We recently bought a house (10 yrs old) It is on a slab foundation (most are around here) and sits on a heavy clay soil. The soil is like something you'd want to make pottery with. We live near a large lake in Virginia Beach.
The house has concrete blocks around the base of the house. I noticed in the garage that their are damp spots around these blocks. Some of it looks stained with a white border (presumably some mineral leeching out) I don't see any cracks but maybe there could be below ground level.
How serious a problem is this and how would we fix it?
I assume we need to get as much soil away from the blocks as possible but how far down would we go. Would french drains help around the perimeter of the house?
We have an inground watering system supplied by well water. Could that be causing some of the problem? How would we check for leaks?
The soil is probably alkaline which is causing the concrete to effloresce the cement. This soil does need moisture though for this to happen. You might try waterproofing around the footings to prevent moisture from getting into the concrete. I doubt that the well would cause much of a problem since the soil is clay and its permeabilty is low anyway. Gutters around the house and directing the water away from the house could also help.
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