Originally Posted By: mkober
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I’m leaning with Jeff on this issue. “Bleeding” cold joints can be common in the spring of the year, when water tables rise and the builder scrimped on his foundation water-proofing–I’ve seen several in unfinished basements in Wisconsin. The expensive fix is to bring in a foundation water-proofing outfit to tear out all of the landscaping within 6 feet of the house, blast-clean and reseal the exterior walls and possibly throw in an under-drain system. I’ve monitored such a project first-hand, and it’s not pretty. If your soil is naturally well-drained (permeable), there is less likelihood of having problems.
Reinforcing steel is easily detected in a concrete wall (if verifiable plans are not available or inspection records don't exist) by using a pachometer--an electronic device which senses the presence of iron and steel. At $1600 a pop from James NDT, most small- or part-time inspectors couldn't justify springing for one, although a much cheaper variation is available (Model MT-6, by Zircon) which detects all metals but with which I've had only a smattering of experience.
Michael J. Kober, P.E. and H.I.
"NACHI Member and Proud Of It!"