I recently moved into a newly built house in an area still in construction. My house was completed before my immediate neighbours. While they were excavating, they took large chunks of our foundation wrap out.

I made this known to our site supervisor. His solution was to pin back what was left over as "it [is] deep enough down from finished grade to worry about sealing".

I looked up the installation manual for the "DMX Foundation Wrap" that they used. It has a section on fixing tears, so I'm weary that leaving it alone is an acceptable solution. Additionally, it suggests that it be installed an inch below final grading (which it is). Evident in the pictures below, the tear is about half a foot down. Is half a foot really "deep enough" to not be of concern? Will this have any future detrimental effects on my foundation? Should I request this be repaired/fix it myself?

A large tear. A even larger tear...

Edit: There's not actually enough material to pin back. It's completely gone.

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    Show the builder the documentation you found on how to properly complete the repair, and tell them to fix it. It's easier to fix it now, then to patch a leak later. – Tester101 Aug 8 '14 at 11:18
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    My advice is to fix it yourself and be done with it. A repair by someone who doesn't care is not worth pursuing. The only alternative I would consider is calling the person with their name on the door at the homebuilder and tell them (or the receptionist) what happened. But unless it gets fixed promptly, better just to get on with life. – user23752 Aug 8 '14 at 17:35
  • It seems like a really dumb idea to design a foundation to depend on a thin layer of plastic exposed above grade. After you have it fixed, it might pay off to have it protected in some manner. – iLikeDirt Sep 16 '14 at 16:03

This needs to be repaired, whether you do it, or the builder does it. It is the builders responsibility, but if he does not do it, it still needs to be done. I read the install guide, they claim that a tear will not cause a problem, that is true over the short haul. Eventually dirt or sediment will leach in and begin to fill the void that is made for the water to travel out by. THAT will hold the moisture to the wall instead of letting it go down and drain into the drain tile.

Now, imagine that the dirt, a lot of it, compared to what it should be, (which is none) is already at the wall, it rains, now the dirt is already inside the cavity where the water, which is not really ever supposed to get in beyond the barrier, is now being pushed/washed into the void. Oh, that water is never really supposed to be in to begin with.

If only a few months have passed, the amount of dirt and water that gets in there should be minimal, hopefully, no concern. If it is repaired now, using the guidelines set by the manufacturer.

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  • Very good point! I hadn't thought about the dirt leaching in behind the wrap. As an update since the original question, our builder has since repaired the tears, but not to the standard as defined in the installation guide (less than 1 foot of overlay from the tear). – Simon Jan 8 '15 at 15:30

Heavy rains in future will pose a damp wall problem with fungus over the years. Get it fixed promptly. Subfloor adhesive will bond and seal well with overlap and is cheap in large tubes.

You can always demand compensation before you do it, but don't expect much.

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    I agree with this answer but I would suggest demanding that the builder fix it per the manufacturer's instructions rather than doing this yourself. – BigRon Nov 30 '14 at 20:10

This is clearly unacceptable and should be reinstalled.....not repaired as there is not really proper way to repair it and be as good as it was when originally installed......a piece of the material should be overlaid on the torn areas with a least one foot overlap and sealed as per manufacturers suggestion.

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