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Old 09-02-2010, 01:04 PM   #1
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Water Seepage Under Pavers To Joist/Sill Plate


I purchased a home three years ago that had an EP Henry patio installed against the front of the house without ANY flashing. The pavers were layed in sand on top of an existing conrete patio. Water seeped through and wet the joist and sill plate in the basement directly under the front door (Maybe a four foot/five foot area). The rest of the wall had no moisture. The problem was misdiagnosed by the home inspector or else we probalby would have passed on the house.

In 2008 we hired a contractor to fix the flashing issue, and he removed a row of pavers and installed some form of tar flashing. We then put some polysand down in between the pavers. This stopped about 80% of the moisture problem under the front door, but there is still about a one foot area where the wood is still damp. In 2009 we hired another contractor and this time he removed the pavers and installed aluminum flashing. It made no difference in the remaining area of the sill/joist that was damp.

We now have a layer of tar and aluminum flashing, but the dampness problem remains. I purchased a moisture detector and it reads about 16%, but that's through sistered wood so I imagine it's a higher % on the other side.

I'm thinking about removing all of the pavers, and having everything installed fresh. Can anyone think of a reason for why moisture is getting through? Is there anything I'm missing? I'm desparate for answers. Thanks.

Nick

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Old 09-02-2010, 02:19 PM   #2
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A moisture reading of 16 percent is quite normal for wood in the basement. You need to get a reading on the other side of the wood to see if it is higher than 16 percent. I prefer copper flashing, however there is nothing wrong with aluminum, and combined with tar it should be fine IF it was installed correctly. This cannot be determined without some photographs and a careful description of the install technique.

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Old 09-02-2010, 02:37 PM   #3
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Water Seepage Under Pavers To Joist/Sill Plate


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A moisture reading of 16 percent is quite normal for wood in the basement. You need to get a reading on the other side of the wood to see if it is higher than 16 percent. I prefer copper flashing, however there is nothing wrong with aluminum, and combined with tar it should be fine IF it was installed correctly. This cannot be determined without some photographs and a careful description of the install technique.
Daniel,
Here are some pictures. I have no idea how helpful these are. Again, the water problem is only directly under the front door. Could that be a sign of something else besides the pavers, especially with the two layers of flashing?

These were taken by the second contractor that installed the aluminum flashing. The close up of the wood is from the basement. Thanks!

Nick
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Old 09-02-2010, 03:28 PM   #4
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I bet you have problems, your grade is to high, 6” of exposed foundation above grade is code out here.

I’d dig out along the wall and either install flat stock stainless steel or ice and water shield behind the paper and siding 6” above the pavers and down 6” over of your foundation.
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Old 09-02-2010, 03:45 PM   #5
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I bet you have problems, your grade is to high, 6 of exposed foundation above grade is code out here.

Id dig out along the wall and either install flat stock stainless steel or ice and water shield behind the paper and siding 6 above the pavers and down 6 over of your foundation.
It was built before I owned the home, but somewhere underneath is an existing concrete patio. I guess the key is hitting that? I'm guessing it's just sand on top of the existing patio since you wouldn't put rocks over concrete and then sand?

Based on the limited information and the pics - is there any explanation for why the seepage only occurs in the bottom left corner (if you are facing the door) of the door and not the entire wall?
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Old 09-02-2010, 04:14 PM   #6
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Everything I see there is a problem. You need a waterproof barrier between the sand/pavers and the house.

You need to dig down and see what’s there.
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Old 09-02-2010, 04:59 PM   #7
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Water Seepage Under Pavers To Joist/Sill Plate


Are there gutters on the house ?
My old back patio sloped towards the house
...and rain flowed towards the house

If that buried concrete patio slopes towards the house you will have the same problem
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Old 09-02-2010, 10:55 PM   #8
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Good suggestion, Dave!

Nick, hose some water on the door to check it, also. Now's the time. Move the sand near the door to watch the water drain, as Dave said......

Gary
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Old 09-03-2010, 09:44 PM   #9
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I

Id dig out along the wall and either install flat stock stainless steel or ice and water shield behind the paper and siding 6 above the pavers and down 6 over of your foundation.

