Water Leaking into Garage
LESLIE: Alicia in Rhode Island has some pipes that are sweating. Tell us about the pipes: when do you see the sweating on it; how often it’s happening.
ALICIA: Well, actually, I’m not calling about the pipes; I’m calling about the outside water leaking into my house.
TOM: Oh, OK.
TOM: Where is the water leaking from? Where’s the leak?
ALICIA: It’s actually – we noticed it in the garage when we recently had a lot of rain in Rhode Island.
ALICIA: And we just bought this house. It was a foreclosure. And we spoke to the neighbors. They said that the people that had owned it before had said that they were complaining of water in the first floor. It’s a walk-in – there’s no basement – and the walk-in on the first floor is the same level as the garage. And we noticed about a good inch, inch-and-a-half of water in the garage after this last rainstorm that we had.
TOM: So do you think that the water is running down a driveway or where do you think the water is sourcing?
ALICIA: Well, my husband said, when he was using the wet vac to clean it, he could actually see the water coming in from the foundation on the outside wall in the garage.
TOM: (overlapping voices) OK. And opposite that wall, are there any drainage issues? Do you have downspouts? Do you have gutters? Is the neighbor’s lot …?
ALICIA: We do have gutters along the garage; I’m looking at them right now. On top of the garage there are gutters and downspouts on – I know there’s one on one side that I’m actually looking at right now. I’m not too sure about around the corner from that.
TOM: OK, well look. If you get drainage that’s coming through a wall or up under the floor, it almost always is caused by drainage conditions on the outside foundation perimeter. So, you want to make sure that the gutters are clean and free-flowing and the downspouts are well extended out away from the house; even run them out underground so that the water is discharging far away from that foundation.
The second thing is you want to make sure that the soil slopes away from the wall. It’s really critical that the soil slopes away so that any rainfall runs away from those particular walls and doesn’t collect in the backfill zone, which is the dirt right around the foundation there. Because if you collect a lot of water in there, it can pull up through the walls because concrete block is very hydroscopic, it’s very absorbent and it will pull up and actually trickle out into the floor. So you need to do a little bit of investigation as to where the water is collecting around the outside because that’s undoubtedly how this is getting into that space.
ALICIA: OK, thank you very much.
TOM: You’re welcome. Thanks so much for calling us at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.