The Situation

The garage in a Ft. Worth area property experienced leaking between the floor and the cinder block wall bottom, an area called the ‘cove joint.’ The excess water was a result of recent heavy rainfall.

The home was a 2-story wood framed residential structure with a cinder block garage installed into the side of a hill. In order to prevent further flood damage, the homeowner contacted Crosstown Engineering to conduct an inspection.

Analysis

Our structural engineers inspected the garage and determined that the cinder block walls above the crawlspace of the pier and beam area retained water. The hydrostatic pressure of the water forced itself through cracks in the cinder block wall and through the cove joint.

The crawlspace also contained brittle, deteriorated cinder block walls and wet areas next to the wall in the crawlspace. The crawlspace soil was graded towards the wall, the house did not have a fully functioning gutter system and a pool of water was forming near the foundation.

Solution

We recommended an installation of a French drain, which would direct to a water collection barrel with a sump pump to drain the collected water. French drains reduce hydrostatic pressure and remove moisture from the soils by collected surface water. The bottom of the French drain is going to be 18” below the garage floor to ensure that the hydrostatic pressure is reduced.

To reduce infiltration in the home, we recommended an exterior waterproofing membrane to be installed on the crawlspace side of the cinder block wall. Other options to alleviate flooding issues include an interior tile drain system that can be installed along the interior perimeter of the basement. Full gutter systems direct storm water to storm water management areas, ponds or collection systems.

It is important to ensure that homeowners install systems to help direct rain water away from the home’s foundation. Wet soils can cause ‘heave’ if soils are expansive and even settlement if the soil reaches its ‘liquid limit.’

If you notice signs of foundation damage, due to flooding, contact Crosstown Engineering today for a professional inspection.