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"Waterproofed" cinder block basement already wet after less than 1 year

"Waterproofed" cinder block basement already wet after less than 1 year


  #1  
Old 05-24-21, 09:04 AM
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"Waterproofed" cinder block basement already wet after less than 1 year

Last fall I hired a contractor to build an addition onto our existing home. Although they were a reputable company we had tons of issues with them. While they did come back and "fix" the problems we had to make them redo many items due to how poor their quality control was (the company we hired offered the project management services while they hired out specific jobs to different crews/specialists). The basement was made of cinder block and was "waterproofed" with the tar and a foam insulation board. I was ensured that we would not have any water issues since it was "waterproofed." After they finished up I planted some grass so I have been watering the area. I only run a sprinkler once every day or two for maybe 15 minutes in the area. While the ground is wet, its by no means soaked and there has never been a pool of water.

Yesterday I noticed in one spot of the wall, there is already water penetrating through the cinder block! First off, its supposed to be waterproofed but I understand a ton of water could maybe cause something like this. However as mentioned I've only ran a sprinker in the area for 15 min every day or two for the last week. And even if the wall did get a little wet, it shouldnt penetrate all the way to the interior after such a short period of time. We haven't even had rain in the last 10 days or so. Also I water all around the addition and this is the only wet part of the wall I see. The 2nd picture is the outside, the wall is in between the downspout and exhaust pipe. What could they have done wrong to cause this? Again this construction started last fall and finished in late March/April of this year so it's very new.

Given all the quality issues we've already had, I am very concerned. I would like your input , thank you.




 
  #2  
Old 05-24-21, 09:10 AM
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Have you contacted the builder? I know a 1 yr warranty is mandatory for new houses, I don't know about additions.

Obviously the wall wasn't damp proofed correctly.
 
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Old 05-24-21, 09:11 AM
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You mentioned waterproofing on the wall. Did they install a perimeter drain system to carry water away from the basement?
 
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Old 05-24-21, 09:19 AM
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Thankfully there is a 1 year warranty. I sent them an email so I have proof of the time/date but am waiting to hear back. Iím sure they will have some kind of excuse so I wanted to get input from this group so I have some knowledge before I talk to them.

As far as the draining goes, that downspout you see is brand new and attached to the new addition. I know itís tied into a new exterior footer drain that wraps around the house and goes out to to the road. Itís all PVC pipes.
 
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Old 05-24-21, 10:13 AM
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Since I recorded this project from start to finish here are some pictures before they put in dirt. Looks like the downspout pipe goes into the footer and is under the rocks (limestone?). Any thoughts what could have possibly gone wrong to cause that water to come in?



 
  #6  
Old 05-24-21, 11:14 AM
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I did receive a call back. The contractor stated that while the cinder blocks are waterproofed, the brick veneer is not. He thinks that the bricks must have got sprayed by the sprinkler and that is why the water came through there. He said they can put some kind of clear membrane/coating over the bricks since they can't use regular tar because that would look weird (i agree). He had asked that I monitor it and if this continues they can put the clear coat over the bricks. Does that make any sense that a sprinker being ran for 15-20 min for a couple days would cause water to leak all the way through like that? It's not like a sprinker was being ran for hours at a time and directly hitting the brick but its certainly possible that some water splashed up on the brick.
 
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Old 05-24-21, 11:19 AM
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A sprinkler shooting into a weep hole in the brick is the only way I can think of that that much water could enter, and I'm not seeing any weep holes in your photos.
 
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Old 05-24-21, 11:38 AM
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You are correct, there are no weep holes. I would think if it truly came from the bricks, they would be completely saturated. The bricks arent even wet on the exterior.
 
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Old 05-25-21, 04:32 AM
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The soil up against the foundation must not become soaked. You might need to regrade the land around the house so water does not collect around the foundation.
 
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Old 05-25-21, 07:15 AM
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Looks like the brick facing goes all the way down to the footer and the waterproofing is on the brick face. Correct?

Usually the brick would stop at or just below grade on a support ledge and the waterproofing would be directly applied to the cinder block. A space between the brick and block would allow any moisture to weep down and be directed over the support ledge.

Were the blocks filled or left hollow?

How far below grade are the water spots in the basement?

What is on the floor above? Kitchen, bath, piping?

Could there be something above that is leaking inside the house and flowing down inside the wall until It fills block space or hits a mortar joint and weeps out?

What is happening a the left end of the waterproofing? It looks like it stops but is still below grade. A cold joint there when additional waterproofing was continued later could be a leak at the joint.
 
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Old 05-25-21, 07:33 AM
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The bricks only go down until you see the waterproofing. The rest below grade is just cinder block and that is what has the waterproofing tar over it (it's not bricks all the way down to the footer, its just cinder block). The cinder blocks are hollow. The left of the waterproofing is the existing house garage that is on a slab, that is why you don't see any waterproofing there.

There is a kitchen above that section of the basement. I can double check and make sure nothing is leaking there.

The water spots on the wall are probably 6-7 feet down below grade (1-2 feet above the floor). It was odd to me that just those 2 water spots were present. It would make more sense to me if the whole wall was soaked. I did climb up from the basement and shine a flashlight down into the cinder blocks. I couldn't see real well but it did not look wet at all at the top of the block.

 
  #12  
Old 05-25-21, 08:53 AM
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A coating of tar is not a fool proof water proofing material, especially over block which is very rough, very porous, and prone to cracking. A membrane system would be better.

I don't believe that gutter going into the footer drain is causing the problem but I would not have done that.

Chances are slim your going to get much out of whoever did the foundation work, one thing I don't see is what have you done to get water away from the house, downspouts and grading are you #1 line of defense!
 
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Old 05-25-21, 10:43 AM
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From your first post
the wall is in between the downspout and exhaust pipe.
.

Are you calling the exhaust the oval pancake item or the pipe with elbow down?

Either of those could be an exhaust from a high efficiency boiler or HW heater. Do you have either of those? Do they have correct/adequate condensate removal? Could a condensate leak in an exhaust pipe where it penetrates the wall be the cause?

From your latest post:
The cinder blocks are hollow.
So any water getting into the hollows would fall to the floor. Your water spots are landing on joints and allowing enough to accumulate and seep through. Not likely that water getting through the "waterproofing" on the outside surface of the block would do that. Something is leaking on/at/near the inside part of the block.
 
 

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