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Old 12-14-2009, 12:08 AM   #1
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New Basement with Moisture Problems from Slab


I Had Just Built a new House Myself and Finished the House
Now I had a problem with the Concrete Slab in the basement - Moisture Wicking Up I Found no Vapor barrier Under Slab. I Highered Out the Slab work to a local Contractor to pour a slab - I din't know much about the slab finishing and that area so I hired it out thinking the contractor would do it up to code - Well I guess he did not - My basment Smelled Musty after 6 months - So I pulled up the Carpet and they were all damp - So I ripped out all the flooring - what a night mare - anyways what should I do - Rip out the slab - I have staires leading to the basment with many walls and rooms down there - or just pour another slab over top 1.5inch thick around all the walls with 6mill vapor barrier under? - I am very Stressed out

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Old 12-14-2009, 06:32 AM   #2
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New Basement with Moisture Problems from Slab


Look, as much as I hate to add to your misery, I feel almost obliged to let you know that there is a good chance that you won't get much sympathy here...you will get a lot of people giving you advice - but really I wonder how much good that will do you in the long run.

You seem to be working backwards; take the mess with the contractor...did you ask him to put in a vapour barrier? did he insulate? well, what does your contract say? or didn't you have a contract. Why do you assume he would do more than what you ask him to do...he's a contractor not an engineer or an architect...if you didn't say "put a vb down" then maybe he wouldn't do so on his own. So what, now you blame him?

Then you put carpet down on top of concrete; did you ask anyone about this or did you assume you knew how to? You just went ahead and didso and got problems...Now you ask what you should do?

If you take this type of approach to your plumbing, to your electrical, to your HVAC, to your roof - there's no end to the questions you'll be asking. The idea is to research first - then act. Not act and then ask why things aren't right and ask for free advice here!

Where are you located - and what about permits and codes in your city?


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Old 12-14-2009, 07:01 AM   #3
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New Basement with Moisture Problems from Slab


Seems to me have a water or drainage issue that never got addressed. A concrete slab should not be wicking up great amounts of water.

If it is humidity issue making the basement damp, you will need to invest in a demudifier or two.

Carpeting glued to basement concrete floors is seldom a great idea in my opinion.
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Old 12-14-2009, 07:14 AM   #4
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New Basement with Moisture Problems from Slab


you hire contractors to do a proffesional job based on their trade, this means they build to industry specs. As a home owner/layman you are not expected to know these specs but you are to get an honest job. if there is no vapor barrior slab guys fault, if the concrete was to green when carpet went down carpet guys problem(should have checked moisture)
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Old 12-14-2009, 08:46 AM   #5
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New Basement with Moisture Problems from Slab


I cannot tell you the name of any product where I may have a vested interest in the product, but with that said there are products out there that are designed to block moisture vapor transfer in concrete. These products will contain potassium silicate so consider google search for potassium silicate sealers and you should find many options. Some will tell you these chemicals dont normally work, and some of them do not, but at this point what do you have to lose. Just my opinion.
Humbly,
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Old 12-14-2009, 11:22 AM   #6
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New Basement with Moisture Problems from Slab


Thanks for the Replies Guy
I agree with tpolk, I hired stuff Out that that is get done to code, So anyways I have a problem
Would it work to pout another slab over top with polly inbetween. and Install a sump pump?
The Concrete had a chance to dry out for 8 months before I laid down carpet. I live in BC Canda - Code = 6mil polly under slab.
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Old 12-14-2009, 11:30 AM   #7
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New Basement with Moisture Problems from Slab


Fasteddie,
It probably would not work because you will trap moisture between the slabs. Petrie dish for dangerous mold and mildew growth. Also almost certainly cause accelerated rot on the studs and baseplates of your existing walls.
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Old 12-14-2009, 11:51 AM   #8
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New Basement with Moisture Problems from Slab


I'm wondering how you know there isn't 6 mil underneath?
Do you know if you have a high water table where you live ?
If high the entire foundation would need to be sealed up past the groudn water level to keep all moisture & water vapor out
What is the humidity level in the basement ?

