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Old 03-24-2011, 05:31 PM   #1
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moisture under slab, roughed-in plumbing


Hi,
I just got back from a 4 day vacation, and my wife turned off the heat...luckily no burst pipes, temps in Chicago have been lows of 28 degrees while we were gone.

Anyway, I start with that information because I'm not sure if the temperature of the basement, colder than it ever has been, has anything to do with this...

Anyway, I have roughed-in plumbing from the builder in the full basement.
I plan to finish the basement and I have done the saran-wrap-taped-to-floor experiment and I never noticed any moisture...until right now!

When I taped the plastic to the floor, I also sealed up the area of the roughed-in plumbing where the builder left a foot by foot opening in the floor for the trap for the shower or bathtub (I assume).

I have never noticed any moisture, until just now, I saw many beads of water on the underside of the plastic with which I sealed this hole previously.

SO is this normal? Is there usually a vapor barrier under this section of the roughed-in plumbing? There "should " be vapor barrier by code under the slab, but since this is a hole in the floor (all I can see is pea gravel...haven't dug it out to investigate) maybe there is no vapor barrier on purpose.

This may derail plans I had to finish the basement. Certainly for this part I will have a plumber finish up the plumbing (I haven't even started finishing the basement yet) when the time comes.

IF this is normal, before it gets cemented up (when the exact shower drain location is set) do I put some plastic under the cement patch?

Sorry so wordy, and thanks for your help,

Berg


Last edited by bergerdude; 03-24-2011 at 05:46 PM.
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Old 03-24-2011, 09:47 PM   #2
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moisture under slab, roughed-in plumbing


You don't mention how long you've been in the house, but it seems not too long. I'd maintain the temps in the normal range for a month or so and see if the issue disappears.
Your wife has no idea how lucky she was.
Ron

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Old 03-25-2011, 10:24 AM   #3
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moisture under slab, roughed-in plumbing


Oh yes, we have discussed this ;-)

Anyway, should there be a moisture barrier under this hole?

All I have seen in there was pea gravel, so I assume the vapor barrier stops at this area (rough-in was done at the time of foundation pour, not a retro-fit.)

Is this a concern about moisture permeating through the slab elsewhere?

Like I said, usually the builder just put a loose filling plastic cover to prevent twisted ankles over this area....I just decided to seal it up one day until we are ready to finish the basement.
The house is 4 years old....hole sealed up for about 2-3 years.

Picture below...don't pay attention to the green saran-wrap....all we had at the time.
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Old 03-25-2011, 11:40 AM   #4
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moisture under slab, roughed-in plumbing


There should be a moisture barrier and some foamboard insulation to keep the cold from radiating up and the heat from going down.
Ron
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Old 03-25-2011, 08:29 PM   #5
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moisture under slab, roughed-in plumbing


Even in this space? I mean, by code here in Chicago, I HOPE there is a vapor barrier....but I'm not familiar with this type of roughed-in plumbing...my last house everything was concreted in place.

For better or worse, this way gives some flexibility, but if the trap is a foot below the floor in the gravel....the vapor barrier wouldn't normally be this deep, correct?

I guess I am hoping that the answer is that the vapor barrier was cut from this area for the roughed in and I won't have similar moisture migrating up thru the slab.

Thanks
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