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marshallryan 03-20-2013 10:44 AM

Drilled Furring Strips In Basement Concrete Wall and Water started to weep through...
Hey everyone,

I'm new to the forum and am also a new home owner. Last night my fiance and I took on the task of hanging drywall in our basement. The previous owners had a bookshelf drilled into drywall which was then also drilled into the concrete wall. The base of the bookshelf look like it had gotten wet at some point and was soft to the touch. With that said, we thought we could simply seal the wall and replace the drywall where the previously existing bookshelf was... unfortunately, as we started the process we drilled into the wall and water started to weep through the screw holes.

We drilled about 2.5" to drill anchoring screws and are pretty positive we didnt hit a water line or anything of the sort as the water kind of just barely flows through the hole... it doesn't gush.

Any idea A. what might of happened? B. how we can fix it?

Thanks guys!!

joecaption 03-20-2013 11:26 AM

Is this a pored concrete wall?
Somethings wrong if your getting water in that hole. That wall in most cases would be 6 or more inches thick.
Got a picture?
Just using furring strip over a wall like that is a bad idea anyway.
Sure to have condinsation inside the wall.

marshallryan 03-20-2013 01:52 PM


Thanks for the reply. The only reason we are using furring strips is keep consistency and spacing across the length of the wall.

The first picture is where the walkway outside and the foundation of the house meet. The second picture below is how it looked when we removed the old bookshelf. And the final picture is how it looks this morning.

The wall behind is poured concrete. (I think... I'm not 100% sure as we are new to all of this). We did go back over to the house this morning and the floor where the water was coming in was dry. The water quit coming through but the towels were wet. Could it be we hit a pocket of water behind the wall?

Also, directly outside behind the wall there is a small sliver of separation between the walkway behind this wall and the house foundation. It has rained quite a bit lately (SW Ohio) and it's just a big enough opening that water could get in there and settle between the foundation and the ground. Is there anything we can do to fix this or find out where it's coming from?

wkearney99 03-20-2013 04:16 PM

You won't want to hear it but you are probably going to have to get the exterior of that wall excavated in order to solve the problem. In the meantime, however, you've got to prevent the water from getting there in the first place. By getting the water from the roof away from the house, to start with. Water is probably the number one enemy of a house's integrity. You have got to make sure water has an easy way to get away, and stay away, from the house. If you dont do this fist it wont much matter what you try to do on the inside.

joecaption 03-20-2013 04:25 PM

Post another picture of what the outside of the house looks like in that area.
And the other posters right.
Gutters, no mulch pilled up againt the wall, grade needs to run away from the house.
May need to add a french drain.

wkearney99 03-20-2013 04:28 PM

What's that picture of with cement a few inches away from the painted block? Is that the outside? If so, why has it sunken? Is that some sort of root growing there?

marshallryan 03-20-2013 05:06 PM

Sorry, I fixed the first picture.

Picture 1 = Outside the house. This is a picture of where the walkway meets the houses foundation. (Right above the basement)

Picture 2= The wall as it is now. The thing hanging down is an outlet that cannot be recessed as the wall is cement. So the wires are run through the ceiling down the wall.


I will post another picture of the back of the house tomorrow... If you look at the bottom of picture 2 you can vaguely see the holes we drilled to hang the furring strips and where the water came in.

Thanks for the replies everyone! We're new at this and don't really have a lot of family in the area. Trying to figure out a cost effective solution.

wkearney99 03-20-2013 05:23 PM

Ruh-roh, picture 1 shows a drop? Or was there something else up there that was removed since the paint was applied? If it's dropped that much then you have something going wrong under the slab that's causing the soil to erode away. That water problem is getting bigger... None of it is the end of the world, but your wallet may be in for some serious pain soon.

Your plans to drywall that wall are dead until you get a firm idea as to what is going on with that wall. If you don't have local friends/family then consider calling a reputable local basement waterproofing company to have them give you an estimate for it. Be sure to choose a company that can actually do exterior excavating work, not just some that slaps paint on the wall. You may have to pay for this estimate, it'd be worth it. Most will let you apply any inspection fees against the final project cost.

Good thing you noticed this now, otherwise whatever drywall you put up there would have gone to waste due to the moisture and mold. To say nothing of your health.

GBrackins 03-20-2013 06:27 PM

does photo #1 (outside) show a concrete slab up against the foundation?

Canarywood1 03-20-2013 08:38 PM

From what i see it looks like a cmu foundation,with parging on the interior side

stadry 03-21-2013 11:10 AM

think so, too, canary,,, evidently whatever coating was applied to the exterior's failed & surface/sub-surface wtr's found a weak spot ( likely in a mortar jnt ),,, either excavate & wtrproof OR have a french drain, sump, & pump installed

caution - excavation & wtrproofing alone won't stop wtr from building up outside - you'd still need mechanical discharging to get rid of the collected wtr.

