Home exterior water leak / concrete porch damage [scott1960]

Hopefully someone can help me with this.
Moved into this house in Las Vegas about 3 years ago. Started noticing some discoloration & deterioration of the concrete porch. In the desert landscaped rocks near the porch, and along the house, there's about a 12 inch width of wetness. This also appears along my neighbor's house, as well as the wall on the other side of my house. The dirt under the rocks is moist to muddy. No area of bubbling water. My sprinkler drip Rainbird has been off at the controller for the past several weeks. I turned it on to water only about 3 times.
My questions: 1. Has anyone seen this before? 2. Any ideas on the cause? 3. Any recommendations on the type of professional I should contact to diagnose what's going on? 4. Any other steps I should take?
Pictures located here: http://www.geocities.com/slsmnp/index.html?1231454057152
Thank you.
Scott
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*Sounds as though it could be a broken or leaking water line. Call the water company and then a plumber. I couldn't access your photos.
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When you go to the link:
it will take you to a page that shows this list:
Index
1. House rough plan 2. Porch: one two three 3. My West wall (just south of porch) 4. Neighbor east wall 5. My east wall
...from that page, click on the words (example: 5. My east wall), and it should take you to the picture... you may have already tried that... I re-checked after I saw your comment, and it worked for me...
Thanks John for you advice. :c)
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Scott-
Soil is constantly moist / muddy under the rocks?
Even though the controller is "off" the solenoid valve could be leaking.
First with all water usage stopped (at least not actively being used) check the behavior of the water meter over several hours. This will only provide useful information if you have no leaking toilets, faucets.
If the water meter moves than you have a leak somewhere; perhaps a sprinkler valve or a pipe leak under the slab. Do you have any warm slab areas (indicating a hot water leak)?
Plumber could help you out here.
cheers Bob
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Thanks Bob. :c)
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------------------------------- the photos show a LOT of water coming out from somewhere. If it is a leak, you would have noticed it in your water bill. Did you? Did your neighbor? It is a puzzle that neighboring houses would have similar "leaks" and, above all, on the same side of both houses. If this were a normal pipe leak, it would not spread evenly along the wall as the pictures show. Could it be (though unlikely in Vegas) that the houses built on top of a spring?
I would start digging a deep-enough exploratary hole on the east side to se if it accumulates water.
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wrote:

------------------------------- the photos show a LOT of water coming out from somewhere. If it is a leak, you would have noticed it in your water bill. Did you? Did your neighbor? It is a puzzle that neighboring houses would have similar "leaks" and, above all, on the same side of both houses. If this were a normal pipe leak, it would not spread evenly along the wall as the pictures show. Could it be (though unlikely in Vegas) that the houses built on top of a spring?
I would start digging a deep-enough exploratary hole on the east side to se if it accumulates water. ------------------------------------ Yes, that has to be a lot of water, with the very low humidity levels in Las Vegas, any minor leak would probably evaporate quickly, but the wall and gravel seems soaking wet. I would opt for digging a hole to see what is there plus checking the location of pipes both under the house and in the ground --- something is leaking and you need to stop it.
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New information: 1. We did have that unusual snow a couple of weeks ago. 2. I reposted (below) my original message with a CORRECTED LINK to pics that should work
In my next post, I'll list the action plan based on everyone's response so far.
Scott
________________________________________ REPOSTED... (PICTURE LINK AT BOTTOM FIXED). Hopefully someone can help me with this.
Moved into this house in Las Vegas about 3 years ago. Started noticing some discoloration & deterioration of the concrete porch. In the desert landscaped rocks near the porch, and along the house, there's about a 12 inch width of wetness. This also appears along my neighbor's house, as well as the wall on the other side of my house. The dirt under the rocks is moist to muddy. No area of bubbling water. My sprinkler drip Rainbird has been off at the controller for the past several weeks. I turned it on to water only about 3 times.
My questions: 1. Has anyone seen this before? 2. Any ideas on the cause? 3. Any recommendations on the type of professional I should contact to diagnose what's going on? 4. Any other steps I should take?
Pictures located here: http://www.philtwo3and4.com/index.html?1231454057152
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ACTION PLAN based on everyone's input so far
1. Contact water company 2. Contact plumber 3. Check water bills 4. Check water meter against sprinkler system 5. Check for a warm slab 6. Check with city to see if house was built over some sort of water source 7. Check with neighbor on water bill (elevated?) 8. Dig exploratory hole (just deep enough to investigate).
Any other suggestions out there?
Scott
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Check to see if you or your neighbor has the water softener drain buried outside. (just saw this scenario)
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On Jan 9, 1:23pm, snipped-for-privacy@mucks.net wrote:

SNOW TWO WEEKS AGO! This might explain the EVEN (@12") dampness around the house. If this is the case, digging an exploratory hole will tell. If you go deep enough and the soil is dry, then the snow is most likely the culprit. Wait until the sun "does its thing" in Vegas and the problem will evaporate away, literally! Meanwhile, don't call a plumber yet.
As for any kind of drain creating this EVEN dampness around the house, the odds are pretty small that this is the case.
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