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Old 03-24-2009, 12:12 PM   #16
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Drainage/Erosion NIGHTMARE!! Please help!


Right now in the pictures the grade (slope of the ground) from the far edge of the deck appears to slope towards the house. This just funnels all the water right against the foundation where it then runs along and causes the washout at the end. the water is also working its way down/thru the foundation wall to the footer and then into your basement.

You need to slope the ground away from the house. With the deck and what apears to be a hot tub already in place this could pose a challenge.

As said previously the washout and water coming through are results not the problem.

You need to channel the surface water away from the house. When it rains on a slope like you have behind the house the water will usually come down faster than the gound can absorb it and it will beging to flow down the hill, right towards your house. Yes, as previously said there could be a mysterious underground water flow but indications are that you are dealing with a surface water runoff issue.

The first correction steps is going to be to regrade the land on the hillside to divert the surface water coming down off the hill away from your foundation. Click here for a couple of nice little graphics that illustrate what a swale is and what it does.
http://acehomeinspec.com/images/Swales2.jpg
http://web.utk.edu/%7Ebtschant/3fig1.jpg

This is going to involve some machinery to do the job properly.

The very least expensive option is to back fill as much as possible up against the house so the slope is away from the foundation. You can do this with a shovel, rake, wheel barrow and lots of hard work. This will remove the nice little river channel that is developing against your foundation right now and hopefully will be enough of a grade to get the water to flow out towards the yard and not the house. You are going to have to do this evenly accros the back side of the house, even under the deck, or you will just create a pool that will hold water while it soaks down into your foundation.

Start with that and you should get some pretty good results. Then, if necessary, you can decide to address further later.

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Old 03-24-2009, 01:47 PM   #17
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Drainage/Erosion NIGHTMARE!! Please help!


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Originally Posted by jomama45 View Post
I agree 100%. That corner hasn't & wont move anytime soon. Note the tar damproofing still lines up. Ask around & find the names of a few excavators to look at it for you. You have plenty of room to raise the grade at the house to divert water. They could probably also get a french drain in below ground level at the exposure & set some boulders for retention on the left corner of the foundation to help with erosion. And they could probably do all the work for less than you would pay a real estate agent in commission. Good Luck!
If it did not fail, then that is some sloppy masonry work. Any mason worth his 2cents would NOT allow such work like that. Even when you lay tile (floor or wall), you drop a chalk like and the grout line needs to stay even, if it doesn't, it will come out looking like garbage, you will be off center and your tile work will be completely off.

I would call an expert and have them evaluate the area:
1 - Do soil samples (what type of soil do you have, how saturated is it, what is the percolation/drain qualities)
2 - check for underwater streams and flow (they use high-end equipment and sensors that can show if and how much water is flowing underneath the ground)
3- excavate and head off the flow of water using French Drains and or other methods to divert the water AWAY from the home
4- inspect the wall for how much damage it has. It may already be compromised to the point that it might need to be repaired.


I believe the issue is serious. As you already stated that water is entering the home from BELOW the slab and from the wall itself. This cannot be reiterated enough. Those walls are not designed and cannot hold back large amounts of water volume pushing against them. You have a large amount of sloping terrain against that wall. I believe the amount of water volume is MUCH, MUCH MORE than what you think. Look at the hill in PIC#1, the amount of slope, the amount of volume, the amount of height of the peak of the hill to where the wall sits, this can carry huge amounts of water.


This will be the end result, guaranteed:


Last edited by JackOfAllTrades; 03-24-2009 at 01:55 PM.
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Old 03-24-2009, 02:09 PM   #18
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Drainage/Erosion NIGHTMARE!! Please help!




First of all, that tar line is NOT EVEN. Look at it, it is VERY CLEAR that towards the right, it is sloping downward.

Look at the grout line on the bricks. It clearly is not even.
Look at the wood siding. On the left, the siding sits much lower than it does on the right side.

Either this is REALLY, REALLY, sloppy construction work or the wall/foundation is already experienced some damage/failure.

On a side note, that wood siding needs to be addressed ASAP also. It needs to be inspected and treated/replaced/painted/stained. Just from the pics, it's clear that it is rotting and severely weathered. The bottom left plank already pulled away from the home and needs to be removed and replaced. Your plywood sheathing underneath is now getting exposed to the elements. That can and will rot, causing water to get inside your walls/drywall.

I can even tell that the furthest right plank has already been replaced recently. Look at the weathering. It is clearly NOT the same age as the other siding. The piece right above is gray and weathered, while the piece below is not.

I REALLY, REALLY think you need to call a home inspector and get this home PROFESSIONALLY and THOROUGHLY inspected. Just from the pictures, I can tell that there is a lot of damage already. In person, I bet there will be even more problems and issues.

Last edited by JackOfAllTrades; 03-24-2009 at 02:12 PM.
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Old 03-24-2009, 02:16 PM   #19
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Drainage/Erosion NIGHTMARE!! Please help!


