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Old 12-12-2010, 04:46 AM   #1
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Basement wall leaking after 3 professional repairs


Help please!! My wife and i just purchased a 20 yr old house back in mid november. The previous owners disclosed that the west basement wall leaked, and they had it repaired by crack team 3 times...twice from the inside with epoxy injections, and once from the outside, where the yard had to be dug up. The previous owners said they left the basement walls unfinished for about 8 months before closing them back up with drywall, just to make sure there were no more leaks. Well...we moved in less than a month ago and of course, our luck, the wall is still leaking. We had to tear up all the carpet in that area (although this was for another issue as well), and tear down part of the drywall. We can plainly see the signs of water, but cannot see exactly where it's coming from. we called the crack team since the repairs are supposed to be warrantied, but of course they are not open on the weekend. My question is, after being repaired 3 times, do we have much hope for permentantly fixing this leak? why would an outside repair be failing??

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Old 12-12-2010, 07:49 AM   #2
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Basement wall leaking after 3 professional repairs


Where are you located? Sounds to me like you best option is wait till Monday and see what they find out.
Hope it's good news! (as in "easy to fix")

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Old 12-12-2010, 07:59 AM   #3
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Basement wall leaking after 3 professional repairs


Depends on how they repaired it. You can repair it 10 times. If you don't do t right it will still leak.
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Old 12-12-2010, 08:01 AM   #4
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Basement wall leaking after 3 professional repairs


I hope more than anything that it's an easy fix. but it seems unlikely given the crack team has repaired it 3 times and there is still a problem. we are located just outside of st. louis.
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Old 12-12-2010, 08:04 AM   #5
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Basement wall leaking after 3 professional repairs


yeah I wish we had history/knowledge of the outside repair. we know the two inside repairs were done with epoxy, but we aren't sure what they used on the outsideof the house, or whether they treated the whole wall. I would hope if they had the whole yard dug up that they would've just gone ahead and treated the whole wall. but who knows. guess it's irrelevant since it is obviously still leaking. what is the best way to repair permanently?
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Old 12-12-2010, 08:07 AM   #6
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Basement wall leaking after 3 professional repairs


There are many threads on this subject. Do a search on this site.
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Old 12-12-2010, 08:14 AM   #7
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Basement wall leaking after 3 professional repairs


Quote:
Originally Posted by unfortunateluck View Post
...what is the best way to repair permanently?
Proper drainage.
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Old 12-12-2010, 08:24 AM   #8
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Basement wall leaking after 3 professional repairs


Would you then say the problem was mis-diagnosed? I'd probably go that far, knowing even as little as you tell us.

It sounds like the 'crack team' repaired a crack three times; now that to me doesn't say they repaired a leak, since the leak could come from a different source than that crack. So you now have to find the leak and first off, examine the water run-off from the roof, and ground water to make sure that's properly handled. Then examine where on the wall the water is coming in (top, middle or bottom, or through the mortar), then establish if you have a sump pump and if it is working.

Could this be from an underground stream - or does it only occur after snow/rainfall?

There are more issues; this is just what I would do if I were in your shoes.

Treat the cause not the symptoms.
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Old 12-12-2010, 10:35 AM   #9
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Basement wall leaking after 3 professional repairs


I had water problems in my basement. It was just a matter of moving the water away from the house. I used two drywells and attached a French drain system to that. So far (knock on wood) I have all set. If they repaired the crack 3 times and its still leaking then its prob not the crack causing the problem. I would call a different company....
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Old 12-12-2010, 01:04 PM   #10
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Basement wall leaking after 3 professional repairs


yea id look for other causes.Theres not a crazy issue where the water is making its way in from the roofline is there ?
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Old 12-12-2010, 04:02 PM   #11
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Basement wall leaking after 3 professional repairs


It can sometimes be difficult to find the source of a leak. I once had a leak, and when I finally found it, it was about 20 feet from where I thought it was. A good torrential downpour sure helps in identifying a leak.
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Old 12-12-2010, 04:26 PM   #12
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Basement wall leaking after 3 professional repairs


Depending on the pressure at the exterior of the wall, it's not unusual for a leak to manifest at one location after being patched at another - sort of hydrostatic Whac-A-Mole.

Have you made sure that you are doing all you can to keep water away from the foundation, see for example Solving Basement Water Leak Problems - Paragon Water Intrusion Inspections Chicago/Evanston/Skokie .
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Old 12-12-2010, 10:24 PM   #13
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Basement wall leaking after 3 professional repairs


This is all great feedback, THANK YOU! We definitely need a good torrential downpour now that we've got that wall back open and can see what's going on. We had one on Friday night, but we hadn't opened the wall up yet at that point. Now it's just all snow, so again we wait. Hopefully the crack team can shed some light, although I hate to say I have little faith given that their repairs/recommendations have not solved the problem. All the possibilities are driving me crazy. Was the problem misdiagnosed to begin with? Did fixing that one problem create another in a different spot? (I'm sure they don't warranty THAT!) Or maybe we just need to install the french drain and divert the water away in that spot. I just don't understand why the water problems are on that one wall only. How much do french drains normally cost? Is it feasible to install the drain on that one wall only? To install around the perimeter of our basement would require tearing up literally every wall and starting over. That would be extremely unfortunate given that one of the selling points for us was that the basement was already finished. We're not having very good luck in our new home thus far.
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Old 12-13-2010, 05:55 AM   #14
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Basement wall leaking after 3 professional repairs


OK, now we seem to have gotten you to think 'globally' about your house-as-a-system, not thinking locally about one leak...and that's not only the nature of the water infiltration industry but of home ownership in general.

Look, there may be one 'problem' only - yet there may be several. What you are going to need in the long run is opinions from experienced people who know all the symptoms of each potential 'problem' and then take a course of action from that. Asking a crack team to fix a leak won't cut it because you are essentially telling them: "Here. Do this."

They'll do "this" for you, no problem, but may not have enough morals to tell you the real story, the way an inspector might -or the way better contractors do. So someone will have to take a tour of your property, and see from the inside and from the outside where the problem might be coming from. Gutters, roof, underground stream, sump pump, berms, french drains etc are all issues worth mentioning. The solution will emanate from that report...

But now I'm repeating myself - and I hate that - especially when someone is so wrapped up in their comfort and/or money issues that they can't even answer simple questions, like the existence of sump pump...or where the downspouts end up.

That tends to make guys with experience "clam up" because we have other people who talk - and pay; so either talk to us - or good luck figuring it out on your own.
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Old 12-13-2010, 12:00 PM   #15
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Basement wall leaking after 3 professional repairs


My intention was definitely not to evade questions...I'll clarify if it will help with further recommendations. We do have a sump pump. It is actually on that same wall as the leak, about 7-8 ft down from where the leak is. We tested it on inspection and since then and it appears to be working. The downspout on that side comes out in a black drain tube about 6 feet from the basement foundation. Not sure if that could be causing issues or not. The crack in question is located directly under the window and runs vertically about 6 ft. to within an inch of the floor. There is apparently another crack on that wall but we haven't taken the whole thing down yet, and thus haven't located it. The problem area is by the crack under the window, the one we CAN see right now. However, as I mentioned before, it is difficult to tell whether the water is coming from that crack or some other spot. my gut feeling is that it is coming from elsewhere. For one, the studs in that area were unaffected by moisture except for the bottom 1/4 of ONE stud to the left of that crack. That area did show signs of moisture. Then the stud nailed to the floor showed the most signs of water. It had blackened slightly and was wet looking, about 5-6 feet long. The water was most noticable on the concrete floor, again, about 5-6 ft long area. There was just a small area near the crack on the wall that looked wet. So in summary, the floor stud and carpet tack strip were most affected by the water, and water was most noticable on the floor vs the wall. However, it's possible that the floor just didn't get to dry out because it was covered by carpet and pad. The wall on the other hand had NO insulation behind the drywall, and only had a pathetic plastic vapor barrier. Therefore, it's possible that the wall dried relatively quickly compared to the floor. Hard to say until snow starts melting or we get another hard rain. So that is all the info i know at this point. The crack team is sending someone out tomorrow afternoon, but I am also going to call some local basement waterproofing companies to see if they would be willing to come do a full assessment of the situation. Simply don't trust that the crack team is really going to solve the problem at this point. and that is our main goal - solve the underlying problem regardless what it is. We don't want to continue treating a symptom.

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