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nbreau 03-14-2011 07:40 AM

New Home - Foundation Issue, need advice, pease help ...
I'm looking for some advice for my father in law who purchased a home just over a year ago (the home warranty is up by just over a week).

We're located in canada and he does have the standard 7 year standard home warranty however they claim they do not cover any foundation related issues over 1 year (same as the contractor).

In the first year there was 2 (or maybe 3) different issues relating to water in the basement due to crack in the side walls of the foundation. These were fixed under warranty by the builder.

The person who was fixing the cracks (not sure exactly how they did it, had to dig up the topsoil outside and used a compound of some kind I believe) noticed that along the side of the house the foundation wall was slightly warped inwards, he said that heavy machinery probably drove too close to the house prior to the concrete having fully cured this causing it to bow in under the weight of something like a tractor or truck.

My father in law originally contacted the contractor, he said his 1 year warranty was up. Where the water is coming in now is due to a small vertical crack on a wall under a window, the contract said that a) warranty is up so too bad and b) the topsoil is just above the tar line where the crack is located (or it may be crushed rock, not topsoil) but regardless this was causing water to enter the crack above the tarline, and the water coming in the crack was the fault of the homeowner.

Between the contractor not cooperating, the 7 year home warranty people not wanting to cover, and having to put up with water issues since they purchased this new home my father in law is at the end of his rope and very frustrated.

Is what the contractor stating as the cause (crack above the tar line) the likely issue ? Where should he go from here ?

Any advice of what he could or should do would be very much appreciated.

Jackofall1 03-14-2011 07:53 AM

Welcome Nick, to the best darn DIY'r site on the web.

Sounds like your FIL needs a lawyer, have you read the home warranty paper work, is what the warranty people saying true?


nbreau 03-14-2011 07:55 AM

thanks for the response.

He phoned the home warranty program people this morning (this seems to be a standard 7 year warranty that covers most new homes in our area if not all of Canada) and they stated that after a year no foundation issues are covered.

I'll suggest that he double checks the paperwork.

thanks for your response.

Gymschu 03-14-2011 07:57 AM

Wow, it could be just about anything. Pics would be a great help here. It sounds like the excavator may have back-filled the basement too soon or possibly the hole for the foundation was OVERDUG. This happens a lot more than you might think. And, certainly a truck driving near the foundation and compressing the ground could have caused it. Heck, who knows if the waterproofing on the block was done correctly. Maybe they just slopped on some tar at or near the top of the foundation/soil line just to make it look like they did the job. Also, the drainage tile around the basement could have been installed wrong. There's literally hundreds of reasons you could be getting water in that basement. Sometimes it's as simple as gutters being clogged or soil leaning in TOWARDS the house rather than AWAY from the house. Just seems like a crack near a window would not be allowing a whole lot of water to get in unless there's other issues going on here. If it's a mortar crack, that can be fixed rather easily. If the block or blocks are cracked they need to be replaced.

nbreau 03-14-2011 08:03 AM

Thanks for the response Gymschu.

The cause of the other leaks was water coming in via cracks (opposite corners on the same side of the house as the warped foundation wall), the first was fixed from outside and the second from inside.

The water in this case is down along the backside of the house and since the first two were caused by cracks (and there is a crack under the window where the new water issue is occuring) I would assume probably the same problem

There is still snow on the ground here (but melting rapidly, hence the water), what should he take pictures of or look for ? he can probably get some snaps for me this morning ...

nbreau 03-14-2011 08:07 AM

I should probably also add that the amount of water on the floor is just enough to come through the laminate flooring installed on the basement floor (12 or 13 mm i believe) and covers about 6 to 8 square feet ... there has been a significant amount of rain and snow melt lately.

nbreau 03-14-2011 08:08 AM

found the warranty program -

nbreau 03-14-2011 09:11 AM

Here is a picture of the crack, I find it hard to believe that this would be the cause given the height ? It's not like water could pool at the height of the crack ....

Gymschu 03-14-2011 09:54 AM


Originally Posted by nbreau (Post 608982)
Here is a picture of the crack, I find it hard to believe that this would be the cause given the height ? It's not like water could pool at the height of the crack ....

Nbreau, I am not a masonry expert at all......I've just been around new construction most of my life. Hopefully a true mason will respond to your concerns.

Having said that, it looks like that is a poured foundation wall and not a concrete block wall. I cannot believe that crack which is above grade is the cause of the leakage into the basement. My suspicions are that the crack is an indication that there are other cracks/voids below grade that are the root of the problem. If that's the case, the only way to tell is to excavate that area all the way down to the drainage tile. It will take some serious scrutiny to find other cracks if the foundation wall has black tar on it as waterproofing.

The other concern that you have mentioned is the bowing in of this wall. If it's bowing in, you can imagine that there will be future problems that would affect the whole house. This looks like a potential legal issue.

jomama45 03-14-2011 02:26 PM

Does the home have an ext. & interior draintile system tied to a sump crock?

If so, the "easiest" approach IMO would be to dig to the footing (or at least the stone around the draintile) with a post hole digger, wash the crak as well as possible, tar over the crack, fill the hole with clear stone to within 12" of grade, and fill the last 8-12" with soil that was dug out.

stadry 03-14-2011 03:40 PM

jomama really means ' roofing cement ' & a flexible membrane for backfill protection,,, gal can should do it ! :yes:

jomama45 03-14-2011 04:39 PM


Originally Posted by itsreallyconc (Post 609245)
jomama really means ' roofing cement ' & a flexible membrane for backfill protection,,, gal can should do it ! :yes:

Yeah sure, that will work as well, but jomama's really thinking the column of stone won't let the water lay against the wall long enough to leak inward............. :thumbsup:

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