Water Infiltration/Foundation & Slap in Florida


I purchased our home in 2010 and it was built in 2006 near Tampa, FL. Over the past year the back room of our house gets a little water below the baseboard during really heavy rain over a period of time.

I have to use a carpet shampooer to pickup the water and it is quite a bit, and I have to empty the canister multiple times during fairly heavy rain events.

In trying to track down the issue, I called in a “Leak Detector” company and they told me that my grade was not an issue but there may be cracks in the slab/foundation wall meeting point.

I decided to dig further (no pun intended) and digged about a 1-2’ around the outside of the backroom. Here are some pics.





And on the inside:




You will notice a touch of mold on the carpet tack which i will replace. There has also been a few ants and dirt under the baseboard.

I powerwashed a little of the outside area to clean off the dirt, that is the water puddle shown. I also tried to see if i could make the water go inside, but i could not. I shined a light at night from the inside, could not see any light outside. So either these cracks are very fine or there is dirt in them.

I would like any advice on how to proceed. I will most likely do a french drain as i have a slope directly behind this area to a retention pond, but i would like to seal up outside as well. Should i have cement re-poured to fix the slab edges which appear to have eroded away? What should i use for waterproofing, a Seal-Krete Damplock like material, a bituminous sealer, etc…

Any thoughts would be incredibly helpful.

Just wondering, how much $$ did the leak detection company charge? :-k

Are you getting water inside…where you DUG OUTSIDE? Or are you getting water in…all the way around/other areas?

Before doing ANYTHING else, I would take a HOSE and soak (real good) those exterior openings, soak ALL of them (not a trickle, have water on full blast) up to 30 minutes or until you begin to get water in.

If you begin to get water in then obviously, these exterior openings are either ALL or PART of your problem. Seal them first w/hydraulic cement and then a THICK tar/mastic and then apply a 6 mil visqueen over all of them/everything. I would seal the bricks, the joints…everything below grade, yep.

Now sometimes, on some homes/porches…water can also get in through OTHER openings including WINDOWS. You may also want to spray (real good) the windows and any other openings on the exterior/above grade,where you get water inside. If you get water in when spraying the windows etc then THEY TOO are part of the problem…eh.

Here, PICTURES of a porch/slab where homeowner was getting water in on slab, like YOU.
…see photo’s 28–34 ONLY.

Click each photo to ENLARGE.

28,29 the left side of porch was where they were getting water in, down low inside.

#'s 30–34 dug down about 8" or so, just below footing…see cracks/openings and see the scrapers in those openings???

Before digging I ran a HOSE/water on the outside of this area and sure enough, water entered onto porch slab inside so, knew they were cracks/openings, has ZERO to do w/the grade, that’s a myth.

To seal the cracks etc, used hydraulic cement, then thick tar and visqueen and put in 4-6 " of gravel against bricks. Seal everything BELOW grade, all bricks,mortar joints etc.

Again, sometimes…water can get in through OTHER openings, ABOVE ground level aka, sometimes its a 2 part problem…sometimes cracks etc BELOW grade and possibly 1++ openings ABOVE grade ( small crevices around windows, doors, where a service line enters etc).

TIP-- NEVER trust a fart and NEVER trust an inside system company, pretty much same thing eh, got MILK?

John (Mark) is our resident expert on foundation leakage repair. It would help you to listen to his suggestions.
Best to you.

2006 was one of several years where the houses were completed too fast to meet the huge demand for normal quality control here in Florida.

Without seeing the actual house, I’d bet the leaks are at the window frame/stucco transition, and the “stucco” (cementitious coating) itself is poorly applied and too thin. Very common defects in this area, resulting in water intrusion after heavy rain, or wind driven rain.

Start by sealing the windows, seal the hairline stucco cracks, and paint the exterior walls with high quality paint. If this is a 2 story house, don’t forget to look up and see what’s going there. And make sure your irrigation system isn’t soaking the wall when your not looking.


Thanks John, great suggestions. To answer some of your questions, the water only comes in from one side of the room, the side facing the back wall of the house and it only seems to get really damp in two areas below the window initially before it runs across the wall in an area of about 8’ along the baseboard.

The cost of the leak detection was about $120. To add more to this, the leak detector did mention window openings, but due to the amount of water, he leaned more towards foundation/slab issues. Here are some thermal ir scans they took. (Notice the timestamps). He poured a hose on the window sill for about 10 minutes prior to these pics.




Notice the “pocket” of cold under the window frame at the baseboard, i feel like this could be an area of concentration.


This led me to sealing around the window frame, but it did not help at all. Can i frame our the slab edge and re-pour cement, or would mixing than “pushing” the hydraulic cement be better? Also any brands for the tar sealer that you could recommend?

Quikrete hydraulic cement, Alco or DeWitts (there are other similar kinds) trowel grade tar aka mastic…NOT the watery kind…and 6 mil visqueen, Those are what we’ve always used.

I would spray–soak the entire window(s)…real good, all the way around em all, just like a LONG wind-blown rain. Wouldn’t hurt to soak the stucco good 'n long as well.

Would FIRST start down low…soak those openings/cracked joints/bricks below grade level etc. Up to 30 minutes.
THEN work your way UP…slowly, do the stucco next…soak the crap out of it…and then the windows last…always checking INSIDE to see if any water came in BEFORE working your way up.