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Old 08-16-2007, 03:43 PM   #1
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Water soaking roof/bricks/foundation/basement


For about 6 months I have been trying to discover the cause of a small area of wetness in my basement after a large rain. I noticed outside of the house near the foundation a low spot that corresponded with the wetness in the basement. I increase the grade in this spot and improve the drainage. After a few months, that spot has returned, and much of the dirt and mulch has washed away. On further inspection I noticed that on the brick exterior wall in a corner there was moss growing. When it rains, water soaks into the bricks and slowly runs all the way down, and presumably into the foundation and eventually my basement. I had the gutter rehung to increase the pitch in this area and it is better, but still the bricks are getting soaked, even with a gentle rain. The gutter section is only about ten feet (it is along my front porch) and the downspout runs adequately away from the house. The end piece of the gutter is not obviously leaking. There is a small overhang from the roof that runs perpendicular to my porch. It seems that where the roof meets the bricks might be the origin of the problem. There is no flashing or caulk here. The small length of gutter along the porch actually drains a significant amount of rainwater and the "valley" between the two intersecting roofs runs to the lower gutter. Any ideas on how to correct, or at least improve this situation? I can redo the grading again, but if this water is just running down the bricks and into the foundation/basement I'm not sure that this is the fix. Any help is much appreciated. Thanks, bd

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Old 08-16-2007, 04:06 PM   #2
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Water soaking roof/bricks/foundation/basement


You say your downspout extension is "adequate". - Is it 8 or 10 feet? You can use pop-ups if you don't like exposed pipes.

You obviously have a surface drainage problem. I have no idea what was dumped in to correct the surface drainage, but it is not working and probably just collecting water. I assume "black dirt" was used to fill the low area and it just absorbed the water and then compacted. The collected water is feeding the moss.

You said you had a "low spot" near your foundation. There should be no low spots within 10 feet of the foundation. You need positive drainage away from the house and a means to prevent the water from soaking in. The fix is not easy, since it requires excavation, installing a poly barrier on a slope and replcement of the soil and top soil above.

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Old 08-16-2007, 04:22 PM   #3
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You say your downspout extension is "adequate". - Is it 8 or 10 feet? You can use pop-ups if you don't like exposed pipes.
I do have a pop up, although it was covered with sod for several mos. It seems to be working appropriately

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You obviously have a surface drainage problem. I have no idea what was dumped in to correct the surface drainage, but it is not working and probably just collecting water. I assume "black dirt" was used to fill the low area and it just absorbed the water and then compacted. The collected water is feeding the moss.
You got it. Black dirt. But all of the moss is up on the brick wall, a good 10-15 ft up, under the gutter end.


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You said you had a "low spot" near your foundation. There should be no low spots within 10 feet of the foundation. You need positive drainage away from the house and a means to prevent the water from soaking in. The fix is not easy, since it requires excavation, installing a poly barrier on a slope and replcement of the soil and top soil above.
I imagine that some of this low spot was the result of settling after they backfilled around the foundation, and it was exacerbated by the water pooling there. Tell me more about a "polybarrier".
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Old 08-16-2007, 05:17 PM   #4
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Water soaking roof/bricks/foundation/basement


If you have the wrong material in your leveling fill, improper drainage and plugged pop-ups that may be too close to the house, you could have a contribution to the problem.

If you have moss growing 10 to 15' up the side of you house you have roof/gutter/flashing/leakage problems somewhere. This does not necessarily mean they are immediately above the moss and wall leakage. Water does flow laterally but it really takes something for it to climb 10 - 15'.

It sounds like you have a two story home, so leakage around upper story windows could be contributing.

Posting pictures would help.

You may have to contact a local moisture intrusion expert to help prevent the moisture and mold.
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Old 08-16-2007, 05:18 PM   #5
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I'll submit some pictures in the next day or two. Thanks.
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Old 08-16-2007, 10:46 PM   #6
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Water soaking roof/bricks/foundation/basement


INSTALL STEP FLASHING AT THE UPPER WALL W/A BOTTOM PIECE turned and leading into the gutter,then cut a reglet(groove)in the wall,make a counter flashing to fit , install it over the step flashing,seal the counter flashing into the reglet-no more problems
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Old 09-06-2007, 02:18 PM   #7
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Thanks for all of the advice. Here are some pictures of the situation. If you look closely you can see the moss growing on the bricks. I also show one shot from above of the erosion of the soil and mulch where the water is accumulating. I have to admit that since the gutter was rehung, we have not had any water in the basement, but we also have not had any torrential rains.

How difficult is it to install step flashing to an area with intact shingles?

Thanks.
Attached Thumbnails
Water soaking roof/bricks/foundation/basement-img_1277_1_1_1.jpg   Water soaking roof/bricks/foundation/basement-img_1275_1_1_1.jpg   Water soaking roof/bricks/foundation/basement-img_1278_1_1_1.jpg  
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Old 09-06-2007, 02:20 PM   #8
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here's what the area looks like from a few steps back
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Old 09-06-2007, 02:55 PM   #9
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Water soaking roof/bricks/foundation/basement


you need a flat bar to remove nails at the wall +install step flashings,then cut a reglet w/a diamond blade grinder and install counter flashing over the step that ends in the reglet(wall groove),seal the reglet w/ Geocell motarseal(silicised)-no more problems(from that)

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