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jediracer 10-03-2006 01:47 PM

moisture barrier - help!
 
okay, here it goes. we purchased our home in summer 2004. the house is almost 100 years old. there is an addition on the east end. the basement of the original portion of the house is fully finished. the new addition has only a dirt crawlspace, accessible via a small window on the side of our staircase (that leads downstairs to the fully finished basement). (i've never been in the crawlspace myself.)

earlier this year we started getting water collecting under the carpet near the stairs every time it rained hard. not right next to the stairs, about a half a foot away from them (everything is carpeted including the stairs). it's happened over 5 times now, a few times was really bad, water literally rushing in and we had to run the shopvac pretty much until it stopped raining outside.

cleaned the gutters. check. had someone come out to inspect our sump pump and drain tile. all ok. check. the guy from standard water control (the company that installed our sump pump and drain tile system) said to rip out the portion of the wall near where the water was coming in to see exactly where it was coming in and they would put up a moisture barrier. well, maybe i should have hired someone to professionally remove the wall, but i decided to do it myself. i ripped out the drywall. check. ripped off the plastic sheet under it. check. ripped out the insulation. check. underneath that was another plastic sheet. was this the original moisture barrier? it didn't look like anything was wrong with it(?) so anyway, i ripped all that plastic out and a little bit past where i had removed the drywall, etc.

i went outside, turned the hose on, and placed it on the outside of the house near where the floor in the basement was getting wet. went and sat on the stairs and waited. sure enough, drips began forming on the wall. i used a black permanent marker to mark the small cracks where the drips started from. i then proceeded to cut the studs out from around the affected area.

so i guess my question is what now? i have read that a moisture barrier must be continuous to work properly. i'm worried that by ripping just a patch out i have screwed it up worse. what is the guy from standard water control gonna tell me? should i hire someone to completely remove the rest of the finished wall - drywall, insulation, studs, plastic, etc.? what are my options as far as a moisture barrier? is it always just a sheet of plastic, or is there some sort of paint-on epoxy or something? any guidance would be greatly appreciated, as this whole fiasco has both me and my wife rather stressed out. thanks.

stuccoman 10-03-2006 02:11 PM

Where are you located. Sounds like condensation.

jediracer 10-03-2006 02:36 PM

minnesota. bitter cold winters, hot humid summers.

but condensation would not explain the "rushing in" of water every time it rains... would it...?

stuccoman 10-03-2006 02:37 PM

No it would not!

Hammatime 10-03-2006 02:59 PM

The plastic that you took down is more than likely a vapor barrier. It was not meant to keep flowing water out. You said you saw some cracks. Is this in the foundation? You might check the downspouts from you gutters. Do they effectively direct the water away from the house? You might look into putting an extention on the downspout. I know it might sound silly, but this can workto alleviate some of the problem. Then you need to talk to someone that can plug the holes in the foundation.

KUIPORNG 10-03-2006 03:05 PM

don't worry about the plastic like Hammatime said, it is for vapour in the air, not for water running down from the wall... you did a good job in discovering the cracks... now, you need to seal it and find out if there are more cracks... hopefully that's it... don't worry about repairing what you tear down now... worry about that once you prove no more leak...those are dry works... once you got your wet problem solved...

jediracer 10-03-2006 03:19 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Hammatime (Post 19881)
The plastic that you took down is more than likely a vapor barrier. It was not meant to keep flowing water out.

ouch, then did i royally screw up the vapor barrier?

Quote:

Originally Posted by Hammatime (Post 19881)
You said you saw some cracks. Is this in the foundation?

yes.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Hammatime (Post 19881)
You might check the downspouts from you gutters. Do they effectively direct the water away from the house? You might look into putting an extention on the downspout. I know it might sound silly, but this can workto alleviate some of the problem.

our downspouts and drain tile system seems to be pretty well laid out. all downspouts direct water to the other side of the house (not the side that is getting water). is it possible the drain tile system is clogged? if so, what then? would we have to rip our yard apart to unclog it?

Quote:

Originally Posted by Hammatime (Post 19881)
Then you need to talk to someone that can plug the holes in the foundation.

is this a hard repair? is it super expensive?

Quote:

Originally Posted by KUI****G (Post 19882)
don't worry about repairing what you tear down now... worry about that once you prove no more leak....

thanks, this is actually really good advice at the moment.

KUIPORNG 10-03-2006 03:26 PM

most people do is to fix the crack directly before considering other options... many times this work... they use those high pressure gun to inject those chemical into the crack and seal it.... and there are simplier version of such for DIY... but may be hire a company to do is worth while ....

dougrus 10-03-2006 03:27 PM

Another idea...
On the outside of the house, where you pointed the hose, what types of structures are there that might be causing the leak besides the foundation. Is it near a stoop or stairs into the house in that area? I only say this because I had a basement leak that was caused by a rotted 2x6 under the back door of the house...the stoop is pitched towards the house so the water was just pooling and seeping into the board and down the wall of the foundation into the basement...easy fix if something like that is the case.

jediracer 10-03-2006 03:42 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dougrus (Post 19889)
Another idea...
On the outside of the house, where you pointed the hose, what types of structures are there that might be causing the leak besides the foundation. Is it near a stoop or stairs into the house in that area? I only say this because I had a basement leak that was caused by a rotted 2x6 under the back door of the house...the stoop is pitched towards the house so the water was just pooling and seeping into the board and down the wall of the foundation into the basement...easy fix if something like that is the case.

actually, the water seems to collect near where the original part of the house meets the new part.

Hammatime 10-03-2006 04:45 PM

If any water collects around your foundation it will get in. Make sure the grade around the foundation goes away from the house.

dougrus 10-03-2006 05:47 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jediracer (Post 19892)
actually, the water seems to collect near where the original part of the house meets the new part.

There may be something to that. I dont know enough about the way in which they join foundations for an addition with a crawlspace to make an assessment. Either way, others are right in that you need to grade to get the water away from the house...

That you describe the water as "pouring" in at times and that the water so quickly makes its way into the basement made me think that maybe there is a larger opening for the water going on...
As others have said, it could be a crack though....

AtlanticWBConst. 10-03-2006 06:32 PM

I didn't really read everything too thoroughly on this thread, but, I'll take a whack at it.

a.) Contact a waterproofing company to come in and repair.

b.) Do it yourself, if the cracks aren't too invasive. What these waterproofing companies do is: They inject a cement based epoxy into the cracks. This epoxy flows deep into any crevices and actually 'bonds' with the concrete, becoming part of it. They, then monitor for any more leaks and then seal up the area with a dry-lock type waterproofing material.
There is a company that sells various epoxies. ABATRON. If you're interested, do a search for them online or ....PM me.
They sell great products. We have used their products and been very, very satisfied with them.

Anyhow.... Hope I didn't miss the point of the original post.


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