03:12PM | 01/29/06
Member Since: 01/28/06
3 lifetime posts
hello all! i have a big problem with a starter house i purchased a few years ago and figured i'd come here for some sage advice.

the problem is simple: water is seeping into the northeast corner of the bedroom whenever we have a heavy rain. i purchased a dehumidifier last summer to help remedy the situation, but as i'm sure you've figured out by now the problem has gotten out of control. the carpet permanently smells like mildew in that corner and i'm sure once i tear-down the wallpaper, the drywall will be rotted.

from what i understand, the room was an addition and it's obvious from just giving it a once over that it was poorly constructed. i have no idea what foundation they laid. the house does not have a basement and the crawlspace does not extend underneath that room. i'm assuming it must be conrete slab.

does anyone have any advice on how i should tackle this problem short of hiring a contractor? or can you perhaps point me to any books/videos that may address problems like this?

thanks in advance for listening and if you need any other info, please ask and i'll gladly oblige it.




05:24AM | 01/30/06
Member Since: 06/06/03
1248 lifetime posts
Hi Jeff,

Just a few ideas. First, try and minimize the amount of water on that corner by:

1. Your roof can pour tons of water onto the ground. So, put extenders on your downspouts off the roof in that corner.

2. Slope ground away from the house, and try to get water to run away from that corner.

3. Hunt around through former posts in the Basements forum. I seem to recall, a while back, that there was an interesting url someone had posted about hydrostatic pressure. If you can't find it, try some internet searches.

4. Post this question to the basements forum; some pros sometimes hang out over there.

5. You will probably need to pick up that corner of the carpet, prop the carpet up and set fans to help it dry out.

Good luck.


-k2 in CO

Moderator, Miscellaneous Forum


03:22PM | 01/30/06
Member Since: 01/28/06
3 lifetime posts
hey k2....

thanks for the advice. unfortunately, the situation is far worse than i had anticipated... on several levels. i ripped up the carpet in that corner this morning, and as i expected the sub floor was rotted out. what i didn't expect was that there was no slab... no foundation... no vapor barrier.... nada. just sub-flooring on top of dirt. what were they thinking? i'm most definitely over my head here. looks like it's time to call a contractor.


03:29PM | 01/30/06
Member Since: 06/06/03
1248 lifetime posts
Hi again Jeff,

Wow. Was this problem disclosed by the previous seller? As it's been a few years you might not have recourse--but I thought I'd ask... (No, I am not an attorney!)

I will send Glenn (moderator of Foundations) a note pointing to your post. Perhaps he can shed some light on your situation.


-k2 in CO

Moderator, Miscellaneous Forum

Glenn Good

04:21PM | 01/30/06
Member Since: 09/10/03
320 lifetime posts
Hello jshirilla and K2,

Sounds like you have a very serious problem. I believe it is indeed time for a contractor. I would be very interested in seeing some photos of your situation. If you can, post them and place a link to them here, or go to my website and email me a few.

I know it is too late for this to help you now but I am going to say it for the benefit of other readers...It is always a good idea to hire a certified home inspector to do a thorough inspection of any property you are interested in purchasing. It is very rare that the inspection will cost more money than it will ultimately save you.

I would suggest you contact a lawyer for a consultation. I do not know how long ago you purchased the property but if the disclosure laws were in effect and the problem was not disclosed before you purchased the property you could possibly have some recourse. The chances my be slim but it would be worth checking into. The big problem may be in proving that the previous owner was aware of the problem before the property was sold.

The repair of this problem could very easily go into the tens of thousands of dollars. I could tell you more if/when I see some photos.


Moderator: Construction Systems, Foundations, and Masonry & Stone

For more information about me, my qualifications, and/or home inspections please visit my website at:


04:33PM | 01/30/06
Member Since: 06/06/03
1248 lifetime posts
Thanks Glenn for your VERY FAST response!

I, too, would love to see pictures of this. Definitely worth uploading and posting the url.

Perhaps there's a 'silver lining'--in that it might be relatively easy to dig a REAL foundation and bring in bags of concrete--since there's no existing floor in the way(?)

Good luck Jeff, and thanks again Glenn.


-k2 in CO

Moderator, Miscellaneous Forum


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