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Leaking Basement

Mark P

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Later this afternoon I going to look at a 15 years old house that has had a leaking basement for many years. Two companies (Crack Team & B Dry) have made repairs without success. I know ?The Crack Team? uses epoxy injection as a repair method. I was sent one picture and it looks like carbon fiber was applied to the foundation wall ? I assume by B Dry. I believe carbon fiber is a structural repair and not a water proofing repair. I don?t know what was done first, but according to the owner after the last repair the leaks got worse.

They now have some local contractor that is going to try and fix the problem for $750 by:

?Tuck-point the deteriorated mortar joints on the west side of the house.?

?Caulk the area where the vinyl siding meets the brick.?

I have not seen the house, but I know a 15 years old house is going to have break fascia so tuck-pointing and caulking the vinyl is stupid and a waste of money and time.

I thought I would post here for ideas before heading out.

I was thinking a possible cause would be no weep holes ? but that would probably cause leaking through the framed wall not the poured concrete foundation.

Another thought is that if repairs from the inside did not work then excavation and repairs from the outside maybe necessary.


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So here is the situation. The water is not coming through the foundation wall. The best I can tell it is coming over the top in two locations.

The major leak is where the steel girder rest in the pocket at the top of the wall. According to the owner this leak is so bad that when it is raining hard they have to stay home on bucket detail. Before they bought the house there was already an epoxy injection from the pocket to the floor. Recently carbon fiber was placed over this and as you see in the picture all around the pocket so nothing is really visible. The sill plate was not stained and I used a moisture meter and levels were normal. On the outside of the house at this location it appears some excavation was done and carbon fiber placed on the outside as well. According to the owner the leaking is worse now then before the carbon fiber was added. The last time it leaked was 2 weeks ago.

On the outside where the leak is occurring there are no weep holes along the bottom of the brick fascia and there are gaps / holes along the top. It seems that this could be the problem; that the water enters along the top and is somehow making its way inside since there are no weeps at the bottom. However, the insulation along the band-board and the band-board itself show no signs of being wet.

I?m wondering if drilling holes along the bottom and sealing the gaps along the top would fix it. Or should the fascia be removed and redone?


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The leak is about 3 feet to the right of the window, you can see the discoloration of the bricks.

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I'd be suspecting the flashing and vinyl install around that window as well as the flashing between the vinyl and brick wainscoting.

Some cladding needs to come off so you can examine what's behind it. That's not hard to do with vinyl.


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Was that carbon fiber put there to stop water intrusion? If so, I think whoever sold that deserves a beating.

I think so, it was the wife I was speaking to and she did not know much about it. She just knows it leaked before, someone came and put black stuff on the wall and it leaks worse now.

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I would back off and take a look from the big picture from the roof down and "think like a drop of water".

I would be checking the flashing at the top of the foundation wall. There should be through the wall flashing there, right? it may be as simple as the flashing sloped the wrong direction coupled with water entering the brick at the vinyl to brick junction; in which case it is flashing, flashing, and a lack of understanding by the previous patch installers.

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Is it just me or is there a dark spot on the brick just a little above and to the right of dead center of the exterior photo? It looks like the brick has been wet. Is the brick a veneer over the foundation wall or just frame construction?

Yes there is a drak spot, that I think is from water. That is exactly where the leak is. That is brick over frame.

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I look at badly cracked foundation walls all the time. Some are in basements and some are crawlspaces. When wall drainage details are correct and exterior drainage (roof and surface) is properly configured, we don't see water coming in through the cracks that often; so a cracked foundation wall in-and-of-itself doesn't necessarily mean you'll end up with water under a home,....unless some other details are seriously screwed up.

No weeps at the base of the veneer and no evidence of through wall flashings there? Also no flashings at the top of the veneer where the vinyl transitions to the brick.

I don't think it's an issue with surface water, ground water or roof water. If it were, patching the wall certainly wouldn't have increased the influx. I think water is draining behind the vinyl and veneer to the base of the veneer. It can't get out so it backs up to the top of the foundation wall and then it drains along the top of the concrete wall to the low spot in the center where the foundation cracked, fills up the area where the carbon-fiber matting is applied to both sides of the wall and then overflows like a cup that's over-full into the interior. To confirm my theory, have him take an electric drill and drill a small hole (1/8" would be fine) below the girder in that matting to see if you get water draining out of there.

I thnk it's had water in the basement for years because the numbnuts that applied the brick and the idjit that installed the vinyl siding didn't do their jobs right. Figure out what's letting all of that water in behind the vinyl and fix it. Then fix the vinyl-to-brick transition by integrating flashings into whatever is behind the vinyl and then fix the brick-to-foundation transition by re-doing the brick and ensuring through-wall flashings and weeps are there and you'll have fixed the incoming water source from the wall.

Then you have to make sure exterior drainage is right. Is that yard sloped away from the foundation at least an inch per foot? It sure doesn't look like it in the photo. Are there downspout receivers or do the downspouts dump right onto grade next to the foundation? That yard needs to slope properly away from the foundation and those downspouts either need to be tight-lined to in-ground drains that empty into dedicated drainage well clear of the house or they need to be extended to a point at least six feet from the foundation.

Of course you knew all that but maybe some folks reading this thread, like new inspectors, didn't (Though they should know it if they're in this business).



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I'd wager the back of that beam pocket is blown out and open to the brick ledge too.

This would be my guess. To expand on that a little, my guess is that the beam pocket extends past the floor framing and open behind the veneer. Combine that with a lack of flashing and this beam pocket becomes one large weephole.

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