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Old 11-02-2013, 03:12 PM   #1
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dark spots on outside of foundation walls


I was wondering if anybody knows what causes the dark spots seen in the picture below, and if it is a serious problem.

The spots are exactly 24 inches apart, so I assume it has something to do with the studs behind the wall.

It might be helpful to know that it is currently fall, so it is a little bit chilly out, and that a bathroom exists on the other side of that foundation wall, but no plumbing is directly behind the wall. (the tap you see runs through the basement ceiling).


ERR...the picture is upside down, and I have no idea why....sorry....but you get the idea I hope... :-)



Thanks in advance for your help...
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dark spots on outside of foundation walls-diy-wall.jpg  


Last edited by kwikfishron; 11-02-2013 at 05:28 PM. Reason: Rotated picture
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Old 11-02-2013, 03:38 PM   #2
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dark spots on outside of foundation walls


Looks like it could be water leakage to me.

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Old 11-02-2013, 04:14 PM   #3
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dark spots on outside of foundation walls


there are no signs of water leaking on the inside drywall, the floor or plumbing when I remove the drop ceiling.

is there any way to tell it if is a serious issue?
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Old 11-02-2013, 04:29 PM   #4
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dark spots on outside of foundation walls


With the spacing the first thing that comes to mind is the insulation or vapor barrier. With the coming of cooler weather the warmer inside meeting with the cooler outside = condensation and it is forming on the studs.
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Old 11-02-2013, 04:36 PM   #5
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dark spots on outside of foundation walls


Yep, thermal bridging, pp.11; https://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&q...BiEiG1lHFDd9yA

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Old 11-02-2013, 06:33 PM   #6
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dark spots on outside of foundation walls


Thanks for all your help guys,
Gary: your link was talking mostly about steel studs I know mine are wood, does that change the issue at all?

How urgent an issue is this? What is the easiest and most effective solution?

The only one I can think of is to move my interior wall out an inch, and put some foam behind the studs.

But I can think of a lot of other things I would rather be doing.is there an easier way.
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Old 11-02-2013, 06:46 PM   #7
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dark spots on outside of foundation walls


I think the first step would be to open up the area on the inside, drywall is fairly easy to patch. Then you can determine the condition of your insulation and vapor barrier.
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Old 11-03-2013, 02:25 PM   #8
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dark spots on outside of foundation walls


Could you describe the wall make-up, please?

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Old 11-03-2013, 04:46 PM   #9
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dark spots on outside of foundation walls


Just moisture in there. As long as that parge coating is solid to the foundation, I would not worry.
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Old 11-04-2013, 08:59 PM   #10
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dark spots on outside of foundation walls


"The only one I can think of is to move my interior wall out an inch, and put some foam behind the studs.

But I can think of a lot of other things I would rather be doing.is there an easier way."------------ I would be concerned. You are getting massive thermal bridging from the studs and they are soaking up interior/exterior humidity being cold; the first condensing surface; http://www.buildingscience.com/docum...bout-diffusion

Add some foamboard: to stop the bridging, control the condensation and smell better in the basement; http://www.buildingscience.com/docum...ts?full_view=1

Right now (if) fiberglass cavity insulation, it is probably wet- touching the cold concrete wall- lose 60-70% of the R-value; http://archive.nrc-cnrc.gc.ca/eng/ib...ling-heat.html

Remove the weeds, clean it out and add some backer rod/concrete expansion caulking in the gap to remain flexible but watertight. Fb outside is the only other way... not for your application.

Gary
PS. add fb under the wall plate when relocating for an air/thermal/capillary break from the wet slab; http://www.greenbuildingadvisor.com/...-building-code
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Old 11-05-2013, 11:00 AM   #11
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dark spots on outside of foundation walls


There should be weeps in the brick wall above. These will be spaces between bricks where there is no mortar. Where are the stains in relation to the weeps. Are the stains visible all of the time? Certain times of the day? or certain times of the year? Do they disappear completely and then reappear? If so, what are the weather conditions when changes occur? Before I would go tearing walls open, I would study and answer the questions above.
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Old 11-10-2013, 11:46 AM   #12
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dark spots on outside of foundation walls


May be wall absorbs the water or moisture from outside.

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