Originally Posted By: ppetroska
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Today I received a call from an excavation contractor who wanted my opinion on a project he had worked on. He had excavated a cellar hole for a lakeside vacation home this past spring. The home had been lifted and moved to the side while the hole was dug and the concrete footings and foundation were poured. The home was then moved back and lowered over the main section of the foundation and a new addition was constructed over the remaining ell. The foundation was built into a hillside (30 degree slope) leading down to the lake, the floor is 20+ feet above the waterline of the lake below. At the customer’s request, the uphill side of the home was graded to within 2 inches of the top of the foundation and there is definitely a negative grade at this part of the foundation. The downhill side of the foundation is a halfwall and is mostly exposed. There are no gutters. The contractor said that he has 18" of stone under the floor and around the footings to deal with the downhill grade. He has perforated drain pipe installed all around the footings, under the stone. He has drain pipes in the footings all around, connecting the inside and outside. The stone outside the wall was covered with fabric and the outside wall was painted with sealant. The foundation was backfilled with gravel and was topped by loam. He does not know whether a vapor barrier was installed before the floor was poured. There is a floor drain installed at the base of the uphill wall but there was no water visible in the drain (not backing up into the cellar). A drain pipe runs from the rear wall about 25 feet out towards the lake and it was dry at the time of my visit. The cellarspace is 8’ deep.
The problem is that the bottom 1 to 2 feet of the uphill wall and the floor are wet (puddles) along the whole length of the wall (40'?) and also along the side wall of the ell and it has pretty much been this way ever since the home was put back. There are no visible cracks. The owners are not happy and claim that the contractor screwed up. I have an opinion as to the cause of the wetness but was curious as what you folks might come up with.