Wet spot on bricks/foundation of 85 year old home - why?

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Posted by: from Toronto
3/17/2012 at 1:20:07 PM

There is a spot on the bricks and foundation of our 85 year old home that always look wet, even when it hasn't rained in days. Any idea what could be causing this?

There is sometimes some water leakage in the basement right in this area, but it is unpredictable (sometimes leaks when it rains but not always), so I'm wondering if it has anything to do with this spot.

Looking forward to hearing what the experts have to say so we can get this fixed - thanks in advance.

wet spot on bricks/foundation of 85 year old home - why?
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Date/Time3/17/2012 at 2:22:59 PM

Hi Janet! Well to start off I don't see any drainage holes in between the brick on the top of the block. But I am wondering if you have any inside plumbing on the inside of that wall? Perhaps a kitchen sink or bathroom? Could there be any pressure pipes leading to a fixture? If so you may want to check to see if it is leaking at a joint or a screw has gone thru the pipe.

Also wheres is your nearest downspout from the gutter. Is there a seam in the gutter up above that may leak. Are the gutters sloped so all the water comes out. Your best bet is to call someone locally to come out to see it first hand. Hard to figure out from one picture.

As to the basement leak, could simply be coming in around the mortar of the block foundation you have there. If that is the case you will need to excavate around your foundation and apply a membrane on the foundation and no doubt have to renew your crain tile around the footing.

Must be someone in your area that can have a look at your problem. sorry I can't be of more help. Good luck with your problem.


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Date/Time3/18/2012 at 6:37:55 PM

Hi Janet,

First and foremost, the birck should NOT be wet and there could be a number of causes. It would be best to arrange for a site visit to fully assess the issue. You could post this project on the site and receive a responsed from qualified folks to have a look.


Kingsway Construction Inc

Glenn Rosborough

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Date/Time3/19/2012 at 4:22:17 PM

Hi Janet,

In my opinion, missing weeping holes is not the problem here. From the picture, it seems like you have solid brick exterior (vs brick veneer). Solid brick walls normally dont require presence of weeping holes.

Your house is 85 years old and basement leakage is typical for house this age. But again, leakage is not ideal and you can in fact do certain things do to improve the condition and perhaps eliminate the problem.

First, start with the basics, inspect your downspouts, grading, gutters etc to make sure that (rain) water is being drained away from the foundation wall.

There could be many reasons why this is happening and it is hard to identify the problem without inspecting the site.

Is your basement finished?

If you would like to discuss this further, please give us a call.


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Date/Time6/3/2012 at 9:09:46 AM

This could be a problem with a window above this area or missing mortar in an area above. Water traveling in behind the brick and settaling it this spot.

There could be a few different reasons, and because this spit is wet it doesn't mean the problem lies there. Weep hole in the brick is nice to have, but don't explain why moisture is getting behind the wall.

You could remove the brick in this area, and the building paper or centre block or wood sheathing behind the brick will show a water stain that will lead to the problematic situation, however to remove all the brick and replace it is very expensive, and just to find that the problem lies on an area around a window that is not caulked, would be a lot of money and work for nothing.

There are some very good sealers out there , that can be applied over the brick, so that the brick does not absorb moisture. But I have a feeling that is not the problem here. Could be as simple as a drop from the plumbing for the out side tap, that is on the left side of the window.

Might be Easyer, just to remove some drywall in this area.

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