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Old 07-26-2010, 10:02 AM   #1
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Can Ground Water Wick Up A Foundation Wall?


I have a garage wall (4 level backsplit) that separates our kitchen from the single car garage. This wall "seems" to be wicking ground water in a few areas of this wall. It only happens during/after a rainfall, which leads me to believe it is ground water being sucked up the wall. I decided to open a section of the wall (see attached jpg files), there was no running water only moist wall board and some rusty wallboard nails. Does anyone have any recommendations as to what I should do next?
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Can Ground Water Wick Up A Foundation Wall?-201007_25_-013s.jpg   Can Ground Water Wick Up A Foundation Wall?-201007_25_-014s.jpg   Can Ground Water Wick Up A Foundation Wall?-201007_25_-025s.jpg  

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Old 07-26-2010, 10:40 AM   #2
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Can Ground Water Wick Up A Foundation Wall?


Is that wall below grade and retaining soil?

Judging from ther rust on the door wheels and the stains in the floor and the exposed 8" or so of concrete below the plate there has been water there in the past.

That is a pretty thick and unusual wall inside the garage. The water stains seem to be below the plate elevation.

Dick

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Old 07-26-2010, 11:33 AM   #3
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Can Ground Water Wick Up A Foundation Wall?


No, this wall is not below grade. The other side of this wall is the kitchen area. There are no signs of any water in the kitchen.

There is a bit of snow/water that comes in around the garage door wheel area (I live in Ontario, Canada). This is the area where I have the snowblower parked in the winter. Some thawing snow drips water in this area. I do believe that this "wicking" phenomena has been going on for some time now. These areas of the wall were always "flaking" off cement dust and small pieces of the cement wall. There were never signs of water staining on the wall though, until recently when I had a mason put parging over these areas of the wall. The next rain, these large stains appeared on the wall. I had the mason back to look at this and he said he never saw something like this before. He did use "a lot" of the white glue in the parging mix and thought that this may be contributing to the "wicking" action. I really do not know what to do next to determine what is going on in this wall? From the condition of the studs, it doesn't look like the water is coming from above the foundation wall, but from below it, doesn't it?

I did do a test where I cleaned the windows and siding on the other side of the house. It hadn't rained in weeks and water showed up on this wall. It seems there is something going on underground that is causing the water to push up through this foundation wall? Any ideas?
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Old 07-26-2010, 11:52 AM   #4
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Can Ground Water Wick Up A Foundation Wall?


http://www.buildingconservation.com/...risingdamp.htm
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Old 07-26-2010, 12:57 PM   #5
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Can Ground Water Wick Up A Foundation Wall?


http://www.greenbuildingadvisor.com/...-building-code

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Old 07-26-2010, 01:38 PM   #6
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Can Ground Water Wick Up A Foundation Wall?


Thank you for the feedback. I'm not sure what to make of what I have read in these links. I tested my weeping tiles by running a lot of water through one of the window well drains, it ran for over 2 hours, draining easily and with no sign of moisture on this garage wall. I have noticed that our garage floor slab has been showing darker areas after a rainfall, so there is moisture under this floor slab. There is an area around the side of the garage that has a sidewalk section that has sunken over the years. Water migrates here, against the garage foundation wall, this maybe where some of the water gets under the floor slab and could be feeding the wicking action on the wall?
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Old 07-26-2010, 01:52 PM   #7
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Can Ground Water Wick Up A Foundation Wall?


The water is coming in under the sill plate. Water is staining the concrete but not the wood in the pictures. Post some photos of the exterior and let us know the height of the soil in relationship to the top of the concrete.
Ron
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Old 07-27-2010, 06:07 AM   #8
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Can Ground Water Wick Up A Foundation Wall?


Water coming from the sill would make sense, since the top of the concrete (directly under the sill) is dark after a good rain, while it is the normal light gray color when it has had a chance to dry.

The top of the concrete foundation wall is approximately 8" above grade (at the front of the garage).

