Why is water coming out of my Tile Grout Joints?

QUESTION

I have problems with water coming out of my grout lines. I had wooden floors put down 20 years ago and after 10 years noticed the wood was getting bad from moisture. About 3 years ago I pulled it all up and put down ceramic tile . About 6 months after the tile was down I noticed water coming from the grout lines. I live in New Orleans area about 2 blocks from the river. No one knows why I have this problem. I have had the pipes checked at least 3 times but no leaks. Sometimes the water appears even after we have had a dry spell. No one else in my neighborhood has this problem. Any advice would be helpful. I have thought about a french drain but don't understand how that will help because I never have standing water on the side of my house. Thanks for any help you can offer.

ANSWER

ANSWER - I will assume that your tile floor is installed over a concrete slab on ground.

We know that in New Orleans, as well as in other geographic areas, there is a very high water table.   That means that you at least will get high moisture migration into your concrete slab if there is not a vapor retarder under the slab that continues up the sides of the slab to prevent moisture migration into the concrete slab.

In some cases you might be subjected to hydrostatic water pressure.  That is when the water source is higher than your floor, which causes the water to come up through the floor.  That could be from the adjacent land to your house being higher; such as having a hill near by.  Of it could be that the water table under your house has surges of pressure that causes it to rise and subject your concrete slab to hydrostatic water pressure.

So if you don't have a vapor retarder properly installed under your concrete slab to prevent water from reaching the slab, then you can dig french drains around the perimeter of your house that are lower than your concrete slab.  This will divert the water source to those french drains so the water does not reach your concrete slab.   A french drain can be as simple as having a perforated plastic drain pipe over a plastic liner embedded in gravel to facilitate the drainage.

2 thoughts on “Why is water coming out of my Tile Grout Joints?

  1. Ann Boyd says:

    Thanks for your quick reply . If a french drain goes around the perimeter of the house what do I do where there is a concrete patio that is against the house? Should the french drain also go around that?
    Thanks!

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