IF i were to hazard a wag, someone painted that we// w/drylock type mtl so they could sell it & say there wasn't any wtr issues

marshallryan 03-21-2013 05:04 PM

Hey guys,

So I had a basement specialist come out and look at the problem. Basically the first picture above is where the concrete patio (outside) has started to settle. It has "settled" about 1.5 inches and now the patio slopes down to the house. His suggestions were A. Re-pour the patio outside and seal the cracks or B. dig up the floor inside, add a drainage system that runs to the sump pump.

My question is if we seal the patio outside and drain the pressure between the wall and the water bed will we be okay? If so, is it possible to pour concrete on concrete? Or do we have to dig up the entire patio?

We're first time home buyers and this is looking like a $3500 project. It's sickening because we haven't even moved in yet.

***PS. If we can repour the concrete... What should we use product wise? Like I said, I'm new to all of this.

Thanks everyone!

wkearney99 03-21-2013 05:45 PM

Welcome to the joys of home ownership.

Home inspections are wonderful things, if you've got a decent inspector doing it. I'd sincerely hope if you had one done they mentioned that dropped patio. Any time you see a paint line pulled away from something it's a RED FLAG something's amiss. It's still not too late to have one done. If only to give you a better picture of just what else you're up against. Were I in your shoes I'd think very seriously about getting one done.

Hard to say what to do about the patio without a better picture of the area. Could be any number of things you could do about it.

The fact that it dropped in a way that now causes it to slope TOWARDS the house is bad. You generally should not let anything slope toward the house without having means to get water away. So if the whole surface is tilted then you're stuck, it's gotta go. And, no, you generally can't lay concrete on top of concrete without expecting a lot of hassles down the road. Rip and replace is the proper course of action.

Now, if the patio cracked and that crack is in a location that might look "ok" to patch up against then, maybe. Cut it back to there and regrade so it slopes away from the house.

You could always just remove the patio and put grass on it and replace the patio later. Or a deck, provided again that the soil was graded properly. That'd leave air circulating under it and perhaps give the soil a better chance of drying out.

What you've got to do NOW is get the water managed. Stop the water from getting in there and give it a way to dry out. I would not attempt to 'seal' the downsloping patio. That will just not work right. You'd waste money trying and still have the water problems. A system with holes drilled from the inside and an inside drain tile/trench and a sump would serve to get the water out. But I'd wonder if by the time you spent for that you could just as well have spent on having the soil dug up on the outside and the foundation sealed properly. That'd serve to get the soil dried out (mostly by removal) and keep future water from getting to the wall at all.

Not good news for your wallet, either way, but you DO have to do something about it. Now's the time, before more rain comes.

stadry 03-22-2013 04:29 AM

you'd have more luck lifting the slab using polyurethane soil injection,,, mudjacking will add more dead load,,, remove/replace method makes sense IF you could properly compact backfill,,, you can't due to block wall's almost non-existent lateral strength.

IF it were mine & i wanted a permanent solution, i'd be digging to the footer & waterproofing the area,,, also backfill w/non-compressible mtl ( crushed stone/sand ),,, only then would i replace the patio & not right away - even then, it would probably be a deck which is cooler on our tootsies here in atl

yes, you can place conc on top of existing conc & its not difficult for anyone who's done it,,, the best method is a ' bonded overlay ' finishing ( topping ) w/mtl that can be feather-edg'd,,, 1 can also place an ' unbonded overlay ',,, bear in mind addl dead-load weight willexacerbate [ make worse ] any problems.

' if we seal the patio outside and drain the pressure [ what's this mean ? ] between the wall and the water bed will we be okay? [ probably not ] If so, is it possible to pour concrete on concrete? [ yes ] Or do we have to dig up the entire patio? [ only if it were at my house ]

this is not a diy project,,, it IS, however, a topic of conversation 'tween your atty & YOU,,, pre-closing, just what did you look at objectively ? did you use an inspector-in-a-computer OR an actual structural engineer ? its not all hgtv land,,, welcome to the joys of owning your castle - now you have to work to keep it :thumbsup:

ps - $3,500 is cheap for what i recommended - whether or not you've moved in is irrelevant,,, this was homework & you didn't do it,,, IF you think this is sickening, how're you going to feel when you discover some other possible surprises the owner left behind ? :huh:

***PS. If we can repour the concrete... What should we use product wise ? we'd use 3,500# compressive w/properly installed joint pattern to prevent random cracking,,, learning is optional - ignorance & stupidity are expensive,,, save $$$ by learning :thumbup:,,,

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