short stem wall and siding issues


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Old 07-09-24, 05:59 AM
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short stem wall and siding issues

The basement wall around out walk up basement (commonly known to us as "the pit") has a very short stem wall of just several (maybe 3 max) inches. The ground level is very close to that. We have a moisture & mold problem in the corner of the basement where this wall is. In the past we've dug out some dirt from close to the house to expose more of the foundation so water wouldn't seep up into the framing and dry wall around the area. Contractors also installed flashing tacked beneath the siding that is bent at a 90 degree angle at the top of the stem wall to prevent rain water from seeping into the basement. A narrow strip of siding is at ground level, touching the ground. There's not enough stem wall to having the siding a proper distance from the ground without having the foam sheet and framing showing.

Apparently, water has been seeping down the cement wall to that corner of the basement, or moisture isn't able to evaporate properly. There's a fair amount of moisture/mold in the corner (again). My (probably wrong) assumption is that moisture isn't able to properly evaporate/dissipate from the wall because of the flashing so it stays trapped in the wall. Or maybe it's caused by water seeping into the ground from the long side of the wall. I looked at the ground in the pit by the wall and it seemed fairly dry. There didn't seem to be any excess moisture.
Is there a proper solution for a short stem wall close to the ground? Flashing helps to keep water from a hard rainfall out of the wall.
How can we keep that corner of the basement dry?
Thanks for suggestions.


 
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Old 07-09-24, 06:51 AM
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Can you post a picture from outside taken further away so we can see more of the general area and what it looks like above ground level? You talk a lot about a 3" stem wall but I'm not seeing it.
 
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Old 07-09-24, 07:26 AM
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More images

Here is a picture of “the pit “. The problem area is in the far left corner.And a


nother picture of the detail of the footing and the short siding piece and the first course of siding the stem wall is behind the narrow piece of siding that sits almost on the footing.
I believe everything was fine after the house was built and then some previous owner brought in a lot of dirt for plants down there and over the years the dirt has build up. When idea may be to take some of that dirt out and get the ground level an inch or two below the top of the footing. Sounds like a lot of work for someone.😳
 
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Old 07-09-24, 09:22 AM
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There is almost nothing you can do about the concrete to wood interface. It's almost impossible to keep water from seeping between the two.

I would excavate to get the soil down as much as possible. I like to see 4-6" of the footer exposed above grade as the minimum. The higher the better to avoid water splashing back up onto the top of the footer. Plus, stuff tends to accumulate over time. In 10 years a good bit of that 4-6" may be buried so exposing more up front saves you from having to rework the area more frequently.

Then remove the bottom row of siding and install flashing that comes down the wall, turns horizontal to cap the exposed footing, then has a lip bent downward over the footer. This will prevent any water from getting on top of the footer and weeping or wicking into the house.
 
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Old 07-09-24, 04:19 PM
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my ideas exactly. I need to shovel out dirt. There is flashing behind the bottom course of siding but it doesn't turn to cover the footing, it just goes straight down to the footing. Making it turn is a good idea. Now to get out the shovel and start digging and bring the dirt up bucket or two at a time. I always need more to do.
 
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Old 07-14-24, 06:18 PM
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So.... I started digging and ran across cement. I guess some previous owner wanted to 'beautify' the pit and added some cement probably for a path. It extends about 12' along the stem wall and is about 2' wide at its widest point. I started digging it out and most of it comes up easy except where the water issue is (of course). There it's about 2.5" thick for some reason. I'll keep digging it out bit by bit. That should help a lot. Owners have brought in a you know what load of soil to mound it up in the opposite corner for plantings. Of course, the soil slopes towards the house. I'm hoping that rain will seep into the ground there and not have too much run off towards the house.

I'll remove more dirt up around the house and maybe put in a drain hose, if I knew how to fix the slope of that. There's no good way for rain to get out of the pit. If I have any luck maybe there's already a drain pipe there. Ha.


 
 

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