We have a high water table here- next to a stream & my basement rarely drops under 55% humidity...usually 60-65%
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Old 12-14-2009, 02:11 PM   #9
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New Basement with Moisture Problems from Slab


Well I know that there is no polly since After I noticed the problem - I cut a hole in the slab to have a look and found not vapor barrier there and I even found a pic that my wife took while they were pouring the slab, no polly. At that time I never knew that concrete was pourest. At some times of the year the water table is high about 6inch below the slab and hit the drain tile and gets drained out. I do have a 4 foot hole for a sump in a part of my house so I can see the water table - the humity in summer was 70 - 75% - Lots of mould growing on the bottom of the drywall - Had to cut it all off.

I did lift all my walls and slid polly under the inside wall plates and put polly over the entire slab and the humidity dropped from 72% to 50% in 2 days WOW. I cleaned the slab before I put the polly down - so no mould can grow. so I was just think to pour a new slab over top.

Thanks for all your time!
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Old 12-14-2009, 03:45 PM   #10
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New Basement with Moisture Problems from Slab


bla!

What a mess. A general rule of thumb - address the water issues before it gets to the inside, do not address it from the inside.

Does this make sense? Yeah, could be high water table. Could be groundwater filtering to underside and below slab too. Could be both.

Before you go any further with work on the inside make sure you can answer YES to each of these questions.

1) Do your downspouts extend at least 6 feet (two meters) from your house?
2) Goes the ground around your house slope away from your house at least 1" per foot over six feet?
3) Are your gutters clean and not clogged?

Get those three things addressed first.

Next - get that sump pump installed. You say you have a pit. Drop that water level as low as you can. make sure the pump drains as far away from the house as possible.

next - run a dehumidifier

After all those things are done THEN you can look at addressing water in additional ways. Quite frankly I cant see ever retrofitting a vapor barrier. There are many many other things I would do first to control the moisture.
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Old 12-14-2009, 07:08 PM   #11
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New Basement with Moisture Problems from Slab


Thanks Brik

Yes ALL The down downspouts are 15feet away from the house mininimun - One side off the Carport and another go off the deck down a gutter and then another 8 feet way - so yes

All the Sides of the house are Sloped away when I built this house it was 3 feet at the lowest point and then other spot only a foot to solid ground and 40 truck loads on dirt to slop it way from the house

I just clean my gutter 4 week ago - was not that bad at all

- I thought of all that, and Did pump from my sump pit and still the same problem - the boxes and carpet still musty smelling. - I am in a swapy area - I did some grading and created ditches etc.. still same problem

So the only thing mybe I am on top of clay,I also noticed 6 inch of gravel before the slab

Also what is wrong with another slab over top then other the mess?

Or should I jack hammer out the 1250sqfeet slab and redo it. - yuck! but It might be worth it....?

thanks
fasteddie

Last edited by fasteddie; 12-14-2009 at 07:19 PM.
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Old 12-17-2009, 06:16 PM   #12
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New Basement with Moisture Problems from Slab


So what Should I do at the Point I have down all that Brik suggests - Hammer out old slab and pour a new slab with a 10mil polly under
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Old 12-17-2009, 08:40 PM   #13
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New Basement with Moisture Problems from Slab


Try a potassium silicate sealer. it will cost 40 or 50 bucks and its alot cheaper than a new slab what do you have to lose.
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Old 12-18-2009, 01:03 PM   #14
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New Basement with Moisture Problems from Slab


I have the polly down over the floor right now and its working well, humidity right now is 40% from 75% - Its about 1000$ to pour a new 1.5inch with fiber in the concrete. and then I am done and I know it will work - What do you think?
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Old 12-18-2009, 03:27 PM   #15
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New Basement with Moisture Problems from Slab


A polyehtylene barrier over the old concrete with a 2 inch thick slab over the poly is not a bad solution. However, an alternative is to remove the carpet, buy a dehumidifier, and live with a damp concrete floor. If you don't like the color, you could paint it.

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