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I have a rental property, about 5 years new. The basement is half underground, ground is level, not sloped. Tenant has been noting that there is slow water seepage into their bedroom floor from the edge, during rain. No complaints for first 4 years. The builder suspects plugged weeping tiles,but has not checked yet. Foundation leaks are covered under warranty still. It was built by a reputable builder (I think). Few questions:

  1. Even if weeping tiles are plugged, should I expect the foundation to be water tight anyways and not leak?
  2. Or is it expected that if weeping tiles are plugged, it will seep.
  3. If it is plugged weeping tiles, does that mean the foundation leak warranty does not apply?
  4. When does the foundation leak warranty apply?
  5. Should I file a warranty claim regardless?

EDIT: I should add that there is a sump pump inside the property which I suspect is for taking the drain water away. The builder said it is working, so that is not the issue. I have not been to the property myself as it is an out of town rental unit.

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  • If it is covered by warranty then file the claim.
    – Solar Mike
    Commented Jul 11, 2020 at 10:28
  • The basement floor is usually poured after the footers and walls are in place. So the floor "floats" on the footers. As far as I know the floor to footer joint is not sealed. So if you have water gathering around the base of the footer, it could very easily make it's way into the basement, just seeping in.
    – SteveSh
    Commented Jul 11, 2020 at 10:43
  • Good luck. While it sure seems like it should be covered under warranty, the vast majority of "home warranties" seem to be more of the "you pays your money and they make excuses if you ever file a claim" - i.e. it seems great until you find out too late it was a scam.
    – Ecnerwal
    Commented Jul 11, 2020 at 13:05

1 Answer 1

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Yes, file a claim against the warranty AND file a claim with the local Contractors Builders Board (CBB). It may be called something different in your area.

All contractors are required to be licensed with the CBB in their state. If you don’t know how to contact them, ask your local Building Department.

The CBB will assign a claim number and help mediate a settlement.

I don’t know how the contractor would know why it’s leaking due to a plugged drain tile.

Moisture is either coming up from below (a rising water table) or its coming from the surrounding ground water in the saturated soil, or both.

If it comes up from a rising water table, it will enter the living space from below through the crack between the foundation wall and slab.

If it comes from the surrounding ground water, it COULD enter the living space through the wall, especially if the EXTERIOR side of the foundation wall is not sealed properly.

Either way the moisture enters the living space it will need to be collected and disposed. I think the best way to collect it is on the exterior side of the foundation wall in drainrock and a perf pipe laid 6”-8” below the interior basement slab.

To keep the subsurface water from seeping through the wall, I recommend installing a moisture barrier on the exterior side of the foundation wall and install a 2” thick plastic mesh on the wall to allow water to flow down to the perf pipe. If dirt is allowed to be backfilled against the wall, the dirt could hold the moisture giving it a chance to seep through the wall.

Once collected it needs to be disposed by extending a solid pipe over an embankment or in a collection well and pumped away.

This may be the most expensive method of solving the problem, but it’s sure to work.

Note: I would start a journal listing the dates of the leaks, estimate of quantity of water (location and size), pictures documenting extent of leak, and weather conditions (amount of rain per day, etc.).

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  • Thank you! There is a sump pump somewhere inside the home, I suspect it is to collect drain water and take it away. But builder said it is working, so that is not the issue. I have not been to the property myself, as it was completed and rented and have not gone back to the area.
    – HDer
    Commented Jul 11, 2020 at 19:03
  • I’d get an architect to help you locate the exact problem. Be sure to send notice of claim to builder with Certified Mail so they have to sign “received”.
    – Lee Sam
    Commented Jul 11, 2020 at 20:05

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