Ceramic Tile Advice Forums - John Bridge Ceramic Tile

Welcome to John Bridge / Tile Your World, the friendliest DIY Forum on the Internet


Advertiser Directory
JohnBridge.com Home
Buy John Bridge's Books

Go Back   Ceramic Tile Advice Forums - John Bridge Ceramic Tile > Tile & Stone Forums > Tile Forum/Advice Board

Sponsors


Reply
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Unread 10-04-2006, 04:20 PM   #1
C.L.
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 10
Concrete slab on grade no vapor barrier

My contractor failed to put a vapor barrier in under my finished basement concrete slab and moisture migration is a problem. It has been suggested to me that a slip sheet and tile will solve my problems. Will this work or will my contractor have to rip out the slab and start over?
C.L. is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Unread 10-04-2006, 06:28 PM   #2
Davestone
Florida Tile & Stone Man
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Naples Fl.
Posts: 22,690
Don't know if it will solve your problem or give you new problems.I assume you have enough moisture to cause the floor to be damp.I also assume you haven't or can't or won't dig along the footer and install drainage, and or waterproofing to the block wall exterior.A slip sheet tile job will consist of a sheet, and a mudjob on top, then tile..possibly causing a height problem,possibly harboring mildew, and if there is hydro pressure, may just lift off the floor and start cracking.
__________________
Dave



http://Davestonestile.com
Davestone is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 10-04-2006, 06:42 PM   #3
C.L.
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 10
French drains have been put in place including a sump pump along the wall in my crawl space. I tested the floor with a calcium chloride kit and the MVER was 6.21. I cut a hole in the slab and discovered that not only the vapor barrier was missing but also the 4" gravel base I was suppose to have. Will the absence of a gravel base cause the slab to move considerably? I'm concerned that the moisture level will increase in spring after the snow melts and spring showers arrive.

Thanks for your response

C.L.
C.L. is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 10-04-2006, 06:49 PM   #4
Tool Guy - Kg
Moderator -- Wisconsin Kitchen & Bath Remodeler
 
Tool Guy - Kg's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Oak Creek, WI
Posts: 22,846
Welcome cl,

What does your contract read? Does it include the gravel & plastic?
__________________
Tonto Goldstein... but my friends call me Bubba

Help an awesome summer camp!
Tool Guy - Kg is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 10-04-2006, 06:51 PM   #5
cx
Moderator emeritus
 
cx's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Boerne, Texas
Posts: 93,629
Welcome, CL.

Well, I hope he's done that concrete work for free thus far.

I'd suggest you call the tech service folks at Schluter Systems, describe your situation very accurately, and axe them about using Ditra over that floor and then tile.

If your moisture problem is not serious, it may work. It'll never be right, but it could be usable, depending upon your plans for that basement so long as you provide adequate drainage around the foundation and such as Davestone suggests.

My first choice would be to have the slab removed and re-done. Not sure just how a contractor could fail to install the moisture barrier, but........

My opinion; worth price charged.

Damn! I gotta learn to type faster.

Given that there's also an absence of proper drainage fill under the slab, CL, I'd sure opt for replacement. How large and area are we talking about and what stage of construction?
__________________
CX

Y'ALL NEW VISITORS READ THIS HERE!
cx is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 10-04-2006, 09:19 PM   #6
C.L.
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 10
We're talking 500 square feet and my contract states that he follow the blueprints which indicates clearly 4" gravel base, vapor barrier and then 4' slab. My house is only a year old and the basement is finished with framed walls and a staircase leading to the basement. He would have to rip out all of this because it sits on the slab. What a nightmare! I will call Schluter tomorrow and ask them about Ditra.

Thanks for your help,

C.L.
C.L. is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 10-04-2006, 09:20 PM   #7
C.L.
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 10
I Meant To Type 4" Slab. Oops!

C.l.
C.L. is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 10-05-2006, 07:07 AM   #8
cx
Moderator emeritus
 
cx's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Boerne, Texas
Posts: 93,629
Well, that may be one of those times where the proper cure is worse than the illness, but I'd still be trackin' down that builder for some serious discussion.

While a moisture reading of six pounds is high, it's not extreme. I presume you did the full (or nearly) 72 hours and your ambient conditions were in range as described by the test kit instructions. You're certainly not a good candidate for a glue-down wood floor, but I think you can still live there.

If much attention were paid to the proper drainage outside the foundation, and you don't find that you have an actual water table problem under there, application of something like Ditra over the slab and the use of a de-humidifier in that basement area might make it pretty livable. As I recall from my days where basements were the norm, dehumidifiers were a pretty common appliance anyway.

The advantage of the Ditra, as opposed to other membrane options, is it's waffle design of impermeable material. It can actually allow moisture to accumulate below it and help to equalize the vapor pressure in the slab. Lots of argument about the effectiveness of that action, but on paper it makes good sense to moi.

Do tell what Herr Schluter has to say about its use in your situation.

My opinion; worth price charged.
__________________
CX

Y'ALL NEW VISITORS READ THIS HERE!
cx is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 10-05-2006, 10:24 AM   #9
C.L.
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 10
I just spoke with Ann at Schluter and she feels that the Ditra will solve my problems considering the moisture level isn't extreem. Hopefully the french drains that were put in place and the thorseal on the stem walls will take care of any extra moisture in spring. I hope this works!

