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Discussion Starter #1
I just had a new home built, and I have some questions. Admittedly I do not know much about construction, but I have been trying to research.

My first question is does brick have to have a brick ledge? I have a brick skirt around the front of my house about 3-4 feet tall. We had a big rain the other day and some of the dirt washed out from around the house. I noticed the brick was just floating above the ground with no concrete or anything to hold it up. None of the brick was damaged. Around my garage and around the back of the house has a ledge, but the front of the house doesn’t.

My second question is I had some water get in the unfinished basement. I could see water damage about 2 ft up the plywood wall. The contractor sealed around the brick flashing on the outside, and painted that section with kilz. Is this the right thing to do here? That wood was wet (damp) or at least wet stained where I could see the water damage for over 30 days.

My third question is I have a crack in my garage. The garage was built on backfilled dirt. I know the ground was not compacted good before the concrete was poured. I seen a corner of the ground around the garage get washed out during construction, and the contractor filled it up with gravel, then it washed out again. This was a hole under my garage where the concrete was floating a little less than 1 foot above the ground and the hole was about 3 feet deep. Now I have a crack in my concrete floor. From my reading I know concrete does crack. This crack is from one side of the garage to the other. Its not separating much, but it does crack to the expansion joint then pick up on the other side of the expansion joint and go to the other side. Is this ok?

I know its a long post. Thank you for reading and any and all help is much appreciated.
 

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1). Depending on the brick and the way it was flashed would probably determine that answer.

2). If you don't have gutters, add some, it will help. The problem is the pressure in the ground when it becomes saturated, water is forced through the smallest of cracks, seams, etc.

Best solution is dig out around basement and seal from the outside and install a French drain.

You need the water to drain away from the home via a combination of proper grade, French drain, gutters, etc.
 

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Wow.....sounds like your contractor is pretty shady to say the least. Things do settle over time, but looks like you're on shaky ground with your new house. Hope you haven't paid him yet.
He has been paid in full and the mortgage loan has been started. He has been responsive when I talk to him. He came back and put more dirt under the brick that was free floating. He said the crack in the garage is nothing to worry about because its not uneven meaning one side is not higher than the other. I just don’t know enough about it. Maybe he is right and telling the truth, I just don’t know.
 

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Are foundation cracks a big deal? Where I live, Loxahatchee, FL, which is more or less reclaimed swamp....there isn't a house, new or old, that doesn't have the foundation cracks. My 1994 built CBS house has the crack spanning the garage floor and it has never expanded.
 

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Are foundation cracks a big deal? Where I live, Loxahatchee, FL, which is more or less reclaimed swamp....there isn't a house, new or old, that doesn't have the foundation cracks. My 1994 built CBS house has the crack spanning the garage floor and it has never expanded.
Not just foundation cracks. I lived in Florida when concrete block, plaster, and stucco were the norm for house construction. Dry wall was unheard of back then. On topic, I can't ever remember living in a house that didn't get cracks in the ceiling a few months after construction.
 

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1). Depending on the brick and the way it was flashed would probably determine that answer.

2). If you don't have gutters, add some, it will help. The problem is the pressure in the ground when it becomes saturated, water is forced through the smallest of cracks, seams, etc.

Best solution is dig out around basement and seal from the outside and install a French drain.

You need the water to drain away from the home via a combination of proper grade, French drain, gutters, etc.

Its queen size brick. I don’t know about the flashed? Its just a small piece of metal on top of the top brick? I do have gutters now and put corrugated pipe on the ends to get further from the house.
 

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Sounds like he has no clue what he is doing in reference to the garage. Don’t suppose you took any pre pour pics of garage


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They should have brought in a base material and packed in down not just backfill it with dirt. There should have been footers in there. Basically it should have look like the formed area the house slab was done if that makes sense


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Its queen size brick. I don’t know about the flashed? Its just a small piece of metal on top of the top brick? I do have gutters now and put corrugated pipe on the ends to get further from the house.
Has there been seepage since adding gutters?
 

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Has there been seepage since adding gutters?
Where the plywood was getting wet in the basement? Yes the wall still got wet after gutters. They just recently put silicon on the flashing, but it hasn’t rained since then so I don’t know if it will now. Or do you mean has the ground washed away since gutters? Yes it has. Under my front porch which is only one step up there was a hole 3 feet deep. I had a lot of dirt wash away after the heavy rain. The land is not slopped away from the house, but slopped towards the house in some areas. The gutters was on the house for the heavy rain, but I didn’t have the corrugated pipe on then.
 

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They should have brought in a base material and packed in down not just backfill it with dirt. There should have been footers in there. Basically it should have look like the formed area the house slab was done if that makes sense


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It just looked like dirt to me when it was back filled. I was not there the whole time the house was being built. How would I tell if there is footers under the garage?
 

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Basement should have been waterproofed from the outside during construction. Can't waterproof from the inside. Whatever is put on the concrete (I'm assuming concrete walls in the basement) will be pushed off my hydrologic pressure.

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Basement should have been waterproofed from the outside during construction. Can't waterproof from the inside. Whatever is put on the concrete (I'm assuming concrete walls in the basement) will be pushed off my hydrologic pressure.

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The basement was waterproofed during construction. The wall that is showing water damage in the basement isn’t a poured wall. Its on the back of the house.
 

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This is roughly what the garage should have looked like before they poured. There are footers in there for support.

Sounds like this is what they did instead but with just backfilling with dirt

Which is ok for driveways and approaches. But that’s base material under the rebar not back filled dirt


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It just looked like dirt to me when it was back filled. I was not there the whole time the house was being built. How would I tell if there is footers under the garage?
You would see the edge of the concrete going down about 2 feet in the ground.

No footer under sidewalk. Not necessary

This goes down 2 or more feet down below ground level. Footers give support to the slab for weight like house, garages, and what not. But there is base material underneath that was tapered down or compacted to a spec with a roller depending on what the concrete is for


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I will echo several of the previous responses. Far too many contractors just backfill and don’t compact. The gutters are a great start but I’d bet you have negative slope around large portions of the foundation. This can be hard to see if there is mulch or rock around it. I’ve had to pull that back and fill with compacted soil to get the water to drain away from the house. I’d also consider adding French drains and a sump pump, or asking the builder to do it.

As for the garage. The old saying is.... There are two kinds of concrete: cracked and going to crack. It’s what it does. It is supposed to crack in the control joints. My guess is they were not tooled deep enough or cut too late. It’s probably not a big deal. I’d caulk all open cracks with a flexible urethane to keep water out and keep it from getting worse.

Around here, most brick is just a veneer or facade. Nothing structural. Soil washing out from under it shouldn’t hurt anything but is more Indicative of the drainage and compaction issues.

This is so frustrating! Keeping him and good luck.
 
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