Toledo Talk

Puddle on slab floor. hmmm.

Here is a new one for me. I have a small puddle on the kitchen floor that seems to be coming up from the slab. There is no nearby leaking plumbing, and there is a dry space all around the puddle. The wetness covers an area of maybe one foot by two feet. It doesn't spread much, or flood the whole room. Just kind of stays wet in that two square foot area. I first noticed it after the heavy rain the other day. I blot it and it kind of dries up, but then comes back. The wetness seems dark in color for city water, but I am going to shut off the city water and see if it stops coming up.

My first thought was to have a plumber pressure test the water lines to see if any are leaking, and go from there.

I know that slabs are not immune from groundwater intrusion, but I also know that if it is a broken pipe under the slab, and it has an endless supply of city water, it's gonna be a bigger problem the more time goes by.

Any thoughts, wise TT peeps?
Thanks in advance.

created by justread on May 02, 2014 at 09:31:41 am     Home     Comments: 14

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Maybe it's the phases of the moon. I don't know for sure, but I do know that the plumbing at home is springing leaks left and right, and now the bathroom sink is clogged up. Again.

The kitchen and laundry room area is like a sieve and the floor tiles are starting to come up. This is not a good time to be anywhere near me.

posted by madjack on May 02, 2014 at 09:59:38 am     #  

And, I forgot to mention, I'm low on bourbon.

posted by madjack on May 02, 2014 at 09:59:57 am     #   1 person liked this

Any chance that this could be a leak related to the rain (i.e., a small roof or wall leak that is working its way along the joists and depositing onto the floor)?

The darker color water suggests water that has picked up sediment or particulates from an organic source, like dirt, wood, or plants.

I had a roof leak along the flashing once that skipped an entire floor and deposited brownish water right along a baseboard under a window. At first I thought it was from the new windows we had installed, but the window guy was kind enough to go on the roof and look. Lo and behold, loose flashing and an annoying heavy rain leak.

posted by historymike on May 02, 2014 at 10:12:03 am     #  

Probably a sink hole starting ; )

posted by cujo on May 02, 2014 at 10:36:53 am     #  

on a slab ?!

you have good negative slope outside? that is to say the soil slopes away from the house? gutters place water a good distance from the house?

how is the flashing on the roof? reapply roof cement in recent years to secure flashing? not migrating through internal wall?

do you have abandoned drainage tile that runs under the slab that was not properly sealed on each end ?

here is a real remote possibility... the slab was not poured over a submerged enclosed creek? all of our urban and suburban neighborhoods use to be open fields with streams and creeks. i would really like to see the maps that show of how they enclosed and diverted all that water

posted by enjoyeverysandwich on May 02, 2014 at 11:08:14 am     #  

Hydrostatic pressure is a possibility. Whatever it may be, probably time to call in a pro before it gets worse.

posted by Foodie on May 02, 2014 at 11:09:14 am     #  

Thanks for these ideas. I went home and turned the city water off to see if it made a difference by the end of the day. Drainage is ok for the house, but I'm not exactly on a hill. But, I did notice after the rain the other day that a downspout diverter was off, allowing a lot of rain right up against the foundation.
I know what you are saying historymike. I've seen the brown tea stained water from ice damning forcing water through wood before. The color is not unlike that.
As a last resort before calling in big guns, I'm going to do an exploratory under the base cabinet with the sink and drain and make sure there is no way they are a source, with water somehow getting under the base cabinet.

posted by justread on May 02, 2014 at 11:54:11 am     #  

madjack posted at 09:59:57 AM on May 02, 2014:

And, I forgot to mention, I'm low on bourbon.

That's also a concern. Hopefully you can remedy that.

posted by justread on May 02, 2014 at 11:54:55 am     #  

What type of floor covering is over the slab?

posted by Foodie on May 02, 2014 at 12:01:08 pm     #  

A carpet not unlike short pile commercial carpet.

posted by justread on May 02, 2014 at 12:59:06 pm     #  

Ok. I was trying to wrap my head around hydrostatic pressure pushing up through vinyl floor covering. Bubbling up through carpet - obviously no problem doing that.

Hope you get this resolved simply, quickly and without much $$ thrown at it.

posted by Foodie on May 02, 2014 at 01:24:18 pm     #  

Thanks. We'll see. I wanted to replace the carpet with tile anyway, so if the carpet has to come up, so be it.

I have a feeling it is a supply line leak under the slab. I have been told that it is usually the hot side that leaks, so I'll check the water meter before and after shutting the hot side off. I imagine that I have some kind of flow indicator on the meter, besides the numbers. Maybe a spinning triangle or something.

posted by justread on May 02, 2014 at 02:02:02 pm     #  

update:
Turning water off didn't stop it.

When water is on, but all valves off, hours can go by without the 1 cubic foot dial moving. No supply leak.

Using the drain makes it worse.

Not using the drain dries it up.

The base cabinet must be hiding something.

posted by justread on May 02, 2014 at 08:16:22 pm     #  

enjoyeverysandwich posted at 11:08:14 AM on May 02, 2014:

on a slab ?!

you have good negative slope outside? that is to say the soil slopes away from the house? gutters place water a good distance from the house?

how is the flashing on the roof? reapply roof cement in recent years to secure flashing? not migrating through internal wall?

do you have abandoned drainage tile that runs under the slab that was not properly sealed on each end ?

here is a real remote possibility... the slab was not poured over a submerged enclosed creek? all of our urban and suburban neighborhoods use to be open fields with streams and creeks. i would really like to see the maps that show of how they enclosed and diverted all that water

Yes. Slab.
Slope is not terrible. Not great. Groundwater is typically below slab. But not by yards.
Roof is good.
There is an abandoned drainage tile at the other end of the house, now that you mention it.
No creek here. I remember a house near Franklin Park Mall that was built over the creek that runs between Foxglove Park and Monroe St. I also think that they enclosed the creek near Lambert and Douglas that was open when we were kids.

posted by justread on May 02, 2014 at 08:21:45 pm     #