New Basement Leaking?


  #1  
Old 06-23-15, 01:51 PM
T
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: USA
Posts: 6
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
New Basement Leaking?

Hello all,

I am building a house and I see what looks like water leeching into the basement between the wall and the floors. The AC is not installed yet as there is no power hooked up yet. I have everything roughed in and the drywall was just hung this past weekend.

Anyway... I have been spending most of my time upstairs as the only thing I plan on using the basement for is my saferoom and additional storage. My shop will be down there but I have no formal plans for finishing anything else at this point. Anyway... I went down there today and I noticed that the walls were damp as well as the floors. We haven't had a lot of rain but we have had a few gully-washers recently.

When the builder was finishing the outside of the foundation... He did spray the black tarry waterproofing on it as well as a nicely done drain tile.

I am scratching my head wondering why the walls appear to be weeping moisture. The last thing I want is to have a mold issue.

Does anyone have any words of wisdom by looking at the pictures and seeing what I have going on?

Or is this normal?

Name:  Foundation1.jpg
Views: 432
Size:  31.5 KBName:  Foundation2.jpg
Views: 441
Size:  31.4 KBName:  Foundation3.jpg
Views: 404
Size:  20.2 KB
 

Last edited by Tricky Rick; 06-23-15 at 02:09 PM.
  #2  
Old 06-23-15, 03:03 PM
chandler's Avatar
Banned. Rule And/Or Policy Violation
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 39,964
Received 6 Votes on 6 Posts
Welcome to the forums! No it is not normal, and spraying tar on a foundation is not sufficient, and the builder knows it. Is it backfilled, yet? There should be a membrane on the outside below grade as well as sealant to keep water from leaching inside. The drain tiles should have taken the water away, but maybe they aren't tilted properly, collapsed or not terminated properly. You should have not water in a new basement. Time to call the builder back, and don't listen to excuses. It's your house.
 
  #3  
Old 06-23-15, 03:40 PM
K
Member
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Nova Scotia
Posts: 750
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Definately a problem with the drain tile.
 
  #4  
Old 06-23-15, 04:07 PM
P
Group Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: NC, USA
Posts: 25,243
Received 894 Votes on 824 Posts
I agree with everyone so far. That is not normal and not good and should be remedied now while the house is still under construction. This will not resolve itself and please do not even consider any Band-Aid fixes like painting something on the inside that the builder may offer.
 
  #5  
Old 06-23-15, 06:07 PM
T
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: USA
Posts: 6
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Okay... Thanks for the feedback! I TRULY appreciate it!

To answer a few questions... I don't recall a plastic membrane being applied and see no evidence of it above ground as I did with my last house.

It wasn't just tar...It was foundation spray (I don't know the name) that was sprayed on the exterior walls.

Yes... It has been backfilled already. It looked right to me... But I am far from a pro. Not sure about the drain tile angle.

Thinking about it now... The ends of the drain tile might be clogged as they were just run out into the woods for now. I know dirt has probably piled over top of that... I will check into that tomorrow and post back!

You guys are awesome... Thanks for letting me know.

BTW... Long time member that hasn't posted in years. But it would not take my password and would not forward me a password link to my email... I waited for hours before doing another logon.

Thanks again guys!
 
  #6  
Old 06-23-15, 06:12 PM
K
Member
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Nova Scotia
Posts: 750
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
If the ends of the pipes are buried, that's probably the problem. If they are not, I am guessing they did not put the drain tile in the right location. It is supposed to go beside your footing, but it is not uncommon to see someone sit it on top of the footing.
 
  #7  
Old 06-23-15, 06:59 PM
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 6,130
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Actually, the preferred location for perforated pvc is slightly outside the wall and usually it is preferred to have the bottom(invert) a few inches BELOW the bottom of the footings. Water has the ability to move in the soil, up, down and laterally.

When I look at the photos, I see a poured concrete that is probably poured using a strip footing to set the forms on. - You have to have a solid base to set and align the forms and control elevations. After the wall is stripped, the floor slab is poured sitting on the inner edge of the footing. The water is probably coming from under inside the basement walls and is forced upward and out since the bond between the footing and slab is never tight. The water in the soil does not move very fast, but it always finds a route of least resistance.

Because of the nature of water migration in soils, a drain tile with an invert lower than the bottom of the footing forms a "cut-off" wall that minimizes the movement of water inside the drained perimeter.

The drain tile is usually laid horizontally, since water seeks its own level and will drain 24/7/365 to decrease the amount of water in the soil where it usually stored.

I had a friend that built over 400 homes per year and he automatically put in both interior and exterior drain tile on EVERY home at no extra cost irregardless of the soil properties. Since it was a standard, it added less than a day to the construction time of each home and the quality of any coating was not as critical even if it leaked or deteriorated, because he had a "safety net" from the drain tile. He built walk-out, split level, multi-level, ranch and 2 story homes with basements that were or could be finished completely.

Just a bit of proven history.

Just an addition regarding the OP's situation, you have to have proper granular backfill to reduce the leakage of a wall and the pressure on the wall.

Dick
 
  #8  
Old 06-24-15, 03:56 AM
T
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: USA
Posts: 6
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Okay... I have a few shots here that I took back in late March that show the drain tile installed. It would appear that it is installed on top of the footers instead of beside it. I remember seeing it mounded up against the foundation now that I see the pictures again.

