QUESTIONI live in Florida. We have water coming up through our grout. We’ve had plumbers rule out leaks. We’ve had several “experts” come out to try and figure it out, most feel its ground water. Spent a lot of money on consults and had metal pipes put in the side of the house through the footer and it didn’t help. Our issue has become worse and we feel desperate. The source seems to be under the house and it smells like vinegar. We need to make a choice on how to handle it. Trying to decide the first step. Should we have some one cut through our slab? Any advice would be helpful. One suggested we dig out the grout and replace with unsealed grout to allow evaporation. Today my husband started digging out the grout and in one spot, the water shot out about 2 feet in the air. It’s all very unsettling. I found your name online and see that you are familiar with this problem.
ANSWERANSWER - If water squirts out of the removed grout joint 2 feet in the air, then that is an indication that the water is under pressure. I assume that the water squirting in the air was only initially when the grout was removed and it isn't continuing to do so.
When water is under pressure that is considered hydrostatic pressure. The only things that can cause hydrostatic pressure is either a water source from outside of your home at a higher level of your home is traveling down to under your home and creates a pressure forcing the water up through your concrete slab up through the grout joints. Or if you have a high water table (water residing under ground under your home) it can cause the same effect. Water table heights can vary at times. If it rains a lot the water table can rise.
If this is the problem, then the only thing you can do is install french drains around the perimeter of your home. This is where they dig deep trenches and install a perforated pipe and fill with gravel. The placement is important because the idea is you want the water source to go into the trench drain to drain away from the house.