View Full Version : Basement water seepage

Tom Gattiker
06-02-2003, 9:10 AM
Water appears to be seeping at the point where the slab meets the wall. Both are poured concrete. What is the best way to fix? I have done a bit of reading on this issue, and there seems to be a bunch of products/materials (e.g. caulks, cement) to use but no clear way to figure out what technique/material I should use. The water is just seeping, not really puddling or flooding--just enough water to saturate the stringer on the wood staircase that is by the leak.

Sam Chambers
06-02-2003, 10:09 AM

I had a similar problem in my basement recently, though mine was more like a raging torrent. I once stayed up most of the night with 2 shop vacs (the kind that can pump water) running full time, and pumped over 150 gallons of water out of the basement.

As I understand it, there's really no good way to create a waterproof seal at such a joint.

If I were to try again, I'd look for some type of caulking that can cure in the presence of moisture, adhere to concrete and remain flexible. Maybe some form of marine sealant or butyl rubber?

Good luck.

Eric Apple - Central IN
06-02-2003, 10:19 AM
We had cracks in a poured wall repaired by a professional. They first coated the cracks with thick grey epoxy and also attached little "nozzle things" over the cracks by embedding them in the epoxy. After the epoxy cured, a can of that foam insulation stuff was attached to the nozzles. Then the foam was sprayed into the nozzles. The foam expanded into the crack with a lot of pressure and made it's way out thru a 6" wall. The crack has been perfectly sealed for about 4 years now.

Rob Russell
06-02-2003, 10:37 AM
We had some cracks to patch on the end of our garage and used a hydrostatic cement. You'd want to chisel out along the base of your foundation wall to create a wedge shaped crack and fill it with this stuff. There may also be epoxy designed for the purpose.

I see Eric's response about the spray foam stuff, but I'd be leary about using it. That stuff has a very strong expansion rate and I wouldn't be surprised if it could spread cracks in the wrong place. It's easily strong enough to bow window and door frames.

After you're done, clean the walls and coat with the waterproof DryLock paint you can get at any big box store.

Lee Schierer
06-02-2003, 10:45 AM
The first step is finding out where the water is coming from outside. Improper slope or outside drainage can cause water to come in a basement.

After having gutters on our house since the day we moved in, over 20 years ago, I removed all of them last week to facilitate putting on a new roof and new siding. It hasn't stopped raining since. I was amazed at how wet our basement has suddenly become. All the water from the roof that used to go down the downspout drains to the ditch is now landing 12" from the side of the house.


Dar Lounsbury
06-02-2003, 1:52 PM
I have repaired a large basement leak using hydrostatic cement exactly as Rob has indicated. Worked very well.

Good luck, leaks like this are NO fun.

Gary Bindel
06-02-2003, 1:53 PM
Before doing anything to the basement walls or floor, I would check to make sure the ground around the house slopes away from the house. Sometimes, settling occurs. Make sure your gutters and downspouts are clean and properly pitched. If all of this is OK, stick a hose down the downspouts and run it to make sure the drains are clear. You didn't say how old the house is. If it is in excess of 40-50 years old or have trees growing near the house, the drain tile could be plugged up. A good plumbing outfit can run a camera down through it to check it out. If the drain tile is plugged, it needs to be cleaned out. Water will always take the easiest path.

Tom Gattiker
06-03-2003, 9:25 AM