Can Ground Water Wick Up A Foundation Wall? - Building & Construction - Page 3 - DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum


Go Back   DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum > Home Improvement > Building & Construction

CLICK HERE AND JOIN OUR COMMUNITY TODAY...IT'S FREE!

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 07-29-2010, 06:41 PM   #31
Mod
 
kwikfishron's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Kansas (NCK)
Posts: 7,817
Rewards Points: 2,524
Default

Can Ground Water Wick Up A Foundation Wall?


You need to open up that wall all the way to the door on the right. All that rock has to come out of there anyway you might as well do it now and chase that leak.

Pretty clear the point of exit is at plate line. Your flood the porch
test produced nothing so the next place to look is up not down. You said there is a chimney up there.

If you pull the rest of the damaged sheetrock off and all the wood and insulation is dry, I’ll be amazed (and stumped).

Advertisement

__________________
A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words
Especially In The DIY Chatroom

Last edited by kwikfishron; 07-29-2010 at 06:51 PM.
kwikfishron is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 07-30-2010, 10:55 AM   #32
Newbie
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 25
Rewards Points: 10
Default

Can Ground Water Wick Up A Foundation Wall?


I only removed the front face sheetrock and parging, this is exactly what was in the wall after I opened it up. I was surprised to only see that one sheet of insulation and then a bunch of loose insulation fill?

I will open the rest of the wall beside the garage door up, I expect it to be dry, since I'm not seeing any moisture or water in this area after having it opened up? I think kwikfishron with be stumped and amazed, because I certainly am. The chimney is on the opposite side of the house, I will post pictures of the flashing this weekend.

I've had numerous (8) contractors look at this problem and all of them have walked away scratching their heads without any suggestions. Especially why this opened up area is not molded, after having shown them the pictures of how damp the wall was before it was opened?? This is the point that has everyone puzzled? Shouldn't there be mold and rot in this wall, seeing how large of a moisture stain was on that wall before I opened it? Could this moisture only be travelling up the face of the wall facing the inside of the garage? Could it be trapped between the layer of sheetrock and the layer of parging?
99bobster99 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-03-2010, 01:27 PM   #33
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Endicott, NY
Posts: 140
Rewards Points: 103
Default

Can Ground Water Wick Up A Foundation Wall?


Well? Inquiring minds want to know!
Durt Ferguson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-03-2010, 02:50 PM   #34
Newbie
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 25
Rewards Points: 10
Default

Can Ground Water Wick Up A Foundation Wall?


I didn't get a chance to open up the rest of that wall this weekend, but I did notice that the lip of the parging on the opened area was dark after a rainfall on Friday. This would be the between the foundation wall itself and the parging. This makes me think that maybe I'm on to something with the moisture coming up the face of the foundation wall, then being trapped between the parging and the face of the plaster wall? Can someone vouch for this being a possibility? Again the studs were completely dry after Friday's rainfall, while the other 3 areas showed moisture stains, ideas?
99bobster99 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-03-2010, 04:08 PM   #35
Member
 
concretemasonry's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota - Latitude 45.057 Longitude -93.074
Posts: 3,824
Rewards Points: 2,136
Default

Can Ground Water Wick Up A Foundation Wall?


If the water is being drawn up, you are probably on a very rare situation where you are dumping too much water into the near-by soil too fast since it shows up relatively quickly in observable amounts.

Weeping usually takes time (many days, months, years or eons) as the "expert" you cited mentioned.

Dick
concretemasonry is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-04-2010, 01:58 PM   #36
Newbie
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 25
Rewards Points: 10
Default

Can Ground Water Wick Up A Foundation Wall?


