What Do I do about this...Pics Incl.

andrelaplume2October 29, 2008

Well, I guess I am glad I decided I will be using XPS when I start to finish my basement.

We have lived here a year and a half and never noticed any moisture issues in our home. We had continuous rain with wind visciously hitting the front of our house today so I decided to check out the basement. I saw some water spots on our poured concrete foundation. Nothing major. In fact if I did not pop down after dinner they likely would have been dry shortly after the rain / wind stopped. Pics are below. It seems the water got in between the top of the foundation and the yellow insulation that sits between that and the joist...it then ran down the wall?.

I took a pic of the front of the house too. I am wondering if the water is getting in where the brick meets the concrete (outside photo). It seems at the right height because I notice a vent and can see the vent pipe (?)inside. (not shown)

What do you guys think I should do?

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andrelaplume2

The prior pics were taken inthe dark last night with my camera's flash. I went out this morning and took a picture in the area of the seepage. It looks like mortar missing between bricks in the area where the seepage occurred...perhaps weep holes....? what can be done?

    Bookmark   October 29, 2008 at 8:03AM
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Get rid of all that wet fiberglass. The moisture in it will just encourage mould growth and it's not any use as insulation. When it's removed, you may be able to see the cracks the water is coming through. Caulk with an appropriate sealant, then use spray foam--Great Stuff etc--

In an unusual condition, water penetration is not unexpected. But when you use the right materials, the water will be handled without damage to the structure or deleterious health effects.

Your photo illustrates why foam, sprayed or board, is ideal for basement insulation. If this wall were insulated with fiberglass alone, the water would be trapped behind a plastic vapour barrier and nourish mould.

Absolutely do not plug the weep holes. If they were done properly, they are draining water from behind the brick wall.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2008 at 11:17AM
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andrelaplume2

Re:
Get rid of all that wet fiberglass. The moisture in it will just encourage mould growth and it's not any use as insulation. When it's removed, you may be able to see the cracks the water is coming through. Caulk with an appropriate sealant, then use spray foam--Great Stuff etc--
In an unusual condition, water penetration is not unexpected. But when you use the right materials, the water will be handled without damage to the structure or deleterious health effects.

The fiberglass is wedged in and can not be fully removed, trimmed but not fully removed. Do you think the water was blown in thru the weep holes? Should use my garden hose to try to confirm this? If so, perhaps some landscaping in front of them is a solution...

Your photo illustrates why foam, sprayed or board, is ideal for basement insulation. If this wall were insulated with fiberglass alone, the water would be trapped behind a plastic vapour barrier and nourish mould.

I AGREE!

    Bookmark   October 29, 2008 at 12:16PM
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Some of the water may have come through the holes, especially if the flashing material attached to the inner wall has deteriorated over the years. But brick and mortar is porous, so it may equally be just what has come through the wall itself. And the sill was probably not sealed well to the foundation. Unfortunately, a previous owner tried to solve that problem with the wrong material--fibrous insulation rather than proper caulking or foam. I'd really try to dig that out as best you can, then seal it properly.

    Bookmark   October 30, 2008 at 2:24PM
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andrelaplume2

Worthy,

The prior owner did not do this; this is the way the home was built 20 years ago. I'll see what I can do and definitely use XPS. I still may shoot some h20 near those weep holes since they appear to be lined up with where the h2o comes in. If I see it coming in, maybe some plantings outside there will deflect rain in the future...though that was a very odd storm we had the other night.

    Bookmark   October 30, 2008 at 2:41PM
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I guess they ran out of caulk and used what was handy.

In the much older homes I used to reno, newspapers were the all-purpose patching, filling material. I used to carefully uncrumple them; the ads, for $5 suits etc. were the most interesting part. When friends were renoing their 19th Century farmhouse they found vintage papers in the walls pre-dating Confederation--when Canada became a nation in 1867.

    Bookmark   October 30, 2008 at 7:06PM
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hendricus

"I guess they ran out of caulk and used what was handy."

"A flexible unfaced fiber glass insulation designed for use between the sill plate and the foundation wall to provide an air infiltration barrier."

This is from the Knaufinsulation web site.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2008 at 10:14AM
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andrelaplume2

...and a water infiltration barrier....?

    Bookmark   October 31, 2008 at 3:06PM
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My mistake! From hereon in, I'm throwing away my caulking and foam and sealing everything air tight with fiberglass.

(Using fiberglass as an air barrier provides an alternative to its oft-demonstrated deficiencies as home insulation.)

Here is a link that might be useful: Fiberglass is a poor insulator

    Bookmark   October 31, 2008 at 3:07PM
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Time for the US Department of Energy-- Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy division to update its website info on air barriers, which reads: "Some types of insulationÂsuch as foam board and dense-packed cellulose insulationÂcan be effective at reducing air flow as well as heat flow. However, the most common type of insulationÂfiberglassÂdoes not stop air leakage. In older homes, dirty fiberglass insulation is a telltale sign of air movement (it collects dirt like a filter)."

    Bookmark   October 31, 2008 at 3:11PM
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andrelaplume2

Well...I wonder 20 years ago if there was a foam type product (like the one sold in rolls that goes under the pt lumber when framing along the floor). Maybe fiberglass was all they had. I am surprised anything got through, think about it, the weight of the house sitting on top the concrete with only a squished piece of fiberglass in between...maybe they would have been better off with nothing.

    Bookmark   November 3, 2008 at 10:17AM
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wonder 20 years ago if there was a foam type product (like the one sold in rolls that goes under the pt lumber when framing along the floor)

For sure! I was using it.

    Bookmark   November 4, 2008 at 5:30PM
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dgmarie

There should be house wrap behind the brick and behind those weep holes. The water should not reach the foundation via weep holes. It is supposed to drain past them and be voided to the exterior of the house.

I would suggest you take a garden hose to each side of your house to see if this condition exists elsewhere, not just on one side. And no, landscaping won't solve this. Brick is pourous and will let in moisture from top to bottom, hence the need for house wrap.

    Bookmark   December 14, 2008 at 10:58PM
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That house was built before housewrap was developed; the builder should have used an asphalt-impregnated paper on the sheathing behind the brick. Short of tearing down the walls, there's no way you can repair or replace it. Just make sure the occasional water that comes in does not get trapped behind a poly barrier in the basement or saturates fibrous insulation.

Belt and suspenders approach to drainage plane.

The bricklayers here hadn't used wrap before, so insisted on using asphalt-paper as well. The black paper laps over black poly on the brick ledge, which acts as a flashing.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2008 at 9:21AM
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