Moisture around house

galee83November 6, 2002

Our home is a year old and there is constant moisture around a large portion of my home. We have talked with builder and he sent plumber to check water meter for leak and that doesn't seem to be the problem. My concern is that there could be a leak coming from somewhere else maybe from the shower or bathtub run off and how do I go about finding this out?? Of course builder says there isn't a problem, but my gut says there is. Any help would be greatly appreciated!

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Are you refering to very spots in your yard? If so try digging and see if find some leaking pipes of some sort.

    Bookmark   November 6, 2002 at 7:46AM
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The moisture runs up the brick where the soil is and out from the house. My house is on a slab if that helps any.

    Bookmark   November 6, 2002 at 11:47AM
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Is it inside or outside the house? Where are the brick. Is this a brick veneer house?

    Bookmark   November 6, 2002 at 11:58AM
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There are several water sources, one from the rain gutters and downspouts, one from the waste water (sewer or septic) ,one from the well water entering the house, one from ground water (the house must be on a raised area). Your builder must give you a good diagram showing where everything is(on a two dimensional basis).
The bricks , being in contact with moisture will act as a wick, exposing a too wet area.. Either there is a leak, or the house sets too low. Best of luck, let us know how things turn out.

    Bookmark   November 6, 2002 at 1:29PM
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theglo22 this is outside the house and it is a brick home. So earthworm you are saying that the builder has to give me a copy of the layout that is underground???

    Bookmark   November 6, 2002 at 3:04PM
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if it is a brick veneer home, it just may be water escaping from the weep holes. You can take a look at this article. If you have a line break, you may check the water pressure to see if it is significally low.

Here is a link that might be useful: weep holes

    Bookmark   November 6, 2002 at 6:10PM
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Yes, Yes, Yes..You should know all about everything that has been installed above or under your property.. For years builders and real estate has been negligent in this area. Do not accept any sloppyness or cheapness in this area, after all it is your 100,000 $$$$$.

    Bookmark   November 6, 2002 at 6:23PM
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Galee, if your house is a year old, you probably have a brick veneer house. What should be there (in most cases), from the inside going out:

2x4 or 2x6 framing
sheathing (plywood, OSB or foam)
a continuous drainage plane consisting of housewrap or building paper and flashing
minimum 1" airspace
weep holes at the bottom of the brick walls

Most builders in my area (WI) make huge mistakes on the drainage plane by installing the brick directly over the sheathing without any drainage plane at all. If they have attempted a drainage plane, they usually screw up the flashing or lapping of the housewrap or building paper. They also often tear holes in the housewrap or building paper. All of these things can cause water to enter and damage your framing - this can lead to mold and rotting of the framing. If the weep holes are non existent or buried by soil, then they can't let water out of the wall, which will also cause damage. All claddings (brick, vinyl, stucco, wood, etc.) will allow water to penetrate - that's why a drainage plane behind the cladding is so critical to get right. Brick is a very porous material and water easily enters it and it must have somewhere to go. If the drainage plane and weep holes do not work properly, huge amounts of water will collect in the gap between the back of the brick and the sheathing of the house - I suspect that's why you're seeing so much water around the perimeter of your house.

You need an expert to really evaluate the situation. If I am correct, your builder will not want to correct the problem, you will need a structural engineer's written evaluation. If my suspicions are correct, the way to solve the problem is to remove the brick, fix the drainage plane and/or flashing, and rebrick the house. A very big expense. But not as big as it could be if let go. I know of houses that have had problems with water and mold which end up costing more to fix than the house is worth.

I would not let the builder off the hook. I'd get an engineer to evaluate it and demand that the builder fix it according to specific instructions of the engineer. Good luck.

You might want to read some of the information at and

Here is a link that might be useful: HADD

    Bookmark   November 6, 2002 at 6:31PM
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Suzie I will check out the sites you have spoken about and I am sure I will come back with more questions.Thanks for the info..Theglo22 when you say check water pressure what if the leak is from the actual pipe that runs from my shower drain or tub or even from my toilet. How do I know this??? One more thing Suzie...where do I find the right person for the job? Do they have a specific title.

    Bookmark   November 6, 2002 at 9:01PM
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Yes, you'll want someone who is a structural engineer. Interview several until you find someone who is very knowledgeable about water intrusion problems and the resulting mold and rot. I doubt seriously that your problem is plumbing related.

    Bookmark   November 7, 2002 at 8:45AM
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Initially, I thought if your supply line is broken. The water pressure may drop and you can get a meter a HD to check water pressure but I doubt that your supply line is in your yard. I think the norm is 80 psi. So I think I would rule out a broken line.

Just notice that I have posted the wrong link. That was just a drill I was looking at :). No weep holes or plugged weep holes could be the culprit but if you are getting lots of water and it is not raining, it may be something else.

The weep holes and flashings work like this: When water gets behind the brick veneer (and it does, regularly), flashings catch the water, and water drains out through the weep holes. If water stays in the wall cavity, the wood framing and sheathing can rot, or get all moldy.

You may have to hire someone to look behind the brick veneer to see if flashing is properly installed. Nestor actually gave a very good explaination on how the weep holes work circule the air. You can do a search "weep holes".

I am not sure you need a structural engineer. Normally a professional engineer or even a home inspector would be able to write a report on the problem and suggest a remedy for residential homes. It may be well worth the money to just hire a good house inspector first.

Here is a link that might be useful: weep holes

    Bookmark   November 7, 2002 at 1:56PM
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