Thanks again for your advice.

C.L.
C.L. is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 10-05-2006, 12:13 PM   #10
John Bridge
Mudmeister
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Rosanky, Texas
Posts: 68,421
Send a message via AIM to John Bridge
I think the Ditra and tile will work, too. I also think that good ventilation and/or dehumidfier will make the difference. If you close the thing up and heat it in winter, you'll probably have moisture. Ventilate it, and you'll be okay.
John Bridge is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 10-05-2006, 02:24 PM   #11
Matt Clark
Registered User
 
Matt Clark's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: S.E. Iowa.
Posts: 115
Talking

That's about the same situation I was in...except for the lack of gravel base. Used dimpled poly product to raise wood subfloor off slab for carpet in LR and Master Bedroom.

In bathroom, I went with 1/4" Wedi panels, thinset to slab, Ditra over that, Warmly Yours radiant heat and tile. Works great...not a problem. I have mucho gravity drainage, plus sump pump, though. I also do have a dehumidifier in the utility (furnace, water softener, pump) room. It runs maybe 20 seconds in the fall and spring...then again, I'm always one for overkill.
__________________
Matt Clark - and I should prolly get back to work...
Matt Clark is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 10-05-2006, 09:44 PM   #12
Tool Guy - Kg
Moderator -- Wisconsin Kitchen & Bath Remodeler
 
Tool Guy - Kg's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Oak Creek, WI
Posts: 22,846
Quote:
Originally Posted by cx
Well, that may be one of those times where the proper cure is worse than the illness, but I'd still be trackin' down that builder for some serious discussion.
Exactly what he said. Time for a serious discussion.
__________________
Tonto Goldstein... but my friends call me Bubba

Help an awesome summer camp!
Tool Guy - Kg is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 10-06-2006, 12:26 AM   #13
Grasshoppa
Registered User
 
Grasshoppa's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: NJ
Posts: 143
Angry uh oh!

CL, it sounds like you have been in the house just a few months? And you have no vapor barrier or GRAVEL! under the slab! This is not really a matter of discussion. And as a matter of general principal you should not be dinking around trying to band aid a major screw up. I can personally guarantee that cracking will be a problem if there is no gravel under the slab. Rediculous. The listed home builder who sold you that house should have a state warranty requirement of at least a year. This condition violates this warranty.

What I would do is go to the clown responsible and give him an ultimatum. He needs to remove and replace this slab or pay you AT LEAST 3K. Keep in mind it will cost him at least 6 to remove and replace at this point. Whatever happens he will want to settle rather than doing the work involved to fix it. Tell him 3K is the number you received to vapor proof and tile ready this area of floor. Tell him if not you will be visiting the building department, the BBB, the state (which ever department handles contractor registration and complaints), and then a lawyer. Keep in mind your "notes / general conditions" section of your house plan specify this plastic and gravel requirement. This is cut and dry, or should I say cut and damp. You have basically caught him red handed trying to pull one over. Please do not let this slide. It is better for us all in the industry if these bad seeds are weeded out.

Let us know how this turns out.
Grasshoppa is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 10-06-2006, 05:28 AM   #14
fmrusmc
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Sioux Falls SD
Posts: 132
Send a message via MSN to fmrusmc
You need to beat feet to the city/county housing inspections office and visit with your inspectors NOW to get copy of permits, determine code requirements and file a complaint. You also need to contact your general contractor ASAP, by phone and follow up with a letter confirming your conversation. I am the GC on my house construction and 4" gravel base is a building code requirement as well as drain tile. Sounds to me as if someone probably pocketed the money allocated for the things you did not get. I'd be willing to bet those expenses were built into the construction costs and you were charged for those items.

In SD, state law (15-2A-1) provides a 10 stature of limitations (yes, 10 years) to bring actions against persons involved in errors of ommission in the design, planning, or construction of improvements upon real estate. In '98, my basement experienced water infilitration (flooded) because the contractor failed to (1) grade the yard AWAY from the house (not towards it) and (2) install an adequate drainage system in my below grade window wells. Took him to small claims and I prevailed due to his neglegence (Dyer vs. Concept Construction, 1999). So when builders say "I offer a 1 year warranty on my home", I just say riiiiiiiiiiight

Although our experts have outlined various excellent tiling remedies for your problem, the issues are much deeper, more serious, and definately long term. Document everything and mail all correspondence Certified, Return Receipt. Can you spell "LAWSUIT?" Good luck and keep us posted.
__________________
Chris
fmrusmc is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 10-08-2006, 02:14 PM   #15
C.L.
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 10
We have been in the house over a year now and right after we moved in I discovered these problems and sent letters certified mail to my contractor. He knows he is responsible and will fix the problems whether it be voluntarily or not. Last year when I went down to the city to find out who inspected to make sure the gravel and vapor barrier were in place, the city told me that "they don't have the man power to do that inspection". In fact they inspected the slab after it was poured. A lot of good that did me. On the blueprints my garage slab was suppose to have the gravel and vapor barrier as well but doesn't.

Regarding the basement, can we pour a slab on the existing one with the gravel base and vapor barrier? I have enough height to accomodate another slab.

C.L.
C.L. is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Stonetooling.com   Tile-Assn.com   National Gypsum Permabase


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 01:08 AM.


Sponsors

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.7.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright 2018 John Bridge & Associates, LLC