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Old 02-09-2011, 03:31 PM   #1
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Foundation Moisture Above Grade


Hi,

I have a bungalow from 1958. It has a concrete block foundation with brick veneer siding.

I have noticed on wet days ( even when there is just water on the ground, but not raining ), that my parging above grade is wet. It happens especially in one area.

I suppose it is possible that the moisture is wicking up the foundation from grade level where the wet ground is in contact with the foundation.

However, recently I've been considering something else. The brick veneer is directly on the concrete block. I believe there is supposed to be a metal flashing between the brick and concrete block. There are weep holes every 3 bricks. Some are plugged with loose mortar.

My theory is that the lack of a flashing between the brick and concrete block is allowing moisture from the brick to travel down and into the concrete block.

Wondering if anyone else has noticed something like this.

Thanks.

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Old 02-09-2011, 04:14 PM   #2
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Foundation Moisture Above Grade


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Originally Posted by Mike Mike View Post
Hi,

I have a bungalow from 1958. It has a concrete block foundation with brick veneer siding.

I have noticed on wet days ( even when there is just water on the ground, but not raining ), that my parging above grade is wet. It happens especially in one area.

I suppose it is possible that the moisture is wicking up the foundation from grade level where the wet ground is in contact with the foundation.

However, recently I've been considering something else. The brick veneer is directly on the concrete block. I believe there is supposed to be a metal flashing between the brick and concrete block. There are weep holes every 3 bricks. Some are plugged with loose mortar.

My theory is that the lack of a flashing between the brick and concrete block is allowing moisture from the brick to travel down and into the concrete block.

Wondering if anyone else has noticed something like this.

Thanks.
The blocks should have been filled at the top and a flashing installed to direct water out the weep holes onto the concrete block. That's the system. Is the area in question next to the bathroom or kitchen? By that, I mean is it possible something is leaking through the wall from the interior? Or, is there any piping in that area? Or, is there ice damming on the roof that would allow water to get between the brick and the framing and run out the bottom?
There are many scenarios possible.
Ron

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Old 02-10-2011, 02:33 PM   #3
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Foundation Moisture Above Grade


Thanks for the reply.

No, it is not near any other drain pipes and I have noticed this in the summer also, so ice damning is probably not it.

I scratched away at the weep holes and can find no evidence of a flashing. It is possible that this was not code in Ontario in 1958. I am becoming convinced moisture is coming down through the brick.

I wonder if there is a method for fixing this. I guess it would be to remove the bottom row, put in a flashing, and re-mortar the brick in.

Mike
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Old 02-10-2011, 04:18 PM   #4
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Foundation Moisture Above Grade


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Originally Posted by Mike Mike View Post
Thanks for the reply.

No, it is not near any other drain pipes and I have noticed this in the summer also, so ice damning is probably not it.

I scratched away at the weep holes and can find no evidence of a flashing. It is possible that this was not code in Ontario in 1958. I am becoming convinced moisture is coming down through the brick.

I wonder if there is a method for fixing this. I guess it would be to remove the bottom row, put in a flashing, and re-mortar the brick in.

Mike
Mike, that's what it's supposed to do, come down behind the brick. When it gets to the weep holes, the water weeps out.
In older homes, sometimes they just extended heavy duty felt paper onto the foundation top to guide the water out. I found that on a house built in 1950. The house has a veneer brick over a wood frame. When we pulled off the brick to put the extension on, that's the way the water was directed to the exterior. No metal flashing at all. The tar paper was intact and still doing it's job.
If you only have this issue in one or two spots, look for worn mortar joints or gaps around openings above , such as windows or vents. Any breaks in the brick could allow water in, especially in a driving rain.
A clogged gutter where the water is overflowing onto the brick could be a cause.
As long as the water isn't getting into the house, the system seems like it's working.
Ron
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Old 02-11-2011, 10:41 AM   #5
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Foundation Moisture Above Grade


Thanks for the advice.

The water is not getting into the house, meaning there is no serious dripping or anything like that, and the sill is in good condition. However, the above grade portion of the concrete wall gets damp.

I can't tell if the parging is original, or if it is a second coat. The parging is exactly the same level as the brickwork. I'm wondering if there should be a lip there. ie, should the brick be overhaning the parging ?

I am concerned about the constantly wet concrete block because I was considering closed-cell foam on the rim joists and I'm concerned that spraying that may trap the moisture and rot the sill on top of the foundation.


Mike
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Old 02-11-2011, 01:06 PM   #6
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Foundation Moisture Above Grade


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Originally Posted by Mike Mike View Post
Thanks for the advice.

The water is not getting into the house, meaning there is no serious dripping or anything like that, and the sill is in good condition. However, the above grade portion of the concrete wall gets damp.

I can't tell if the parging is original, or if it is a second coat. The parging is exactly the same level as the brickwork. I'm wondering if there should be a lip there. ie, should the brick be overhaning the parging ?

I am concerned about the constantly wet concrete block because I was considering closed-cell foam on the rim joists and I'm concerned that spraying that may trap the moisture and rot the sill on top of the foundation.


Mike
Post some pictures of the issue and other parts of the foundation.
From what you've described, I don't see any issue. The bricks and the foundation are in the same plane.
What about other houses on the block? Do they exhibit similiar issues with a brick veneer house?
Ron
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Old 02-11-2011, 02:26 PM   #7
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Foundation Moisture Above Grade


Thanks again.

A local mason has confirmed that around here in 1958 flashings were not used where the veneer sits on top of the concrete block. Still he thinks weep holes should be doing some good and one thing to try is to wet down the brick for 20min to see if water comes out the weep holes.

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