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View Full Version : Filling a crack in the basement concrete wall



Augusto Orosco
02-26-2010, 10:48 AM
With all the rain and melting snow we've got, I have a leak in my basement wall. It's not a lot, but enough to make a small puddle. The leak comes right around from where house main drain pipe is. It seems that the concrete didnít make a tight seal around the pipe and when we have a ton of water in the ground, water seeps in. Now there is a small crack through the wall and a Ĺ inch funnel type opening (max diameter) right next to the pipe.

What would be your preferred way (but still appropriate) to fix this? I would prefer not to chisel concrete away around the pipe (I donít want to puncture the it by mistake!) in order to use something like hydraulic cement. Would an epoxy work? It looks like such a small job that I donít want to make it a big production if it neednít be.

Thanks!

Myk Rian
02-26-2010, 10:57 AM
Maybe redirect the downspout someplace else, or try to stuff DC or drain flex hose down the pipe. Temporary till you can really get to it.

Augusto Orosco
02-26-2010, 11:11 AM
Maybe redirect the downspout someplace else, or try to stuff DC or drain flex hose down the pipe. Temporary till you can really get to it.
Hi Myk,

Sorry I wasn't very clear with my previous post. The drain PVC pipe goes through the concrete wall and it is connected underground to the city's sewer drain system. The leak comes from the water that seeps from the wet ground outside through the concrete inside, just around the outside wall of the pipe. The pipe itself is fine and it doesn't leak. I would assume that the water found the path of less resistance -the seal around the wall and the pipe- to find its way in, and created a crack over the years.

Mike Cutler
02-26-2010, 11:46 AM
Augusto

If I am understanding you correctly, you have a leak where the 4" PVC pipe goes through your basement wall?

Something is missing here, or it is an integrated part of the drain pipe. There should be a secondary seal assembly around your drain pipe. Concrete will not bond to PVC. There should be a flexible seal of some type at that point.
It may be skimmed over with concrete, hopefully. There is a flexible gasket/stuffing gland around mine.
You may actually be able to just go the Home Depot, or Lowes and buy a compatible sealant and caulk around the circumference of the pipe.

Augusto Orosco
02-26-2010, 11:50 AM
Augusto

If I am understanding you correctly, you have a leak where the 4" PVC pipe goes through your basement wall?

Something is missing here, or it is an integrated part of the drain pipe. There should be a secondary seal assembly around your drain pipe. Concrete will not bond to PVC. There should be a flexible seal of some type at that point.
It may be skimmed over with concrete, hopefully. There is a flexible gasket/stuffing gland around mine.
You may actually be able to just go the Home Depot, or Lowes and buy a compatible sealant and caulk around the circumference of the pipe.

That's correct, Mike. I can't see any secondary seal around the pipe. I hope it's skimmed over with concrete, but I didn't notice it while feeling the hole with my finger. I will check more carefully once I get home.

What kind of compatible sealant are you thinking of? How should I go about find out which one to look for?

Tom Veatch
02-26-2010, 11:56 AM
... It seems that the concrete didnít make a tight seal around the pipe and when we have a ton of water in the ground, water seeps in. Now there is a small crack through the wall and a Ĺ inch funnel type opening (max diameter) right next to the pipe...


A couple of cracks developed in my basement walls along with a leak around a pipe similar to what you describe. I had them commercially repaired by epoxy injection. Several years later, the repair is holding well with no leaks since then. I'm quite satisfied with that type of repair.

At the time, I believe that type of repair was only available through licensed contractors. But, since then, I've seen tools and epoxy/polyurethane injection kits available for the DIY'er. DAGS for suppliers/contractors if you're interested.

Matt Meiser
02-26-2010, 12:10 PM
On ATOH, Tommy repaired a similar problem by carefully chipping out any loose stuff and packing it with hydraulic cement which actually expands slightlyinstead of shrinking as it cures. Its available at Home Depot (by the caulks, etc IIRC) in powder form. It cures quite fast. I used it around PVC conduit at my brother's house and it gripped quite tight.

Augusto Orosco
02-26-2010, 12:32 PM
But, since then, I've seen tools and epoxy/polyurethane injection kits available for the DIY'er. DAGS for suppliers/contractors if you're interested.

Thanks, Tom! I'll take a look into it.


On ATOH, Tommy repaired a similar problem by carefully chipping out any loose stuff and packing it with hydraulic cement which actually expands slightlyinstead of shrinking as it cures. Its available at Home Depot (by the caulks, etc IIRC) in powder form. It cures quite fast. I used it around PVC conduit at my brother's house and it gripped quite tight.

Matt, I found the video ahte ATHO's website and the screen shot of the problem looks exactly like mine. Unfortunately, the video can't play here at work. I will see if I can make it play from my home computer, but in any case, the instructions are simple enough!

Eric Franklin
02-26-2010, 1:42 PM
I've used http://diy.emecole.com/foundation-crack-repair/index.php (this) epoxy repair kit on a crack in my basement and it hasn't leaked since. I need to order more to do a couple more cracks in my basement.

I guy I work with used to sell basement water proofing and said that epoxy injection is the simplest way to fix leaking cracks.

tyler mckee
02-26-2010, 1:58 PM
I would carefully chip around the leak, remove anything loose and get a little room for the cement. pvc is pretty strong stuff as long as you are not beating directly into it it will not break. Then get some hydraulic cement, one ive used a lot is called custom plug, you can pick something up at just about any hardware store. Mix it in small amounts because it sets very fast, and be sure to wear gloves. shove the cement into the crack and hold preassure untill it starts to set. a batch or three and you should be dry.

I've had to do the same things hundreds of times on sewer/storm manholes, never had a problem

JohnT Fitzgerald
02-27-2010, 10:39 AM
+1 on the hydraulic cement. we had a large leak around the water main when they build our house - apparently they didn't seal it at all. 14 years later and it's working great. Just make sure you chip out all the lose parts, and blow it out with compressed air. Water *will* find a way if there's even the smallest crack.

My brother does basement crack sealing as a business. I won't post his info here, but he uses some sort of epoxy and he said it also works extremely well.

Augusto Orosco
02-28-2010, 7:10 PM
Thanks everyone for the advice. I bought some hydraulic cement and a concrete chisel (it's my sacred rule that every project demands the purchase of a new tool, no matter how small! ;)) and went to town.

I think getting things ready took much longer than the repair itself. I carefully chipped away some loose parts and enlarged the hole a tiny bit. Mixed the cement with water and sealed the hole.

So far, so good. No more leaks. Let's see how it holds up!