etc....

Any calming emails, help, wisdom, thoughts, prayers, etc would be helpful.

nealtw 03-11-2011 05:44 PM

Looks like it could be a problem with the window or do you have ground sloping towards the house or is the dirt against the house above the tar and stuff. I wouldn't close up the walls before you have solved this.

mudmixer 03-11-2011 07:49 PM

Those poured walls have an imitation concrete block face on the interior.

Judging from the leaks and other cracks, you have significant shrinkage in the walls that is typical with a quick pour and dump poured wall construction.

Obviously, the surface grading that sheds the water from rains and downspout extensions is the first thing to look at. After that, look at installing drain tile (either exterior or interior). If you have to excavate to apply a proper waterproofing an exterior system is viable. If you have landscaping and patios, sidewalks, attached garages an interior system may be better.

Dick

toofast 03-12-2011 06:50 AM

Thanks so far for the feedback.

I guess I should have clarified a few things...

1) I have a exterior drain tile system already installed...and since water is flowing into the sump box, I can only assume it is working well. There is no other water on the walls.

2) As for the rain spouts...all my spouts drain into a drain system and flow into the street "watershed" system...so my downspouts are all connected and there is no "excess" water from the spouts.

3) I do have landscaping, and to the best of my ability it does appear to slope away from the house. HOWEVER the mulch is against the concrete and the "waterproofing" system does not go that high up...

4) I do have a few cracks in the concrete...i was told by two "experts" when the house was built that this is relatively normal with poured concrete walls...perhaps I got scammed...but nothing I can do about that at the moment. This is the only crack that is leaking at the moment.

So with these new facts...could the mulch alone cause this? Don't I need to also figure out how to seal the crack as well as try to fix the mulch issue?

What if topsoil is up against the concrete as well (sloping away)...and the tar/foam is below that grade. Do I need to remove all the topsoil against the sides of the walls?

Finally, I had a neighbor tell me they had this problem and had someone inject a polyethelene (sp) foam of some sort that massively expands and seals the crack all the way through?

Any further thoughts or insight?

nealtw 03-12-2011 02:35 PM

Concrete will soak up water from wet soil so for starters I would lower the level below that of the seal outside. In fact I would dig down the outside around the area of the leak and see what is happening with the water there. I expect that the leak is at the top of the wet stain and you could repair the leak from outside. When they pore the concrete they have a steel tie that holds the forms together and sometimes these ties rust out and creates a leak. I would also take a real close look at the window sill and how it is sealed.

toofast 03-13-2011 04:51 PM

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Well, I feel kinda dumb.

I never realized how the landscappers messed up. They built the bed about 4 inches above the sill on the glass blocks. You can see the old "line" in the pictures.

So I figured better fix this the right way. I dug about 2 ft down, laid a bed of gravel and then placed the window retaining wall (not sure what they are called) far away from the sill.

I will back fill it with gravel eventually, but I want to let it dry and then see if I can see the crack and get some caulk in there.

I am feeling better.

However, the rest of my windows have the same issue. This one is not leaking yet, but it is only a matter of time...so that will be "fixed" as well.

Thanks to all for pointing me in the right directions.


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