I'm with Ron on this. The I&W and the flashing definately needs to overlap the foundation a few inches, and needs to be under the siding & any underlayment. That means some siding needs to come off temporarily and a strip of the old concrete patio will probably need to be sawed out & removed.

BTW, who has done the last 2 fixes?
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Old 09-10-2010, 03:40 PM   #10
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I'm with Ron on this. The I&W and the flashing definately needs to overlap the foundation a few inches, and needs to be under the siding & any underlayment. That means some siding needs to come off temporarily and a strip of the old concrete patio will probably need to be sawed out & removed.

BTW, who has done the last 2 fixes?
Thanks guys. I do have gutters, and the pavers are all properly pitched away from the house.

The first two fixes were done by landscaping/hardscaping companies. I originally called the first guy out, but he didn't want to really help me again so I hired someone else. He obviously didn't know what he was doing either.

I had a waterproof guy come out last week, but he didn't want any part of the job. He told me to just put caulk around the door. Riiiight.

A friend of the family that does hardscaping is going to remove the pavers again and try to figure out what the problem is. The information about the original concrete patio is great, and I'll mention that to my guy. He also thinks it might have something to do with the door since that's the only spot along the entire wall where water is getting through, AND it's right in the corner of the door. This has been a nightmare, but I appreciate the suggestions.
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Old 09-10-2010, 04:13 PM   #11
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Water Seepage Under Pavers To Joist/Sill Plate


Are you sure the source for any remaining wetting is coming from the patio and not above, for example some failing caulking around the door, or damaged roof/underlayment? Or even from some interior source? Water can sneak through buildings in weird ways.

If you're sure its the patio, trying to seal it out is great but in your place i would also be thinking of where else I could make the water GO.

I agree the grade is 'way too high. If you have the elevation to regrade, IMO, it's time to yank the old concrete patio and start over.

If not, you can knock yourself silly trying to seal out moisture but that's a losing battle unless you give it some other place to go. I'd think hard about at least trenching thru the old patio to not only flash&seal, but to insulate and then (key thing) build a french drain and drywell system to take water away from the wall. Also be sure your plan doesn't invite capillary-action wetting of the wall.

Last if you're in snow country don't forget to insulate the band joist. Foundation walls that leak heat form ice dams at the ground, allowing further melt to pool at foundation wall. Use loose insulation if you want to come back to reinspect.

Best,
SteveEl
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Old 09-10-2010, 04:42 PM   #12
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Are you sure the source for any remaining wetting is coming from the patio and not above, for example some failing caulking around the door, or damaged roof/underlayment? Or even from some interior source? Water can sneak through buildings in weird ways.

If you're sure its the patio, trying to seal it out is great but in your place i would also be thinking of where else I could make the water GO.

I agree the grade is 'way too high. If you have the elevation to regrade, IMO, it's time to yank the old concrete patio and start over.

If not, you can knock yourself silly trying to seal out moisture but that's a losing battle unless you give it some other place to go. I'd think hard about at least trenching thru the old patio to not only flash&seal, but to insulate and then (key thing) build a french drain and drywell system to take water away from the wall. Also be sure your plan doesn't invite capillary-action wetting of the wall.

Last if you're in snow country don't forget to insulate the band joist. Foundation walls that leak heat form ice dams at the ground, allowing further melt to pool at foundation wall. Use loose insulation if you want to come back to reinspect.

Best,
SteveEl
Thanks. The roof is relatively new and we had our siding done last year and there was nothing to indicate it was coming down from above. I have a feeling it's going to end up being the door but wont know until the pavers are pulled up again. I'm going to mention everything you just said when my friend comes to take a look. The fact that I'm only getting moisture by the door and not along the entire wall could be a fake out especially if that original patio is flawed. I do have flashing that goes up and under the siding (that's what the second contractor installed) but if the issue is beneath that it wouldn't matter.
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Old 09-10-2010, 04:49 PM   #13
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Water Seepage Under Pavers To Joist/Sill Plate


besides the door, maybe capillary action under that flashing?

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