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The Home Smithy
The Home Smithy , Home Builder
Category: Home Improvement
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Experience:  #1 Home Improvement Expert 30+ years experience
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After a fairly heavy rain, I see wet mortar joints in my basement.

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After a fairly heavy rain, I see wet mortar joints in my basement. The block is that grey type foundation block. A few years ago the water line that comes in thru the wall sprang a leak INSIDE the wall where the builder cut a corner and failed to run the water line inside a PVC sleeve as required by code. Good 'ole County Inspectors! How in the world did they miss that?! To make a long story short, I hired a plumber to come in and replace the section of water line coming in and this time put it in a PVC sleeve. Within the past year or so I have noticed in the area where the water line comes into the basement, that the mortar joints get wet after a fairly heavy rain. Haven't yet gone outside and dug down to where it comes in but just was wondering if anyone had a suggestion on what may be causing the wet joints. An added tidbit is that the gutter down spout is connected to 4" black plastic pipe to drain the water away and it is routed along side the house in the area the wetness is coming thru. Not sure if it is the solid type or if the builder used the slotted type. I know, WHY would anyone put slotted drain pipe along the foundation to get the downspout water away from the house! I was thinking maybe when the plumber came in and replaced the waterline that maybe they messed up the waterproofing that is SUPPOSED to be put on the outside of the block below grade but I have my doubts there too if there ever was any. Just haven't yet gotten out there and started digging. Open for ideas/suggestions gents. Thanks much.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Home Improvement
Expert:  The Home Smithy replied 3 years ago.

Hi. Welcome to Just Answer.

If the plumber made the repairs from the outside then the moisture barrier was disturbed. It has been my experience that when a barrier is disturbed by removing the soils next to it that it is inevitably cut, scratched, or pin holed by the work to remove the soil. If the barrier is not replaced, or at mimimum covered over with new moisture barrier extending at least 4' to either side, and sealed on the sides, you will have water incursion into the masonry.

Best suggestion is to remove the sopil in the area that the plumber exposed and properly apply a new layer of moisture barrier.

As for the gutter drain that too can be a major contributing factor. The warter must be drained away from the building. A leech line can not be used unless it is at least 20' away from the building.

Please let me know if you have any other immediate concerns.
If not please select a positive rating at this time. Doing so will not close your question, and after you rate my service you may ask any followup questions you like. All at no additional charge.
Thank you for the opportunity to serve you.
Best, Smitty
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Customer: replied 3 years ago.


Thanks Home Smithy for your advice. I will dig down and see what they did. Am hopeful that the builder did NOT use the slotted type of black plastic pipe to drain the downspout away from the house. Any suggestion on what I should use to re-apply the moisture barrier?

Expert:  The Home Smithy replied 3 years ago.

DB, the best way is to coat the outside of the brick with hot tar. If that is not an option then applying a layer of 7mil plastic (black visqueen) against the building and extending it out minimum of 3' with a swale in the part that extends away from the building to catch any water and channel it off. Please see the drawing below.

Please let me know if you have any other immediate concerns.
If not please select a positive rating at this time. Doing so will not close your question, and after you rate my service you may ask any followup questions you like. All at no additional charge.
Thank you for the opportunity to serve you.
Best, Smitty
**How to rate your expert**

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