Leak through the crack in foundation


Old 02-23-17, 06:14 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2016
Location: Canada
Posts: 30
Leak through the crack in foundation

I have a question regarding a proper way to stop a leak through a crack in the poured concrete foundation wall. The house is from 1960s so as expected I had few cracks in my foundation. Back in the summer I have "sealed" the most obvious cracks using a concrete sealant, grey, rubber-like substance which hardens in 20 hours. Anyhow, fast forward to now, we had lots of snow over the past 3 months, but for the past week temperatures have been keeping steady 10 degrees Celsius, as you may guess, all this snow is melting at a very quick pace. Couple of days ago I noticed a small puddle of water, couple square feet in size, and upon removing part of the frame and rigid insulation, I saw some water penetrating at the bottom through the crack which hasn’t been fully sealed.

Anyways, I am now exploring the best and the most cost effective way to seal that crack from the inside (the basement is 6 feet below grade). I head come up with the following options:

1) Use hydrolic cement – cost effective, easy to work with and quick setting, however, other sources say it might crack and is not strong enough.
2) Use concrete sealant (grey rubber stuff) – cost effective, easy to work, but not sure how permanent of the solution it would be.
3) Use expending urethane kit – costs about 100$ which is expensive for me.

I am leaving towards option 2, I just need to grind off the top layer to expose the crack and then apply as much as possible of this stuff into that crack and around.

The photo of the crack is attached.

What do you think? Thanks.
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Old 02-23-17, 07:09 AM
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The fixes you mention are akin to fixing a leaking boat by applying tape to the inside. It's not a great fix but if you're going to do I would go with good quality tape. In your case that might be the urethane kit. You have already used gray rubber stuff and it failed. What leads you to believe that using the same stuff again would have better results?

Truly your best option is to deal with the water outside the home and prevent the water from ever reaching the basement wall. Do the usual stuff to make sure you property is properly graded to direct water away from the home and do the same with your downspouts. If you have a perimeter drain system, doubtful at 50+ years old, but if you do make sure it is not clogged. After that the next option might be excavating around the house to install a water/damp proofing membrane and perimeter drain which as you can expect is quite expensive and makes a $100 DIY kit a bargain.
Old 02-23-17, 08:08 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2016
Location: Canada
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Thank you for your advice. So I think the major problem in my case is the fact that the previous owner built a large deck along the back of the house (where this leak is happening), and did not slope the ground away from the house. So I looked under the deck and noticed that the water from melting snow is pooling under the deck right up against the foundation and is couple of inches deep. I think the best solution to this problem is adding soil and maybe pea gravel in the summer to make sure the ground is sloping away from the foundation.

In this case do you suggest simply adding more soil or a combination of soil and gravel?

Old 02-23-17, 08:38 AM
Join Date: May 2015
Location: USA
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The advantage of hydraulic cement is that it will work even if the crack isn't completely dry (in fact it's better if it isn't). But for it to have a good chance to work, and the same is true of epoxy or urethane injection, you have to undercut the crack so the product has something to key into. Easiest way to do this is with a diamond blade in an angle grinder. You want the crack wider at the interior of the wall than at the surface so the filler material is locked into the crack. I think that hydraulic cement is plenty strong enough for this sort of repair.

For your deck issue (and I had a similar problem with my deck) I suggest soil rather than gravel. And avoid soil with organic matter, so you want fill dirt not top soil (plus: it's cheaper). Gravel will allow the water to soak in quickly, when what you want is for it to have time to run away from the foundation before it soaks into the ground. Get as much slope under there as you can, but don't pile the soil so high that it is up against the deck framing; you need room for air to circulate under the deck framing.
Old 02-24-17, 06:20 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2016
Location: Canada
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CarbideTipped - Thank you for your response.

Last night I made the crack wider with a chisel and applied hydraulic cement all over it. It was pretty tricky using this stuff, specially mixing it was a pain in the ass, but once you get correct consistency it was pretty straight forward. Anyhow, we are expecting 20mm of rain in addition to lots of melting snow tonight, and that is a perfect opportunity to see how it does, as the temperatures will fall back to normal winter temps next week.

I will report back this weekend.

Old 03-14-17, 09:19 PM
Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: USA
Posts: 26

Well, what happened??

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