Where's the moisture coming from?

This is an interior foundation wall. Shots are of both sides, crawlspace side has visible waterproofing as you can see. The amount of efflourescence is pretty consistant all the way across the floor, rising up about a foot from the floor and fairly heavily encrusted in areas and not necessarily toward the exterior.
Soil in the crawl and basement was mostly dry and efflourescence was no worse where grade dips down on the crawl side.
Grade outside the home is OK.

Dampness at far end may be from snowdrift melt (low pressure area just outide due to deck), but there was no moisture in this area in the crawlspace side of the wall.
Looks to me as though it’s wicking up from beneath the wall.
This is at 8500 ft. elev. and you drive fifty feet up a steep drive to get to the home, so no high water table. No stream near.

If drainage, grading, weeping tile, damp proofing etc. are all OK I would guess it’s ground moisture wicking up the wall too. However, it may also be high levels of interior house moisture condensing on cold concrete in basement .
Just my best guess.

Is this new construction? If so, could it be old moisture stains from the construction phase. Is there anything up the hill from this property that could be channeling water down? During heavy rains could you be getting water between the crawl and the basement wall?

I agree with Eagle Eye but the distinct pattern is likely a cold joint in the concrete pour and a result of leaching from the secondary pour.

At that altitude in CO it’s dry isn’t it? Been to CO many times and wow is it dry up at that altitude… Cotton mouth…

The interesting part about efflorescence is you see it more often when it very is dry outside. The longer the days of dry weather the more I see it on my building foundation walls.
It is leaching the minerals out of the foundation walls (concrete or brick) drawing moisture from the material to the surface. The wicking action of the foundation walls from the soils beneath the footings , draw moisture into the walls bringing it to the surface from the pressure (Hydrostatic) to an evaporation point on the surface.

This is my amateur scientific theory… :wink:

An old masonry guy told me once that efflorescence is mostly seen at about eight feet from the foundation footing here in Chicago . That distance is where the wall is out of the soils high enough for drying pulling the minerals out of the walls at the right “drying” height.

Sure enough I have that condition. Salts , lime… Drinks anyone:D

“Sure enough I have that condition. Salts , lime… Drinks anyone:D”

Ssssssssh! You’ll have Russel Ray in here any minute now.:smiley:

It’s high, but are at the top?

Water runs down hill no matter how high you are.
If you cut into the side of a hill to put the foundation, you can still cut into the water table and cause percolation to occur in the basement/footer.

I think now that spring run-off percs down through the soil until it hits an impermeable layer, like bedrock. It then moves slowly through the earth downhill and I think this foundation footing was near enough to bedrock for moisture to be wicked up through the footing and foundation wall.
30 year old home, seldom used. So yes, David and Patrick, I agree with both of you.