barcode printing in Fig. 11-6. Water stains and mineral deposits (efflorescence) in the corner of a foundation wall. in .NET framework

Generating Quick Response Code in .NET framework Fig. 11-6. Water stains and mineral deposits (efflorescence) in the corner of a foundation wall.

Fig. 11-6. Water stains and mineral deposits (efflorescence) in the corner of a foundation wall.
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be a problem Well, as previously discussed, there are many causes for water seepage, and depending on the cause, a single rain might not result in seepage. For example, if water penetrates into the basement through the floor slab as a result of a seasonally high water table and the basement is inspected when the water table is 1 or 2 feet below the high level, a heavy rain will not raise the groundwater level sufficiently to cause water to seep through the floor slab. It takes time for rainwater to percolate into the ground and raise the water table. Water puddles or flooded areas in the basement are obvious signs of a water problem. In most cases, however, you will not see standing water, and you must then make an evaluation of whether there is a condition of water intrusion based on other, more subtle signs. Water-seepage signs indicate only that water has seeped into the basement in the past. They do not indicate the frequency of the seepage or its extent. Consequently, if you see indications of water seepage, you should not engage a contractor to waterproof the house immediately upon taking possession. If you do, it could prove quite costly. First talk with the homeowner about the condition. It is possible that whatever it was that caused the past seepage has already been corrected. (If the problem was corrected by installing buried drainpipes or coating the outside surface of the foundation wall, the correction would not be visible.) If the homeowner indicates that the problem has been corrected, you should ask to see a copy of the paid bill. Or get the name of the contractor so that you can call to find out exactly what corrective steps were taken. Quite often a contractor provides a guarantee against water seepage. If there is such a guarantee, you should find out whether it is transferable. The possibility exists that even though there are signs of water seepage, the actual seepage might occur very infrequently such Water seepage causes and control 135
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as only after an excessively heavy rain as might occur every few years. In this case, depending on the extent of the seepage and the projected usage of the basement, costly waterproofing measures might not be justified. The best approach when considering the correction of water seepage is to correct immediately any obvious problem conditions such as faulty gutters and downspouts, improper grading, cracks through which water is actively leaking, and so on. However, before undertaking any major water-seepage control measures, such as excavating and coating the exterior surface of the foundation wall, inserting perforated drainpipes below the floor slab, or trenching and installing buried drainpipes in the yard, you should live in the house for at least one full year. This will enable you to evaluate the degree and extent of the seepage over a full weather cycle. If it turns out that the year is particularly dry so that there is no seepage, well and good. Wait another year. By not taking a shotgun approach and waterproofing everything, as recommended by many contractors, you might be able to resolve the problem at a cost that truly reflects the work needed to stop the seepage. Seepage indications in an unfinished basement When looking for indications of water seepage, you should check the walls, the floor, the joint between the walls and the floor, and the bases of all the items stored or standing on the floor. Specifically, look for white powdery deposits on masonry foundation walls and floor. (See FIG. 11-7.) The deposits, called efflorescence, are mineral salts in the masonry that dissolve in the water as it passes through the walls or floor. When the water evaporates from the surface of the walls or floor, it deposits these salts. A thick layer of efflorescence is usually an indication of considerable seepage. Walls Look for efflorescence, peeling and flaking paint, and scaling sections (sur136 Basement and crawl space
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Fig. 11-7. Efflorescence and water stains on foundation wall. face deterioration) on the foundation wall. Any one of these items can indicate some degree of seepage. Porous walls, such as those made of cinder blocks, may have damp spots. Masonry-block walls are constructed with interior voids. When the hydrostatic pressure on the exterior portion of the wall is high, the voids often fill with water. As a result, the wall might be quite wet to the touch. (Caution: This might also be caused by condensation.) Vulnerable areas for seepage are cracks and the joints around pipes passing through the wall, such as the inlet water pipe and the drainpipe leading to the sewer. Look closely at these areas for water streak stains and efflorescence. A poured concrete foundation wall is supposed to be more watertight than a concreteblock wall. This, however, assumes that the poured concrete wall is properly constructed. Quite often, it isn t. If the entire wall is not constructed with a single pouring, the joints between the sections constructed with each
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pour are vulnerable to water leakage. I inspected a new house just after construction was completed. The inspection was performed during a heavy rain, which was opportune, although not planned. While inspecting the basement, I found water leaking out of the joint at the seam between the individually poured sections of the foundation wall. The builder s mason apparently had not properly prepared the joint for a new pour, and consequently a cold joint with a poor bond was formed. Look for seepage in a poured concrete wall around the tie-rod holes holes in the concrete wall around the small-diameter metal rods that are used to hold (tie) the forms together when the wall is being poured. More often than not, these holes have been patched over. Also, these tie rods can corrode away over a period of time and when below grade are vulnerable areas for water intrusion. Sometimes you see efflorescence and water streaks just under the hole or patched sections. Occasionally I find these holes plugged with corks. This is not considered a permanent patch, and if seepage should develop, they should be plugged with hydraulic cement. Floors and floor joints A vulnerable place for water seepage is the joint between the foundation wall and the floor. Look closely at this joint as you walk around the entire basement. Water stains and efflorescence are an indication of seepage. (See FIG. 11-8.) You might find silt deposits at the joint. This is also an indication of some degree of seepage. The fine silt is in suspension in the water as the water seeps in from the exterior. When the water evaporates, the silt is deposited. If you find evidence of water seepage through the joint between the floor slab and the foundation wall, you should record it on your worksheet for later correction. The joint should be sealed with either hot tar or a hydraulic cement.
