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Old 09-30-2009, 09:28 PM   #1
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Need help sealing foundation leak (townhouse)


Hello, like the title says, I need some help with water entering in my house at the ground level. I dug down a couple feet to expose the foundation, but I have no clue what I'm looking for (I don't see any cracks). I do see a lip between the cement and the bricks, which I think might be where the water is entering. Can you guys offer any advise? Thanks in advance!!!





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Old 10-01-2009, 05:50 AM   #2
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Need help sealing foundation leak (townhouse)


typically we install a trench drain ( pipe, stone, filter fabric ) leading to daylight w/pvc cleanout at high end,,, clean then trowel on a coat of sonneborn's sonolastic ( or equal ),,, install a protection board ( we use pvc ),,, you can also use sani-tred.

i'd bet water's entering under the sole plate &/or infiltrating the brick/mortar,,, good application of silicone siloxane completes the work,,, can see a diagram on our website if you wish !

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Old 10-01-2009, 04:07 PM   #3
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Need help sealing foundation leak (townhouse)


Thank You for your help.... So, if I understand you correctly, I should start with some silicone on the OUTSIDE of the house where the brick meets the concrete foundation (the small overhang/lip). Correct??

Thanks Again.
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Old 10-01-2009, 08:09 PM   #4
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Need help sealing foundation leak (townhouse)


nope, sorry, rick,,, the liquid siloxane's applied w/roller, brush, or sprayer ( pump can works well ) & the LAST part of the job.

ps = you can't buy ANY of this stuff at the apron stores !
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Old 10-01-2009, 11:55 PM   #5
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Need help sealing foundation leak (townhouse)


Okay GREAT.... I feel much better now that I have a starting point!!
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Old 10-02-2009, 12:12 AM   #6
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Need help sealing foundation leak (townhouse)


By the way Rick, thanks for posting the great pictures of your problem area. I wish more people would do this and identify their location. And, IRC's at it again with his concrete wisdom, listen to him. Thanks, David
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Old 10-02-2009, 06:15 AM   #7
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Need help sealing foundation leak (townhouse)


its easy - water runs downhill; takes the path of least resistance, seeks its own level, & rush's to fill a void ( try making a hole in a tub full of water ) !

all waterproofing's bas'd on those 4 rules,,, i just happen to have seen more leaky bsmts than most
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Old 10-02-2009, 03:45 PM   #8
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Need help sealing foundation leak (townhouse)


Okay guys, I hate to be a pain, but I have some additional info about my leaking problem. I intend to apply the liquid siloxane as IRC advised; however, today I went a step further and removed some drywall from my interior wall in an attempt to locate the origin of the leak. As you can see in the pictures, I discovered some dry rot and wet/moldy areas.

The pictures show how the dry-rot was so bad that I actually pushed my finger through the OSB to the brick veneer on the outside of my house (there appears to be mortar around the hole but not in that area). I also forced direct water into the the sole plate area (lip where the brick meets the concrete) and also around the basement window and the flashing (where the siding meets the brick). I believe the primary location of the water infiltration was a leaky window that we could see was draining down to the EXACT location of the electric box (where the mold and dry-rot are). **WE REPLACED THE WINDOW LAST WEEK**

Some other areas water is entering the basement are: (I've attached pictures for each)
  1. basement window- I forced direct pressured water on and around the window and after a few minutes I got four small beads of water entering below the sole plate.
  2. sump pump evacuation line had a small hole which also caused a small bead of water to accumulate on the wall.
  3. And what I believe is the MAJOR problem, the flashing between the brick and the siding (water is going right under this and being forced into the house at the ground level)
My new questions:
  1. Should the Electric box be removed for inspection? (I can see this is NO damage above the box, and I believe the water was running along the studs to the right and left of the box, the seam for the OSB, and entering at the sole plate.
  2. How do I repair the dry-rotted OSB and the small hole I tore in the house wrap?
  3. What should I do about the flashing? (I'm thinking a thick bead of silicone between the flashing and the brick?)
THANKS AGAIN!!!!! Your help is REALLY appreciated!!!!