Jack of all trades:

You need to understand something. A mason didn't build this wall. It is a POURED CONCRETE wall that was formed with an aluminum brick panel form!

Few things I noticed that make me feel confident in my last statement:
- It's only a 7 foot high wall with approx. 3 feet of unbalanced fill.
- It appears the floor joists would run perpendicular to the wall in question, giving it optimium strength.
- I also assume there is a jump in the footing 3 feet back from the corner, leading to the mis-alignment of the brick pattern.
- In 20+ years in the concrete/masonry indus., I've never seen a foundation wall fall in over night, days, weeks, even months from wet backfill. The failure you show of a block foundation was more than likely ignored for years, if not decades, or was from driving something way too heavy way to close to that wall.

I live in an area with heavy clays, alot of inferior block foundations from the 60's + 70's, and a good amount of yearly precip. I bid/troubleshoot/repair these problems regularily. I hate meeting HO's that are scared their walls are going to fall over because someone with 0 experience told them so.

Sorry to sound like a jerk, but this is not worth over-worrying the OP over.
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Old 03-24-2009, 02:23 PM   #20
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Drainage/Erosion NIGHTMARE!! Please help!


Quote:
Originally Posted by JackOfAllTrades View Post


First of all, that tar line is NOT EVEN. Look at it, it is VERY CLEAR that towards the right, it is sloping downward.

This tar was likely sprayed on with a low pressure sprayer designed for damproofing. Think pressure washer wand with lower pressure & thick material spraying out of it. It isn't easy to spray perfectly straight, & doesn't matter, as it intended to be functional only, not astetic.

Last edited by jomama45; 03-24-2009 at 02:24 PM. Reason: spelling
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Old 03-24-2009, 02:44 PM   #21
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Drainage/Erosion NIGHTMARE!! Please help!


Jomama45 beat me to it as my reply is longer......

JackOfAllTrades,
From your responses it appears that you believe that this is a Brick and Mortar constructed wall. It is not. It is a poured concrete monolithic slab wall. It is constructed using forms and the concrete is poured into those forms to create the foundation.

Here is a link to that type of product that was used to make that foundation:
http://www.wallties.com/brick_concrete_forms.htm

The brick pattern that you are seeing on the exterior is a pattern that is embossed on the inside of the concrete form that gives the poured concrete a more decorative look when finished than a flat concrete wall has. If you look closely you can see a slightly darker vertical line every few feet. This is where two of the form panels met and were bolted together. You can also see along those vertical lines that the patterns don't quite match. Just like they don't match along that seem that you have expressed your concerns about. While this is sloppy alignment of the form panels this is completely an aesthetics issue and has no impact on the structural integrity of the poured concrete foundation wall itself. This type of foundation wall is exactly what is called for in this situation as it is much better suited to handle lateral stresses than the photo of the concrete block wall you posted. Interior photos from the homeowner of the areas of where the water is entering would also be helpful in obtaining advice. I would like to know if there are any cracks in the foundation wall on the interior and whether they are vertical or horizontal.

Here is a website to refer to for information about foundation issues: http://www.inspect-ny.com/structure/...tionOccur2.htm



I would agree that a professional inspection is warranted and that expending the money on a competent excavator to properly grade the land would be preferable. The Home Owener said they talked to two "Landscapers". What were the qualification of those individuals? Do they have experience in addressing issues with water and foundations or do the just build retaining walls and plant bushes?

There should be a local excavation and grading company with an engineer on the payroll that has the proper experience with this situation and can provide multiple solution options.

But the Home Owner expressed the desire to fix with the least amount of cost. And that low cost solution would be to regrade the slope away from the house. The down spout that emptied directly into that area also is a compounding factor and needs a better solution than that long flex tube.

In the end, from the pictures supplied, the condition of the foundation is simply not as dire as you describe.
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Old 03-24-2009, 03:21 PM   #22
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Drainage/Erosion NIGHTMARE!! Please help!


To the OP: Where does the back downspout on the same side of the house drain to?

Besides the retaining wall suggestion...which I'm sure would cost more money than you're wanting to spend given that you want to sell the house...BUT it will increase the value and make it more presentable, and have the appearance of being well cared for.

I would seriously consider getting someone in to excavate a drainage ditch to the left of the deck...it looks like you have plenty of fall. You could always lay a 6" tile 4 to 5 feet deep as well which would help remove some of the sub surface water. I would also tile from each corner of the house out to daylight to rid yourself of the corrugate drain tile you have there at present.

Just a few thoughts to toss your way neighbor!
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Old 03-24-2009, 07:46 PM   #23
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Drainage/Erosion NIGHTMARE!! Please help!