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Cracks tend to develop in the floor slab near the base of metal columns. Look for these cracks and any other cracks in the floor slab. Specifically, look for water stains, efflorescence, and silt deposits. Cracks in basement floors are a common phenomenon and are generally caused by slight settlement or shrinkage in the concrete. Usually they are of no concern other than the fact that water can seep through them. Therefore, they should be sealed. However, if the cracks are extremely wide or show evidence of heaving, they are of concern and should be checked further. In all probability, a cracked and heaved floor slab is the result of water pressure being exerted on the underside of the slab by a high water table. Some homes have a cleanout and trap for the house waste line located in a pit below the basement floor slab. The bottom of the pit
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Fig. 11-8. Signs of water seepage at joint between floor slab and foundation wall. Water seepage causes and control 137
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should be dry. If it is wet, it is an indication of a high groundwater level or a crack in the drain line. Occasionally I find that the top of the cleanout is open. (See FIG. 11-9.) It should normally be plugged. Some homeowners remove the plug so that the open cleanout can function as a drain if the basement becomes flooded. This is definitely not the way to eliminate the water in a flooded basement. If the basement periodically floods and there is no drain in the floor, a sump pump can be installed in the lowest section of the floor. The water can then be pumped out of the basement. With the cleanout plug removed from the top of the house trap, the possibility exists that if the sewer line becomes overloaded (as is the case in some communities), sewage can back up and flood the basement. I know of several homes where this has happened. It was quite unpleasant. Some people lose interest in a house when they find a sump pump in the basement. They think that the house has water problems. That is not necessarily so. There might have been periodic problems resulting from a seasonal high water table, but the sump pump might have controlled the water level. Or the pump might have been installed when the house was
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Fig. 11-9. If the cleanout plug is removed, sewage can flood the basement. 138 Basement and crawl space
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built in order to prevent a problem. To determine whether there still are problems, you must look beyond the sump pump. Look for signs of water seepage. If the house has a sump pump, look down into the pit. If there is water in the pit and you are inspecting it during the dry season (the water table is usually highest during the spring), the sump pump will probably be operating continuously during the spring. Try to check the sump-pump operation. However, do not actuate a pump unless there is water in the pit. To check the operation of the pump and motor when there is no water in the pit, fill the pit using a garden hose or gently tip in a couple of large buckets of water. If you notice that the water is disappearing into the ground or under the slab before the pump has a chance to activate, wrap a plastic sheet around the wall of the pit. You may have to line the pit bottom with plastic as well. When you actuate the pump, watch the water level to see if it drops. You might find that the motor that drives the pump is operational but the coupling between the pump and the motor is broken. In this case, it will sound as if the pump is working, but it is not, and the water level will not drop. A sump pump is relatively inexpensive and can be repaired or replaced easily. Although a sump pump is sometimes located in the low section of the floor (when it is being used to collect surface water), it should not be located where it will present a tripping hazard. (See FIG. 11-10.) The pump can be placed in a corner where it will not take up valuable floor space and can be connected to the low spot in the floor by a drainpipe placed below the floor slab that discharges into the sump pit. After inspecting the walls and the floor for signs of water seepage, you should check the bases of items stored or standing on the floor for water stains and rust. You might find that the walls and the floor of the basement appear
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