This morning there was a lot of dew on my car and my eavestrough was dripping on the other side of the house (i.e. lots of moisture), it hasn't rained for at least a week, yet there is now large moisture stains on the same areas of this garage wall (see pictures below). This has never happened before, it was always after a rain. The item I am most concerned about is that fact that the piece of wood, on the foundation, in the opened up areas, looks wet (see picture). This has to be moisture occuring between the sill and the foundation, doesdn't it. Also, take note of the dark regions on the garage floor slab, they are very pronounced. If this is all moisture in the ground coming out, what would be a recommended fix?
Attached Thumbnails
Can Ground Water Wick Up A Foundation Wall?-img_4756.jpg   Can Ground Water Wick Up A Foundation Wall?-img_4757.jpg   Can Ground Water Wick Up A Foundation Wall?-img_4758.jpg   Can Ground Water Wick Up A Foundation Wall?-img_4759.jpg   Can Ground Water Wick Up A Foundation Wall?-img_4760.jpg  

Can Ground Water Wick Up A Foundation Wall?-img_4761.jpg  
99bobster99 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-20-2012, 09:16 PM   #37
Newbie
 
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 7
Rewards Points: 10
Default

Can Ground Water Wick Up A Foundation Wall?


Hi Guys,

All your testing seems to confirm that the soil is the source of the water -- even though most don't want to believe that water flowing up-hill can cause this much moisture.

A bit of building science first. It is very common for water to wick up concrete walls from the footings, and to wick up usually to 18" off of the floor. This is so common that better building science recommends that there be a capillary break (usually a plastic sheet) placed over the grooved footing prior to pouring the concrete wall. That is a recommendation, not code. This is the mechanism that deposits salt (efflorescence: http://joneakes.com/jons-fixit-datab...ilter?keywords[]=Efflorescence ) in a horizontal line on so many basement walls -- the point at which the water evaporates into the room and the saturated salts remains behind.

Secondly it can take up to 18 months for a saturated concrete foundation wall to dry out -- which means that once it is saturated, it takes very little time for new water to move things upward.

It appears that you are feeding the wall with the surface and wall run-off, and then trapping it with a non-permeable stucco on one side and a humid garage on the other side. Surface sealed non-permeable stucco is a major building hazard, especially in a Canadian climate as although it can in theory prevent water entry -- in reality it serves more to trap outward moving moisture. Yes you could flood that area with capillary flow.

My experience is that 80% of all foundation water problems can be basically brought under control with roof runoff and proper landscaping -- both together to keep water a good 5 to 10 feet away from the house. That space between the two houses may have to be re-designed to send water from both sides to the central properly line and down to the street, not allowing back yard water to approach the foundation. Everything else must be slopped away from the foundation. http://joneakes.com/jons-fixit-datab...ound-the-house

If you are going to dig things up, then you can moisture proof the foundation wall at least as far down as you can dig. I would recommend Xypex - a Crystalline Grown product that over a long period of time will create a crystalline structure inside the concrete that will make it water proof all the way through the concrete -- that is why it is used in under river tunnels. You can find it in regular renovation centres. This may take a couple of years to finish growing crystals through the wall, but it will eventually block off the capillary action from the foundation footings.

As soon as your budget permits, change that stucco for something that can help you to dry out the wall.

I hope this might help, -- say hi to Bill, who asked me to wade in on this.

Jon Eakes

Last edited by Gary in WA; 05-21-2012 at 08:10 PM. Reason: removed ad website directing others off site, as per forum rules.
Jon Eakes is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-22-2012, 12:05 AM   #38
Newbie
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 25
Rewards Points: 10
Default

Can Ground Water Wick Up A Foundation Wall?


Hello Jon,

Thank you so very much for your recommendations!

I've had many contractors looking at this issue for some time now, without any headway (almost 2 years now). As you mentioned (and the subject title of my topic), I was told up and down that "there is no way that water will wick up a concrete wall". Everyone that has seen the water marks were sure that it was coming from the roof. I've even had Winmar in, they checked the top of that wall and ceiling for moisture (using an electronic gadget) and came up with a dry reading (even though the wall was soaked).

You know, all these issues only started happening after I had a contractor come in and re-parge the lower 18" of this wall. He mentioned that he used "a lot of glue", which I would assume makes the wall less permeable. I only had this done because some of the wall was breaking away, most probably from the moisture?