Quote:
Originally Posted by jomama45 View Post
I live in an area with heavy clays, alot of inferior block foundations from the 60's + 70's, and a good amount of yearly precip. I bid/troubleshoot/repair these problems regularily. I hate meeting HO's that are scared their walls are going to fall over because someone with 0 experience told them so.

Sorry to sound like a jerk, but this is not worth over-worrying the OP over.
I don't want to get into a war and for this discussion to get ugly. This is a forum. People are asking for OPINIONS & that is what they get. One question will generate 5 different answers from 5 different people. All 5 will claim they are "experts", yet it will generate 5 different opinions from 5 different experts.

Apparently the OP bought this home WITHOUT a home inspection and is experiencing problems. Judging from what she stated and from the photos, the home appears to have issues, the wood siding being one of them and of course the foundation/drainage.

In the end, maybe you are right, maybe I will be right, but only a THOROUGH inspection by a professional IN PERSON will net the truth.
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Old 03-24-2009, 10:28 PM   #24
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Drainage/Erosion NIGHTMARE!! Please help!


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Originally Posted by JackOfAllTrades View Post
I don't want to get into a war and for this discussion to get ugly. This is a forum. People are asking for OPINIONS & that is what they get. One question will generate 5 different answers from 5 different people. All 5 will claim they are "experts", yet it will generate 5 different opinions from 5 different experts.

Apparently the OP bought this home WITHOUT a home inspection and is experiencing problems. Judging from what she stated and from the photos, the home appears to have issues, the wood siding being one of them and of course the foundation/drainage.

In the end, maybe you are right, maybe I will be right, but only a THOROUGH inspection by a professional IN PERSON will net the truth.
Wasn't this house bought at an auction? Usually, these homes are sold "as is."
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Old 03-25-2009, 09:08 PM   #25
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Drainage/Erosion NIGHTMARE!! Please help!


Bondo has it guys with one addition. She needs the heavy regrade to catch the water coming off that hill and divert it around the house. Her gutter discharge is off the back (uphill side) of the house rework that to come off the front. Even if you did the regrade that downspout is going to do her in every time. She also has a deck over the side where the problem is located. I'd pull that off at the house and rework the contours underneath as part of the regrade, repair the damage along the house and reinstall. The equipment operator will make all the difference in the world. You need to get someone who does finish grading such as athletic fields and golf courses and has an eye for this kind of stuff. This is not a job for you significent others, best friends uncle who has a guy at work that owns a tractor with a back blade. Unless he does finish grading... And if he did he'd have other equipment.

My two cents..
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Old 03-27-2009, 01:35 PM   #26
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Drainage/Erosion NIGHTMARE!! Please help!


Quote:
People are asking for OPINIONS & that is what they get. One question will generate 5 different answers from 5 different people. All 5 will claim they are "experts", yet it will generate 5 different opinions from 5 different experts.
My wife used to ask why I would ask 5,6,7 people how to do something that I wasn't familiar with. I told her that at least one or two don't know what they are talking about, even though they do it for a living. Or at least the company they work for does. I have found that experience and knowledge are not usually osmotic. But if three of the group give me essentially the same answer, then I can live with that. For example, I was in a plumbing supply house- not HD, WM, etc.- and asked one plumber who I happened to know for a suggestion. Everyone in the room gave me the same answer in chorus. I did not even consider that the product they all recommended cost an extra dollar or two.

Maybe I missed it, but I did not read where anyone has clamed to be an expert. But some have backed up their suggestions with background and experience. As "The People's Court" says, who is more believable. Opinions are one thing, not knowing what one is talking about is another. "it appears that you believe that this is a Brick and Mortar constructed wall. It is not. It is a poured concrete monolithic slab wall."
In my opinion.

But back to the OP's original question:
Quote:
Is there a way to do such a project with minimal expense? Are there certain materials anyone can suggest to keep the cost down?
In a nutshell:
Quote:
Water flows Downhill...
Quote:
But the Home Owner expressed the desire to fix with the least amount of cost. And that low cost solution would be to regrade the slope away from the house.


I'm not seeing how whether or not the waterproofing is straight, rebuilding the deck, replacing siding, and all of that stuff has anything to do with what she asked for help with.

Not even $.02 worth probably.
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Old 03-27-2009, 04:51 PM   #27
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Drainage/Erosion NIGHTMARE!! Please help!


I agree with downunder. Based on the pictures they just really need to look and make sure they don't have to regrade under the deck too.

Last edited by Dugger52; 03-27-2009 at 04:53 PM. Reason: spelling, my 5th grade teacher would be so embaressed
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Old 04-09-2009, 11:21 AM   #28
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What kind of expert do you get to do soil samples and check for underground streams, etc? Our new house has no basement, but the floors were wet all winter. Rain and melting snow made a river next to the house, and we are planning on installing a perimeter drain and digging a swale, but I would really like to know what is going on underneath the ground before spending all our money. I'm very afraid of getting ripped off.

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