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Old 10-02-2009, 03:46 PM   #9
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Old 10-03-2009, 05:42 AM   #10
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Need help sealing foundation leak (townhouse)


rick, you really ARE a royal pita but let's see if we can help a bit more,,, 1st off, ALL that rott'd stuff's gotta be removed,,, we spray w/wtr:clorox ( 1:1 ) to kill remaining spores if present,,, you may be experiencing seepage thru brickwork but i'd bet its capillary action from the chipboard, etc, being in contact w/leaking wtr instead,,, mortar's not waterproof but that expanding foam-in-a-can may work well IF you're positive the cavity's clean & sound,,, sump pumps do have a hole just slightly above the ck valve but, since they should be cover'd, any spray as a result of pumping is contained in the sump.

can't tell if that brick rowlock's on an angle or not,,, if not, add flashing & wrap the face of the brick for an " or so,,, latex acrylic caulk & 6mil plastic for the house wrap fix,,,
pics group 1 - 1 & 6 - izzat a 4" pipe coming into the house from outside ? ? ? pics gp 2 - 5 ? ? ?

good luck !
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Old 10-03-2009, 07:57 AM   #11
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Need help sealing foundation leak (townhouse)


An additional item to check: Is there water intrusion at the penetration from the eletric meter to the back of the load center (breaker box)? If water can wash down and follow this short length of conduit inside, it may manifest itself as shown given the propensity for OSB to wick moisture. This is offered not in exclusion of the other advice here, only as an additional item to inspect and correct as needed.
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Old 10-03-2009, 08:48 AM   #12
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Need help sealing foundation leak (townhouse)


Sorry to be the bearer of bad news Rick, but this isn't a weekend/simple project to fix this situation long term. If I was in this situation, here's "roughly" what I would do:

- Remove all brick, clean off mortar, stock-pile to re-use.
- Remove as much Tyvek as necessary to find how far the water is traveling down the wall, as it could very easily be coming from the J-channel around the window above, etc....
- When I was ABSOLUTELY certain I found the culprit & fixed/flashed it correctly, I would install new WRB (Tyvek, tar-paper, etc..) lapping under existing Tyvek at least 6".
- Install proper flashing & weeps at the base of the brick, like it should have been done the first time. The flashing gets lapped UNDER the Tyvek above. In my area, the minimums to this is clearly spelled out in the code. That may be the case in your region also, probably worth talking to your local building inspector about it, or look it up online.
- Flash/tape EVERY penetration through the wall & test them for a long period with a hose while you have this open.
- Re-lay brick wainscoat with min. 15 degree angle on row-lock sills. Now would be a good time to mount a 2-3" angle on the foundation so the brick aren't hanging off of the foundation anymore.
- Re-install vinyl siding.
- Re-grade the yard (if grade allows) so the soil is lower than the top of foundation. If that's not possible, I would cover the first 2-3 courses of brick with a flashing, cut into a reglet joint. This isn't ideal, & will require you to move the brick flashing & weeps up higher in the wall.

A couple of side notes:

- The house should be water-proof with your WRB & flashings in place. Don't put any faith in brick & vinyl siding to be water-proof, as it appears the original builder did.
- If the house had a conventional brick ledge that was 8" lower than the top of foundation, this wall would have performed better, at least the way "they" installed the brick.
- Sorry, but there is no way to effectively replace the sheathing & WRB without removing the brick. Even if you stop the leak above, the base of the wall will always be a problem.

Good luck.
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Old 03-22-2010, 05:53 PM   #13
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Need help sealing foundation leak (townhouse)


jomama45, I REALLY appreciate the detailed response to my problem. I intend to follow your instructions, but this is not something I can do myself. I'm currently looking into finding a qualified mason, but can you review your advise and tell me what you think something like this will cost? (roughly... I know there are a lot of variables here)

Also, the OSB and some of the 2x4's on the outside wall will need to be replaced. In addition to addressing the water sealing issues. So, is this something a mason will do, or do I also need a carpenter for that part???? (I guess I could attempt to do this, but am VERY concerned about doing it right, so I might just bite the bullet and pay).

And lastly, the electric box is located in this area too. Will I need an electrician also????
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Old 02-07-2012, 09:00 AM   #14
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Need help sealing foundation leak (townhouse)


RickDel: I just stumbled upon this post and was wondering if you have discovered definitely the source of the leak and what you have done to remedy it?
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Old 02-07-2012, 10:14 AM   #15
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Need help sealing foundation leak (townhouse)


hammerlane, 95% of the leak stopped after I cleared my gutters. I have no trees around my house, but apparently my gutter spouts were clogged up. After I cleared them, my leak SUPRISINGLY stopped!!! I still have a little water penetrate the wall on a HEAVY rain, but I'm not too worried about that right now (Iím not even sure if that's normal or not????)
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