I was thinking about pulling all the plaster down in the garage and putting up some sort of concrete drywall. Leaving a 1/2" or so gap between the foundation wall and the bottom of the drywall (to allow the moisture to escape). Do you think this may be a good idea? The bottom of that wall is starting to look really ugly, I'm not sure how else to fix it?

I have already reshaped the landscape from what the pictures show. I had a concrete driveway put in that slopes all the water away from the house. I replaced the walkway along the side of the house as well, which redirects the water away from the foundation wall. It really made no improvement on the amount of water in the wall.

I had another contractor suggest putting a vapour barrier up on the side of the wall that I opened up. Do you think that might help? In regards to the digging you mentioned, I'm not sure I want to go to the extent of digging the garage slab out, at least not at this point. Are there any services around that could poinpoint the moisture entry point?

I greatly appreciate you taking the time to read through and answer back on my dilemma!

I will say hi to Bill! I'll be seeing him this week at the gym.
99bobster99 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-22-2012, 11:01 AM   #39
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Raleigh, NC
Posts: 70
Rewards Points: 75
Default

Can Ground Water Wick Up A Foundation Wall?


This thread caught my eye.

Quite a saga.

What's this I've circled in the attached picture?
Attached Thumbnails
Can Ground Water Wick Up A Foundation Wall?-img_4749.jpg  
Rewound98 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-22-2012, 05:34 PM   #40
bbo
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Packerland !!
Posts: 1,016
Rewards Points: 500
Default

Can Ground Water Wick Up A Foundation Wall?


fyi none of the drywall in my garage touches the foundation at all.

since yours does I'd guess this may be wicking the water up rather easily. having that stucco on the lower area also looks to allow the water to go further up.
bbo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-22-2012, 10:07 PM   #41
Newbie
 
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 7
Rewards Points: 10
Default

Can Ground Water Wick Up A Foundation Wall?


Rewound98 has a good eye -- what is that little vent grill?

Back to 99bobster99's latest questions:

"The problem started after reparging the wall." I would suggest that the moisture migration was there a long time before the reparging and that IT was what broke up the surface of the wall in the first place. When he reparged it with a impervious material, rather than preventing rain water from getting in, he forced the ground water to move towards the inside rather the outside -- and the inside has a far lower drying potential, especially in winter when it was humid in the garage because of melting snow.

Everything keeps point towards ground water, not roof or wall water.

Services to pinpoint the problem? Yes, consultants that are efficient but expensive: http://joneakes.com/jons-fixit-datab...enter-the-wall Actually I am not sure they could do much more than you are doing except perhaps installing lots of moisture meters to really judge the result of controlled water application.

Now, another little bit of building science to keep you out of more trouble. Moisture movement is always in the direction of less vapour pressure -- and in a wall that means that moisture will tend to move from a warmer face towards a colder face. In the winter that means that the moisture will move from inside the garage to outside the garage (I do assume that this garage is minimally heated because you talk of melting snow) -- but in the summer it will want to move from the outside in. (So in a heating climate like Canada we put vapour barriers on the warm-in-winter side of the wall -- and in an air conditioning climate like Florida they are put on the warm-in-summer side of the wall.) If you were to place a vapour barrier on the inside of this wall while you already have what appears to be an impermeable parging on the outside, you will definitely trap the moisture and the moisture drive will be towards the cooler indoor garage surface -- rotting those 2x's rapidly. So hold off on fixing the vapour barrier until you have stopped the moisture.

By the way, since taking off that plaster board is quite a job, if you don't need to remove it for other reasons, just paint it with a vapour barrier paint when you are ready to apply a vapour barrier: http://joneakes.com/jons-fixit-datab...t-it-does-work

I would keep looking for ground flow of water towards the garage, for anything you can reduce there we don't have to deal with in the concrete. You might even look at the garage floor drain. Does it dump all of the snow melt into the soil under the slab because of a defective exit? Are your rain gutters extended far enough away?

I would get that repair parging off of the outside of the wall so it can return to drying to the outdoors. An efficient evaporation could draw off the rising moisture before it reaches the studs. If you see a significant improvement at the bottom stud level of the wall, even when you soak the ground, you know you are already moving in the right direction.