I also remember the builder saying, "You will never have an issue with a wet basement!" as the drain tile drains right out the side and down the hill.

Is this something I need to have the builder dig up and redo? This is my dream home and where I plan to spend the rest of my life.

Thoughts?

Name:  DrainTile.jpg
Views: 451
Size:  47.8 KBName:  DrainTile2.jpg
Views: 292
Size:  47.4 KB
 
  #9  
Old 06-24-15, 04:03 AM
M
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: USA - N.E.Tn
Posts: 48,144
Received 403 Votes on 359 Posts
Waterproofing is always best addressed on the exterior! I used to paint for one builder that never did a great job of waterproofing the exterior of the foundation About 25% of his houses would leak, his solution was to pay me to apply drylok to the interior. That would almost always keep the basement dry until the 1 yr warranty was up ..... but you want a long term fix which needs to be done on the outside. It will be easier to get the builder to fix it now, before he gets paid in full!
 
  #10  
Old 06-24-15, 04:09 AM
T
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: USA
Posts: 6
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
So I guess my question is... If the ends are plugged (and I think at least one of them is) do we just unplug it and call it a day or do I ask for him to excavate and redo the drain tile so it sits beside the footings instead of on top?
 
  #11  
Old 06-24-15, 08:35 AM
K
Member
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Nova Scotia
Posts: 750
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Check with the building inspector. They should have looked at the drain tile installation and oked it before it was back filled. It looks to me like it is sitting on top of the footing. If that is the case you will always have water problems with big rain storms.
 
  #12  
Old 06-24-15, 09:55 AM
T
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: USA
Posts: 6
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Yes it passed inspection. I know that as I saw the inspector out there though I did not talk to him at the time.

I met with the builder at the house this morning and showed him what was going on. He said he buried the drain tile on that side of the house as heavy equipment was driving over it and he wanted to make sure the drain tile didn't get crushed or cut. He guarantees me that the basement will stay dry after he finishes and unblocks the drain tile.

I told him that I had posted pictures online and asked for opinions. In reviewing here and other places online... It seems that over half the places I have seen recommend installing the drain tile beside the footer with some saying that what I have is fine as long as it is installed correctly. I told the builder I did NOT want ANY insulation to go up until I see a dry wall after several rain storms and the drain tile functioning at 100%.

He said he would have the foundation company he used come out to inspect it again... So I guess we'll see.
 
  #13  
Old 06-24-15, 09:57 AM
P
Group Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: NC, USA
Posts: 25,243
Received 894 Votes on 824 Posts
With the elevation/slope that you have I find it hard to see how the drain pipes could get clogged solid enough to cause the water to back up into the foundation. It's possible but if there is that much water it would try to wash the pipes out. I'm wondering if the perimeter drain is simply installed too high or if the holes are turned to the top. If yours is sitting on top of the footer that doesn't allow much freeboard before water starts working it's way up between the wall and floor slab.


 
  #14  
Old 06-24-15, 11:58 AM
T
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: USA
Posts: 6
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
It is hard to tell from this shot... But the area where the red circle is located here is at the bottom of the house. The builder needed to build up this area wide enough for a bulldozer to get through to pull some trees out I wanted out at the last minute... I noticed that the roots were clipped and I knew we'd lose them soon and didn't want them on the house.

Anyway... He had to build up that end of the house a little to give me at least a little space to put a concrete pad for my walk-out basement instead of walking out and down a hill. Since he kept going over it, and other subs as well moving equipment and such... He decided apparently to bury the end to keep it from getting cut or crushed. It is encased in good old Virginia red clay... So I am sure water is backing up in there. The other side of the house that is open is dry for the most part.

I see your attachment and that is what I saw most do when I researched this online. I would think that is the preferred way to do it. I will ask why he puts his on top of the foundation and get back to the thread here to post it.

Name:  DrainTile3.jpg
Views: 833
Size:  47.3 KB
 
  #15  
Old 06-24-15, 01:14 PM
K
Member
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Nova Scotia
Posts: 750
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
It is not only the preferred way to do it, its the only way it should pass code. If he says the drain is on top of the footing, it is wrong, that's just the way it is. I can guarantee at some point down the road you will have moisture problems in the basement if it is left that way, especially if the fill around the house is all clay.

The problem with putting it on top of the footing is that by the time the ground water reaches the pipe, it is already exerting hydrostatic pressure under the floor. That water has to go somewhere and if it cants drain out the pipe it will come up from around the foundation walls just like in your pictures, as that is the path of least resistance.
 
  #16  
Old 06-24-15, 02:25 PM
P
Group Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: NC, USA
Posts: 25,243
Received 894 Votes on 824 Posts
Clearing the drain pipes down in the woods is relatively easy so you should do that if you think it's the cause of the water problem. I don't think so but it's cheap and easy so it's worth a try.

You've already got a water problem in the basement and it will only get worse over time. Water seeping in before the house is completed is pretty damming evidence that "something" was not done properly. It will not magically seal itself in the future so now is the best time to address the issue. Unfortunately I think you may be in for a fight with your builder as the fix probably involves excavating around the perimeter and redoing the drainage. The digging will probably damage whatever moisture barrier they applied so that too will have to be redone. Then you just have to hope that things underneath the slab were done properly.
 
 

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
 
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Description:
Your question will be posted in: