Q: I had some moisture in my basement this winter--got onto the carpet foam and made a mess. I removed some drywall to see if there was a leak, but the only obvious issue is wetness on the vapor barrier directly behind the drywall and dampness in the drywall as well (see photo). Any ideas how to deal with this? The foundation and fiberglass insulation appear to be … [Read more...] about How To Diagnose Leakage In Finished Basement?
Q: I have a 1970's split level, 2000 sq ft house. I am renovating and have totally removed all the finished walls. I always had to run a dehumidifier and I now see I have some moisture issues. On two walls I had efflorescence which I painted and now the floor about a foot out from the concrete block wall is spalling and has efflorescence. I also have a block chimney on … [Read more...] about Preventing Efflorescence & Spalling in Foundation
Q: We recently purchased a property that has an old detached garage on it. Water is leaking into the garage all around the perimeter at the bottom of the wall (first photo). The garage is slab-on-grade construction with a 12-in.-high concrete stem wall placed on top of the slab. The problem is that the slab extends 6 in. beyond the stem wall, forming a horizontal skirt around … [Read more...] about How To Stop Leak Onto Garage Floor?
Q: Hi. We are having a home built and there is a 4-ft.-high, 8 in. poured concrete wall for a crawl space foundation. When the forms were removed there was a serious crack in the wall (see pic). I'd like to better understand the cause of the cracking and any recommendations for repair before any further work progresses. Thank you , Mike A: Diagonal cracks in a foundation … [Read more...] about How Serious Is Diagonal Crack in Basement Wall?
Q: A plumber disconnected service from our old well and connected the house to city water. The well was never capped. Could that be the source of our leak under the slab on grade? -- Thomas A: Capping of an old well keeps debris and surface contaminants out of the well in case you want to use it in the future. But a cap would not affect underground leakage. Unless you have … [Read more...] about How To Find An Underground Water Leak
My new house, built on a concrete slab, is about 60% done, framing and drywall are in. My concern is I have several hairline cracks throughout the slab. I purposely had the slab made thicker (6 inches) with heavier rebar and a fiber- type additive to hopefully minimize this from happening. Is there anything I should do prior to having my flooring installed or something I … [Read more...] about Are Cracks in Concrete Slab Normal?
Pierre writes: My basement wall is insulated with a 2 inches of Styrofoam on the interior and I built a 2×4 wall and added Roxul insulation. I planned to install vapor barrier on top. Is it OK to add this vapor barrier? It is for a bathroom with a tiled shower. I live in central Ontario, Canada. Steve Bliss, of BuildingAdvisor.com, writes: The short answer is: Don’t use a … [Read more...] about Basement Vapor Barriers
Don asks: Our house measures just over the EPA limit for radon. Is this something we should be concerned about or are the risks overblown? How effective are radon mitigation systems and what do they cost? -- Doug M. Steve Bliss, of BuildingAdvisor.com, responds: While radon stories rarely appear in the news anymore, the health risk from exposure to high levels is real and … [Read more...] about Radon Risks and Best Way To Mitigate