What I would really like to do is to wrap a plastic sheet under the whole garage slab and footing, but that is impossible. So that is why I am recommending the Xypex. Xypex is rather amazing stuff. You basically brush on a coat like a creamy/gritty paint. It can go over wet concrete, in fact it is even better if it is wet, but not water flow that could wash it off before it set. Once set so it cannot be washed off, you will want to mist it to keep it wet -- maybe even cover it a while with plastic to keep it moist. As long as it has water to work, it will initiate a reaction with the ordinary stuff in concrete to begin growing crystals that fill all the voids in the concrete. This has the effect of creating a waterproof barrier right inside the structure, rather than on the surface, of the concrete. If it all dries up, it stops, until it gets wet again and then the crystals start growing again. Every time the water comes back, it continues healing itself. This goes on for months or years, until all the voids in the concrete, all the way through, are blocked off -- stopping capillary movement of water through the concrete. The end result is like that plastic sheet under the wall -- but now it is the entire wall.

Given that functioning I would apply Xypex to both sides of the concrete wall above grade, and to the slab for the foot or so that it is wet near the wall. Xypex is not rated as a load bearing or protective surface, but it is very strong and after the first few months all the work is happening deep inside the concrete.

With Xypex on both sides of the wall, you could see an increase in moisture arriving at the stud level for the first little while, because the rising moisture will slowly cease to evaporate to the outside. I guess that could be an argument for working only on the inside and maybe the top couple of inches on the outside to initiate the crystal formation while leaving most of the outside open to evaporation and drying. Once the moisture no longer reaches the wood, you could add Xypex to the outside and then parge the wall for looks. By the way, Xypex over that parging would do nothing -- it would not be in physical contact with the concrete to work its chemical reaction.

The great thing is that you can do all of this yourself -- and then tell the 8 contractors about it later.

jon
Jon Eakes is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-23-2012, 06:45 AM   #42
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: As always..beside myself.
Posts: 4,226
Rewards Points: 2,000
Default

Can Ground Water Wick Up A Foundation Wall?


Ok I'm just a silly woman but is it possible the water is coming from a leak in the garden faucet. I know that pipe goes through the wall and into the basement, but is it not possible.
And in that style of home doesn't the sewer main run right along the inside wall beside the stains? That would account for water wicking up

Just a stab I thought I'd throw out there since two years of investigation has failed to produce a conclusion
creeper is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-24-2012, 08:18 AM   #43
Newbie
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 25
Rewards Points: 10
Default

Can Ground Water Wick Up A Foundation Wall?


The vent grill is the cold room vent. Our cold room is directly underneath the front porch floor slab, the vent is located in the far corner. This is the weird part, thankfully, there is no water coming inside the house. Our lowest floor rooms (4 level backsplit) which are adjacent to the leaking wall do not have any indication that water is entering the house.

I will hold off on any wall repair until the moisture source is determined, like you suggested Jon. With the walls looking like they have, I would have really thought the studs would have been black with mold. Instead, they look in really good shape, considering their environment?

In regards to the rain run-off you bring up an interesting point. I did notice that water drips through the eavestrough and facia boards at some regions along the length of the eavestrough, all the way around the house?? The eavestroughs are almost 30 years old, should I be looking into getting them replaced? I did try to hammer in the nails that are securing the eavestroughs to the house, but it didn't eliminate the dripping. I will add some longer rain runoff spouts at each eavestrough outlet. I did this to the one closest to the garage, I will try get longer ones for the other (2) runoff spouts. The one at the back of the house may be leaking somewhat causing water to accumulate at the foundation??

I am assuming when you mentioned removing the repair parging on the "outside" of the wall you are meaning removing the "re-parging" that was done? This would expose 18" of studs around the bottom of the wall, or are you not recommending doing this along the entire length of the that wall, maybe 1/2 way up it? Would this be merely to let the vapour out while focusing on eliminating the water source?

