Concrete Slab - Water Wicking ?


Old 05-03-05, 04:20 PM
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Concrete Slab - Water Wicking ?

I wasnt sure the best spot for this post, but I thought it most applied to the basement board. We have an small sunroom on our house off of our kitchen (roughly 10' x 14'.) This is a new home for us, and thus our first spring. We noticed a couple of wet spots in the carpet and when I pulled up an edge of the carpet closest to the wet spot I found some water.

I walked around the outside and I could see two visibly wet spots on the outside of the slab. I am guessing this is a case of water coming from beneath the slab? I looked around our basement and was unable to find any sign of water, it appears to just be in this one room?

What am I looking at here? I am guessing if I pull the carpet up I will probally find a crack no? If I seal that crack am I just going to fix this issue in the short term (how long is short term?) While we are new to this house I dont see us spending more than 5-7 years here so I dont really want to spend an arm and a leg for some elaborate drainage.

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Old 05-03-05, 05:46 PM
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Slab - Water Wicking ?

It sounds like your sunroom is above grade if you can see the edge of the slab.

If this is true, it is highly unlikely the water is from below, unless some new rvolutionary concrete was invented that sucks up that much water.

Most likely the source is from leakage of rain or leaks within the house. I can't visualize that much water from condensation.

Since no one spilled a lot of water look for any plumbing leaks (water or sewer) anywhere in the house at or above the level of the wet carpet. Since you are close to the kitchen, I would aim at that area. Water can spread a great distance if it can be carried horizontally by capillary action.

After the leak search, I would make an exhaustive check of the sunroom glazing and soaked it well with a hose for an hour or so. Look at the way the windows are installed, the bedding, caulking and flashing. Carpenters are notoriously terrible when it comes to installing windows properly. A recent survey showed that less than 20% of the windows are actually installed according to manufacturers recommendations.

Good luck!

Old 05-03-05, 07:55 PM
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The lack of a vapor barrier under that concrete slab would be one of the first

things I would suspect. Like ''concretemasonry'' said, though, I would

eliminate those things on his list, first, as those problems would be a lot

easier to fix, than the lack of a vapor barrier under the slab.
Old 05-04-05, 04:48 AM
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I will take a closer look tonight. When I did look around the exterior (the slab IS above grade,) I did see two wet spots on the slab directly below a window on either side (there was water in that area of the carpet.) I guess there could be a water leak, I will have to look closer for that, although it would seem strange that there would be pipes over there.

Thanks alot for the input!

I am not sure what I would have done in our new house with this board. What did people do before the internet?
Old 05-06-05, 03:46 PM
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Before the internet we had no real communication. We thought the telegraph, Alexander Graham Bell, radio, and TV put us in touch. Now, we can communicate around the world for free (except for our fees for internet connection).

Without a vapor retarder beneath concrete slab, you will have moisture emissions. Water? That's another can of worms. Make sure you have gutters and downspouts that are clear and carry excess moisture away from structure. Do not use splash guards. They do not carry water far enough away from structure. Direct water into pits or drains at least 10 feet away from structure. Make sure soil is sloped away from structure so that moisture is directed away from it.

Remove carpet and inspect concrete beneath after you have addressed all other issues. If you have a crack, then you will need to caulk or fill with hydraulic cement depending upon size of crack(s). You can seal concrete & install vapor retarder beneath floor covering.

Too, some have basements and slab foundations over springs. That tends to be a real challenge and tends to require special drainage.
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