Q: We are building a family home in Toronto, Canada using a local builder. Due to soil conditions, we had to raise our founding level. The code requires the underside of footings to be 4 ft. below grade for frost protection. In our case with a sloping grade, the footing depth is 4 inches less than the required 4 ft in some locations. The structural engineer’s opinion is … [Read more...] about Frost-Protected Shallow Foundations
Q: We are looking to refinish our basement in Portland OR. Because 2x4 wood studs are already installed, we can’t install foam board tight to the poured concrete foundation. Can closed cell spray foam provide effective barrier and insulation instead? Or will thinner spots behind studs limit effectiveness? - James A: It sounds like you have some space between the studs … [Read more...] about Can I Foam Basement Wall With Existing Studs?
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 have purchased 13 acres of land with a gorgeous mountain view in North Georgia that previously had chicken houses on it. The houses were torn down two owners ago. There were 6 total houses, 3 new and 3 very old and collapsing. We did all of the "right" things, so we thought, during the due diligence period. Perc testing, plat maps, checked on zoning, checked for … [Read more...] about Building Over Buried Agricultural Waste
Q: What are the best practices for a vented crawlspace? I bought a townhome last Nov. that has a vented crawlspace with a sump pump. There is a vapor barrier on the ground. There is a truss floor system that has faced batts that hang below the subfloor (the facing does not touch the subfloor), the rim joist was sealed with spray foam at the top and bottom and filled with … [Read more...] about Vented Vs. Unvented Crawlspaces
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?