I am really intrigued by the Xypex, this stuff sounds like a wonder drug for concrete! I would hope that any new home owners would be adding this to their walls, seeing what I am going through, I sure would be!!

From your suggestions Jon, how does this sound for an action list, in priority order;

- open up an 18" section along the lower part of that wall, inside the garage, to let the moisture out.

- replace the eavestroughs around the house to eliminate the dripping between the eaves and the facia board. Replace all rain gutter spouts to get the water well away from the foundation.

- monitor the garage floor slab to see if it is dark, since the wall will be open and the only indication of groundwater would be that floor slab?

- once the moisture is gone, add a vapour barrier to the inside surface of the garage/front porch wall.

- add Xypex to the exposed concrete foundation wall above the garage floor slab, inside the garage. Would you recommend applying the Xypex to the entire garage floor slab as well??

- pray that everything is now dry!!

Please edit my "to-do" list as you see fit.


Oh, Creeper, I already checked the water faucet in the garage, it looks ok. The water only appears on the wall after a strong rainfall. The water appears on either side of the faucet, futher away from the faucet. If the leak were coming from the faucet, I would think that the water would only show up more towards the front of the garage, due to the slope. I ran it for hours, cleaning the driveway, kids playing in the sprinkler, doing whatever else I could outside (on a hot day). There were no signs of water on the wall. Thank you for your suggestion!

Last edited by 99bobster99; 05-24-2012 at 08:24 AM.
99bobster99 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-24-2012, 08:38 PM   #44
Newbie
 
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 7
Rewards Points: 10
Default

Can Ground Water Wick Up A Foundation Wall?


As for removing parging on the outside -- I do not recommend exposing the wood stud part of the wall to the elements. Does that parging cover the concrete section of the wall between the ground level and the beginning of the stud wall? It is on the concrete that I want to remove this stuff, at least for now. So I would leave about a 2" overlap coming from the top, so that any rain flow on this wall will shed to the ground and not into the wall. Remove the rest to the ground -- assuming it is relatively possible to remove it at all (well stuck?). Personally I would chip a bit to determine its thickness and then use a masonry blade in a circular saw and just cut through the coating in a horizontal line -- then bang it off lower down leaving the upper section untouched.

Just as Xypex is amazing, and not free (hence why it is not standard procedure) you could be amazed at how much good can be done to water infiltration problems by getting water from the roof far away from the foundation. You are going to need to fix those rain-gutters in any case. By the way, pounding rain gutter nails back in doesn't work -- you noticed. Check out these screws that I mention in my builder's magazine Tool Talk column: http://www.homebuildercanada.com/2202TT.htm They do work if you don't need to totally replace the gutters.

jon
Jon Eakes is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-25-2012, 07:31 PM   #45
Newbie
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 25
Rewards Points: 10
Default

Can Ground Water Wick Up A Foundation Wall?


I am assuming you don't mean removing the parging that is shown in the first picture, but check if the material in the second picture is parging, and if it is, remove it as shown?

In regards to the rain gutter replacement, I have a contractor coming over mid next week to give me a quote for replacing it all. It is in pretty rough shape (bowing here and there), I'm taking your advice of eliminating any water around the foundation as job #1.
Attached Thumbnails
Can Ground Water Wick Up A Foundation Wall?-photo21.jpg   Can Ground Water Wick Up A Foundation Wall?-photo22.jpg  

Advertisement


Last edited by 99bobster99; 05-25-2012 at 07:41 PM.
99bobster99 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Advice on retaining wall replacement (pics inside) eastie Building & Construction 0 04-05-2010 11:32 AM
Retaining Wall and Muddy Yard rjschwar Landscaping & Lawn Care 10 02-24-2010 01:55 PM
No water draining into sump pit aci4369 Plumbing 2 08-18-2009 01:17 PM
Will water lines freeze if placed behind insulated stud wall in basement? jpsmith Remodeling 22 03-05-2009 01:23 PM
Testing 12 year old hot water expansion tank? DJfixer Plumbing 2 01-01-2009 09:09 AM




Top of Page | View New Posts