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Old 12-27-2007, 11:21 AM   #1
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Basement leak


I would appreciate any input about a problem I am having in my basement. I just recently added a 700 sq/ft addition to my ranch. We did a full basement. Where the new basement wall meets the old basement wall (90deg), there is water trickling in near the the floor of the basement. Right at the seam between the two walls. The leak starts about two to three feet up the seam and then trickles down heavier towards the bottom. When the foundation was poured the contractor applied hydraulic cement to this seam and he coated the foundation with tar. Although I did see this process done on the overall foundation and walls I did not actual see this particular seam sprayed with the tar, so I cant be sure. Outside there is a slight grade (only in this area) towards the house so I am in the process of accurately pitching it away from the house. I think this will help but the fact that I am getting this leak with only moderate rain, concerns me. Either way, I dont think I should be getting a leak here. My contractor is going to come and rectify the problem with hydraulic cement applied to the seam. My question is, should I be satisfied with the solution? I am not familiar with this sort of thing (basement leaks/foundations), but I am speculating that this may be more of a bandaid than anything else...Is there another solution I should encourage him to look into? I hear of polyurethane foam? Any input would be appreciated.

Thanks,

Doug

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Old 12-27-2007, 09:29 PM   #2
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Basement leak


Doug

What you have is a cold joint between the new and old and there is no way on Gods green earth that thing is going to seal up with the hydraulic cement, issue being that the seam is too small for the cement to get pushed in and actually do anything.

First solution at this point (Assuming you are into heavy winter there) is hire someone that can inject (from the inside) polyurethane foam or epoxy as you described above...that should suffice till the spring, after that re-excavate the area and install a drain board such as Delt MS, Platon, anything along those lines, whatever is available in your area, each are equally good and do the same job.

The dampproofing your builder installed meets code but is just that...dampproofing not waterproofing. if you can and you have it all excavated apply a waterproofing membrane before the drain board, you need to find a waterproofing product that will adhere to the black tar, off the top off my head I would have to think you will need to use a 'below grade' peel and stick such as a Grace product or something similair again.

Good Luck

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Old 12-27-2007, 11:11 PM   #3
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Basement leak


Chris,

Thanks for the input. I will be armed with a lot more knowledge now... I am going to look around for contractors that apply these products and talk to my general contractor that did the addition.

Thanks again
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Old 12-28-2007, 03:41 PM   #4
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Basement leak


If you end up excavating this area make sure the drain tile is adaquite(sp?). See how the new drain tile meets the old. It is worth a look while you are down there to make sure you have proper drainage around your footings, if you can carry any water away from this area to your sump pump and pump it away from your house it should help. Also i have had great luck on a couple of basements putting lots of gravel in for backfill instead of the dirt or clay we have around here. I have had two houses with basement leaks i had to fix and i dug up around the walls, ground out the crack and used hydralic cement, applied a rubber membraine, fixed the drain tile, and filled the holes up almost to the top with gravel. I wanted to do everything i could while it was excavated to prevent the wall from ever leaking again. One repair was almost 10 years ago and the other was 3 and both have held tight. I'm in no way an expert but these are just my experiences. Everything i did was fairly cheap, just labor intensive. Good luck, leaks are no fun.
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Old 12-29-2007, 08:48 PM   #5
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Basement leak


Ponch sealed the leak quite well, but the gravel he added was of no help. Gravel doesn't keep water away, but actually it helps water collect. I'm not knocking the advice of the others, but I would say the VERY best solution is to prevent water from reaching the leak, such as by surface grading, use of relatively impervious soil like clay (NOT gravel!), checking the gutters and downspouts.
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Old 12-29-2007, 11:00 PM   #6
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Basement leak


Quote:
Originally Posted by martin9p2 View Post
Ponch sealed the leak quite well, but the gravel he added was of no help. Gravel doesn't keep water away, but actually it helps water collect. I'm not knocking the advice of the others, but I would say the VERY best solution is to prevent water from reaching the leak, such as by surface grading, use of relatively impervious soil like clay (NOT gravel!), checking the gutters and downspouts.

Combining yours and Ponch's repairs is ideal. Gravel or sand up to a certain point and then a more impervious soil on top. You will not prevent all water from moving around basement walls no matter what soil is present.The gravel Ponch used worked because the water not only drains faster now, but it also reduced the hydraulic pressure on the water from the soil which eliminates the water from stalling and then being forced thru a tiny crack. As you mentioned, proper downspout runoffs and grading are the best precautions against basement leaks.
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Old 12-30-2007, 04:35 PM   #7
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Basement leak


The problem with clay like pavola mentioned is it creates hydralic pressure. Water is going to take the easiest route it can. If clay will not let it drain down it will go sideways towards the foundation and the pressure wil push it threw any cracks. If the water finds a crack it will take that route since clay won't allow it to drain down. My experience has been that gravel allows water to run straight down which creates little to no hydralic pressure on the foundation, which allows the rubber membrane to keep out the water. When the water reaches the drain tile it is carried away to the sump pump. Like i said these are just my experiences but i did alot of reading on this subject and i personally wouldn't use clay. I also talked to two local basement repair companies and they also reccomended the use of gravel. This may be an exaggeration(sp?) but picture a river, if you build a dam in a river(like clay) that river is going to change direction of flow and go sideways, in this case towards the foundation.
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Old 12-31-2007, 08:06 PM   #8
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Basement leak


update:

I finished the grading at the foundation, pitching away down a slope and I redirected the downspout with the flexable pipe. My contractor chiseled and filled the gap with hydraulic cement as a fix until spring. I had trouble finding someone to come out and do the polyurethane foam in a timely and or cost effective manner. Since the leak was pretty slow and not all that continuous I wanted to see if this combination would do the trick. We have had a lot of precipitation here the past several days and some melting. No water....knock on wood....I dont think it had all that much to do with the hydraulic cement as I agree with what Chris had said that it would have no way of working into a space that small, but more because of the grading and the redirecting of the downspout as pavola and martin had mentioned. In the spring I will excavate the area and see whats going on down there. As for the fill, I am not sure...I already have VERY sandy soil....I dont know if that plays into it. I usually get very good drainage as you can imagine. The spot where it is leaking is near where the sewer pipe is. We are thinking it might have something to do with that area where the water is pooling and or getting into the joint. We shall see come spring.
Thanks for all the input.

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