LESLIE: Bill in Texas has a leak in the foyer. What’s going on? Tell us about the problem.
BILL: Oh, I built – my slab was poured in 1980. And in the foyer, we – at the same time they poured the slab, they poured, I guess, a sunken flower holder. And water seeps up through it; through the bottom.
TOM: Yeah. OK.
BILL: And it’s coming in where they put the 2-bys around; edge-ways to put the form to it.
TOM: Yeah, they formed it. OK.
TOM: When you have an excessive amount of water and it collects on the outside of this area, what happens is it’s going to puddle; it’s going to saturate into the concrete. Concrete is very hydroscopic; it means it soaks the water up like crazy. And so it’s drawing into the concrete and ponding inside your house and your foyer area.
So, what you need to do is look at the drainage situations outside this area. You want to make sure you’ve got a gutter collecting water that comes off the roof. You also want to make sure that the soil around the house has a clear path to drain away. So, in other words, it can’t be boxed in by bushes or brick edging or railroad ties or landscape beds or anything like that. You want it to slope clear, clean away from the wall.
The way you’re going to stop this is not by putting stuff on the concrete to try to seal it like a boat. The way you’re going to stop this is by stopping the water from getting there in the first place. So this is a water management problem that you need to solve.
BILL: Alrighty. Appreciate it.
TOM: You’re welcome. Thanks so much for calling us at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.