How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask walkereng Your Own Question
walkereng, Bachelor's Degree
Category: Engineering
Satisfied Customers: 3193
Experience:  Structural Engineer with over 30 years of experience.
Type Your Engineering Question Here...
walkereng is online now

I have just had a single skin brick wall garage built which

Customer Question

I have just had a single skin brick wall garage built which has two concrete lintels included in the first course of bricks.
After the recent rain we have water literaly running into the garage between the lintel and the concrete footing and there does not appear to be any cement between the two.
What is the requirement and what can i do, if anything, to get the builder to rectify this?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Engineering
Expert:  walkereng replied 3 years ago.
I can help
Do you have any pictures you can share with me?
You can attach them to the Chat Window with the paperclip in the toolbar.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
What paperclip ??
Expert:  walkereng replied 3 years ago.
If you can not see a paperclip, try sending to***@******.***
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Expert:  walkereng replied 3 years ago.
Thanks for the pictures!
I have a couple of questions:
1. Is the ground surface on the outside of the wall sloped away from the wall so water does not pool along the exterior wall face?
2. Do you have rain gutters that collect roof run-off and are the downspouts directed way from your structure?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Yes there are rain gutters and the down spout has been fed into (according to the builder ) an existing drain/soak away but this is not near the area where water is gaining ingress into the garage.

I don't know if the footings, which is basically the surface the brick work is built on to, are sloped away from the wall as i thought this would all be down to the buildings inspector to check and approve?

The biggest issue now is the neighbour has put up a wooden vertical slatted fence so there is next to no access to the outside of the wall at the base!! Whilst that is not "our" problem but the builders it still does not help me in the long run as i have basically got a wet garage with damp issues whenever it rains!!!!!

Expert:  walkereng replied 3 years ago.
Well the only thing you can do at this point is monitor that side of the garage when it rains and see if you get any standing water along that side of the garage, if so that is your problem.
Take plenty of pictures to document this with your contractor.
Do you think any of the fence posts from the neighbor's recent fence installation may have disrupted any of the underground drainage system the contractor has installed for your downspouts
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

No to the fencing point as the new fence panels have been installed in the original post holders.

Very difficult to monitor the rainfall / standing water as the gap has been spread with pea shingle!!! Not sure if this was the builder or neighbour (not been able to speak to the neighbour ).

Lots of promises from the builder to come and check it but no one turns up.

What i need to know is where do i stand with regards ***** ***** this should have been built, i.e. should the lintel have been laid on a cement bed as the surrounding bricks were. Should the footings slope away from the base of the wall. What are the regs with regards ***** ***** points and should the building inspector have checked these points. If not what are the inspectors being paid for as the one i had was quite happy to take the builders word on most points! I even had to argue on several other points i knew about.

Not a very happy puppy!!

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Are you still dealing with this ???

Expert:  walkereng replied 3 years ago.
I am, but I am away from my computer right now, can I get back with you within the hour?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

OK thanks

Expert:  walkereng replied 3 years ago.
1. Why were lintels used as the base of the wall? Why didn't the contractor just start building the brick wall on top of the concrete slab? Was he trying to span over something at those locations?
2. Footings are not required to slops away, they should be level on top.
3. Inspectors are supposed to inspect from the approved set of plans that should be on site at all times.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

1. lintel was being used to span over old pipe work i believe but not 100% and as far as i recall they were laid directly onto the footing concrete which may or may not have had shuttering around.

2. If they are not supposed to slope why did you ask about the ground sloping away from the wall?? Bit confused there.

3. What are the regs about water running into a building?? The inspector says its not his job or repsonsibility !! if not then what is he getting paid for?? The plans may not contain anything about the wall other than what it is built with etc. Not sure i understand your comments!!

Expert:  walkereng replied 3 years ago.
1. OK, on spanning a pipe of some kind. Even so, there should have been some sort of waterproof caulking placed in the joint between the bottom of the lintel and the concrete garage slab to keep water from infiltrating.
2. I asked above, "Is the ground surface on the outside of the wall sloped away from the wall". The 2012 International Residential Code (IRC) clearly states that the ground surface needs to slope away from the structure. The ground surface is not the footing. The footing is buried under ground.
3. Here is the IRC section regarding drainage:
R401.3 Drainage. Surface drainage shall be diverted to a storm sewer conveyance or other approved point of collection that does not create a hazard. Lots shall be graded to drain surface water away from foundation walls. The grade shall fall a minimum of 6 inches (152 mm) within the first 10 feet (3048 mm).
The Building Inspector is required to enforce all sections of the Code, not just what they want to.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
1. No caulking was used
2. The footing is level with the ground around
3. Can't comment on this one
4. If you don't know what the regs are how can you know if the inspector us doing his job? You have to rely on him but my guy did not seem that concerned. Should he not have confirmed caulking had been used? Is he not supposed to be ensuring that this sort of problem does not occur??
Expert:  walkereng replied 3 years ago.
First of all, a good contractor should know the regulations and build every structure to meet them.
Then a good inspector should inspect off of the approved plans, but they also need to know the Code and they need to call out thing that are a potential problem.
All of the items in the Code are not re-written on the building plans. That is why there is a Code Book to refer to.
As you know with everything trade or occupation, some people/companies are more competent and conscientious than others.