White powder and damp backyard

Last week I noticed some white powder residue in my patio and along the patio wall (one inch above the base). The backyard has been moist for the last month with the sprinklers off. We did have a lot of rain, but I think that is not the reason. I have checked the outside water meter and there is no leakage (meter is not running when the water is not turned inside the house).
There is no damp spot inside the house yet. I am seeking advice as to who to call for an inspection or advice - should it be a plumber or some other expert?
Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
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What is the patio made of?
Are you saying you don't know why the ground is moist? Is the problem the powder?
Just reading your message, I would guess the rain has caused the ground to be dame, and some of the moisture is being drawn through the patio and leaving that white powder, both of which would be normal. You might need to wash the white powder off.

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Joseph Meehan

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wrote:

Thanks Joseph. The patio is made of concrete and was there when we bought the house. The rains have stopped for more than a week and the dampness level is very high as compared to the previous 9 years of our stay in the house.
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Ish wrote:

the powder is mineral salts being deposited by water moving through the cement and evaporating away.
there are some 'internal' concrete sealers that will reduce or sloe the movement of the water through the cement - google "bio vee seal'
Cheers,
Paul Oman 1/14/2008 11:34:27 AM
"If a family had two or fewer servants in the United States in 1900, census takers recorded the family as lower middle class."
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