As you suggested here are some pictures of the perimeter of the house. The grade is the highest at the back of the house and slopes towards the front of the house. As you can see from the pictures, our driveway is deteriorated. Rain runoff accumulates at the front entrance of the garage, along the edge of the floor slab. It also accumulates at the side of the garage under the door. I am planning on lifting this sidewalk section somewhat to help drain the water away from the garage.

I strongly believe the most water is coming from the back of the house, since this is where I washed the siding and the windows. After 2.5 hours of water flushing this area, water stains started appearing on the garage wall.

Mind you the oddity here is that there are 3 areas along this smae garage wall that produce water stains (see additional picture below). The other walls are clear?? The area I opened up was the most stained (see picture below).
Attached Thumbnails
Can Ground Water Wick Up A Foundation Wall?-201007_27_-001.jpg   Can Ground Water Wick Up A Foundation Wall?-201007_27_-002.jpg   Can Ground Water Wick Up A Foundation Wall?-201007_27_-003.jpg   Can Ground Water Wick Up A Foundation Wall?-201007_27_-004.jpg   Can Ground Water Wick Up A Foundation Wall?-201007_27_-005.jpg  

Can Ground Water Wick Up A Foundation Wall?-201007_27_-006.jpg  
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Old 07-27-2010, 06:08 AM   #9
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Can Ground Water Wick Up A Foundation Wall?


Here are the other pictures that show the water stains on this wall, prior to me opening the worst one.
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Can Ground Water Wick Up A Foundation Wall?-img_4208.jpg   Can Ground Water Wick Up A Foundation Wall?-img_4212.jpg  
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Old 07-27-2010, 06:57 AM   #10
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Can Ground Water Wick Up A Foundation Wall?


Looks to me the water is coming in from the front porch, which is at the same level as the garage. It gets in there and wicks it way back to the door to the house.
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Old 07-27-2010, 11:38 AM   #11
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Can Ground Water Wick Up A Foundation Wall?


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Originally Posted by Ron6519 View Post
Looks to me the water is coming in from the front porch, which is at the same level as the garage. It gets in there and wicks it way back to the door to the house.
Ron
Agreed! Caulk the heck out of that porch!!! Father-in-law had the same issue but the water was getting into his basement wall and molding the drywall. He swore it was from below since the room is under the garage but we checked the porch and saw how bad the caulk job was. It got in there and gravity did the rest.
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Old 07-27-2010, 12:58 PM   #12
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Can Ground Water Wick Up A Foundation Wall?


Strange that you mention the porch, I also completely soaked the porch with the hose. Usually water doesn't get in there to much, there is also a cold room under that porch that is dry.

You may have a point with the front of the garage/porch area .... I replaced a the corner of the cement that is on the outside left side of the garage door (facing the front of the house). It got brittle and broke off, as well as the right most corner of the porch (facing the front of the house) .... I will try flushing this area again, maybe with this wall open now I should be able to see the foundation turn black and get damp?
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Old 07-27-2010, 03:43 PM   #13
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Can Ground Water Wick Up A Foundation Wall?


Is there any chance you have a leak in the water supply line that is in that wall?
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Old 07-27-2010, 03:51 PM   #14
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Can Ground Water Wick Up A Foundation Wall?


I checked that by running the hose for sometime into the front yard (watering the grass) and there are no stains. Also, it's only after a good rainfall that these stains appear. I do believe it is some kind of sill leaks, as Ron said, since the top of the faoundation wall is dark. The water must be getting sucked up through the cememt and coming out from under the sill plate. What do I do if this is the case though? Dismantling this wall seems out of the question, would it be trying to redirecting the ground water only?
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Old 07-27-2010, 06:34 PM   #15
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Can Ground Water Wick Up A Foundation Wall?


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Originally Posted by 99bobster99 View Post
I checked that by running the hose for sometime into the front yard (watering the grass) and there are no stains. Also, it's only after a good rainfall that these stains appear. I do believe it is some kind of sill leaks, as Ron said, since the top of the faoundation wall is dark. The water must be getting sucked up through the cememt and coming out from under the sill plate. What do I do if this is the case though? Dismantling this wall seems out of the question, would it be trying to redirecting the ground water only?
I don't think it's ground water.Water gets on the porch when it rains and goes through the wall.
Ron

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