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  1. #1
    Zane Remenda's Avatar
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    Default What would cause this? Stains on a new foundation

    There are white stains (efflorescence) on the foundation. However, it is only in between the stairs. At first I thought it may be snow accumulation, but there are no stains on the other sides of the stairs.

    The building is a 2009 construction.

    The town houses have similar stains in all the same places.

    The gutters above this area were fine.

    What would cause this?

    Thanks


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  2. #2
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    Default Re: What would cause this? Stains on a new foundation

    My Guess ( based on this photo ) is urine stains.
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  3. #3
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    Default Re: What would cause this? Stains on a new foundation

    Water management issues from downspout and water spigots?

    Efflorescence
    Water vapor is migrating to the surface carrying the mineral salts from within to the exterior.
    • First: There must be water-soluble salts present somewhere in the wall.
    • Second: There must be sufficient moisture in the wall to render the salts into a soluble solution.
    • Third: There must be a path for the soluble salts to migrate through to the surface where the moisture can evaporate, thus depositing the salts which then crystallize and cause efflorescence.
    All three conditions must exist. If any one of these conditions is not present, then efflorescence cannot occur.

    In the photos it appears the parging maybe be giving up the salts rather than the concrete foundation.

    Last edited by Raymond Wand; 03-22-2012 at 04:50 PM.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: What would cause this? Stains on a new foundation

    Cold joint in the foundation wall.

    That is my guess.

    Of course, though, it is water causing that efflorescence, but the cold joint is allowing the problem to be located there.

    I doubt it is urine.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  5. #5
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    Default Re: What would cause this? Stains on a new foundation

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post

    Cold joint in the foundation wall.

    That is my guess.

    Of course, though, it is water causing that efflorescence, but the cold joint is allowing the problem to be located there.

    I doubt it is urine.
    .
    OK I see the hose bibs above the wet spot ( water )

    If It's a Cold Joint it sure has a Big Hump in the Middle.
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  6. #6
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    Default Re: What would cause this? Stains on a new foundation

    Quote Originally Posted by Billy Stephens View Post
    If It's a Cold Joint it sure has a Big Hump in the Middle.
    Yep, not uncommon for cold joints, that's where they discharged the last of the previous load of concrete. They paid for that concrete and they want it all out of the truck, "Jus' put er right chere." is what they tell the driver.

    Also common is for the cold joint to taper off like the slump of the concrete from the workers trying to keep the part done full, letting the rest just slump down and away from the working area.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  7. #7
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    Default Re: What would cause this? Stains on a new foundation

    Third photo -
    No downspout installed on end unit, it is installed around the corner. Large roof - undersized gutters/downspouts, overspill in heavy rains against foundation.


  8. #8
    Zane Remenda's Avatar
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    Default Re: What would cause this? Stains on a new foundation

    Thanks for your input,

    I buy the "cold joint" theory. It for sure is not urine, I opened the exterior water valve seconds before taking the picture. Sorry for the confusion.

    Anyway, to the best of your knowledge, is the parging enough to protect the foundation? Or should the foundation be repaired in these areas?

    I'm guessing the only way to find out is to remove the parting to see?

    Thanks
    Zane


  9. #9
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    Default Re: What would cause this? Stains on a new foundation

    ........it's where the salted-snow ends up when the stoops are shoveled?


  10. #10
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    Default Re: What would cause this? Stains on a new foundation

    Quote Originally Posted by Zane Remenda View Post
    Thanks for your input,

    I buy the "cold joint" theory. It for sure is not urine, I opened the exterior water valve seconds before taking the picture. Sorry for the confusion.

    Anyway, to the best of your knowledge, is the parging enough to protect the foundation? Or should the foundation be repaired in these areas?

    I'm guessing the only way to find out is to remove the parting to see?

    Thanks
    Zane
    .
    You could Clean and Seal the Area.
    .

    It Might have Choked Artie But it ain't gone'a choke Stymie! Our Gang " The Pooch " (1932)
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  11. #11
    Zane Remenda's Avatar
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    Default Re: What would cause this? Stains on a new foundation

    Quote Originally Posted by Gregory Booth View Post
    ........it's where the salted-snow ends up when the stoops are shoveled?
    I doubt it, as there is no efflorescence on the outside side of the stairs. What are the chances that people only shovel snow in the middle?


  12. #12
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    Default Re: What would cause this? Stains on a new foundation

    Quote Originally Posted by Zane Remenda View Post
    I doubt it, as there is no efflorescence on the outside side of the stairs. What are the chances that people only shovel snow in the middle?
    ...........the stairs are pre-cast and set in place--they would not neccessarily react to salt/snow mix...........Greg.


  13. #13
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    Default Re: What would cause this? Stains on a new foundation

    Was the inside foundation wall exposed in order to confirm a cold joint?


  14. #14
    Zane Remenda's Avatar
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    Default Re: What would cause this? Stains on a new foundation

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymond Wand View Post
    Was the inside foundation wall exposed in order to confirm a cold joint?
    Unfortunately, The basement walls were finished from the inside.


  15. #15
    Stephen G's Avatar
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    Default Re: What would cause this? Stains on a new foundation

    You live where you get lots of snow, and use salt and sand to keep the roads safe. Walk up to the front door stamp off the slush off you boots then shovel it off.
    The large pile of snow mixed with the salt is wicked into the parging leaving a nice stain.
    Use the hose and a stable brush and wash the salt lick of the wall.


  16. #16
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    Default Re: What would cause this? Stains on a new foundation

    If you look at the pictures you can see that the unit on the left has a downspout at that location and the unit on the right (had) is missing the downspout in that location.

    I suspect that roof run off is being absorbed by the concrete causing the stains.

    Ken Amelin
    Cape Cod's Best Inspection Services
    www.midcapehomeinspection.com

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