I prefer clean, simple and effective ways to fix a leaky basement wall (small leak - about 16 oz from a heavy rain intermittently). Will any new tech or sealants work?

closed as unclear what you're asking by Machavity, ThreePhaseEel, The Evil Greebo, Daniel Griscom, Tyson Aug 28 '18 at 17:14

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    What type of foundation do you have? Do you live in an area where prolongded days of sub freezing temperature are common? – virtualxtc Aug 27 '18 at 5:14
  • Not sure what type of foundation I have. It is covered by carpet. I haven’t talked – user10277759 Aug 27 '18 at 12:33
  • I haven’t seen what is under the carpet. This house is located along the northern east coast. – user10277759 Aug 27 '18 at 12:36
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    Hello, and welcome to Stack Exchange. You're on the "northern east coast" of what? And, a picture of the leaky area might help. – Daniel Griscom Aug 27 '18 at 12:42
  • I'm not asking what the floor is made of, I'm asking what the walls are made out of. – virtualxtc Aug 27 '18 at 13:29

Yes, don’t we all “prefer clean, simple and effective ways to fix a leaky basement wall.” However, seldom are moisture problems simple.

First, concrete is porous. It also has cracks and construction joints in it that allows moisture to enter from a zillion different places.

So moisture is either coming up from below (a rising water table) or its coming from the surrounding ground water in the saturated soil.

If it comes up from a rising water table, it will enter the living space from below through the crack between the foundation wall and slab.

If it comes from the surrounding ground water, it COULD enter the living space through the wall, especially if the exterior side of the foundation wall is not sealed properly. Either way the moisture enters the living space it will need to be collected and disposed. I think the best way to collect it is on the exterior side of the foundation wall in drainrock and a perforated pipe laid 6”-8” BELOW the interior basement slab.

To keep the subsurface water from seeping through the wall, I recommend installing a moisture barrier on the exterior side of the foundation wall and install a 2” thick plastic mesh on the wall to allow water to flow down to the perforated pipe. If dirt is allowed to be back filled against the wall, the dirt could hold the moisture giving it a chance to seep through the wall.

Once collected it needs to be disposed by extending a solid pipe over an embankment or in a collection well and pumped away.

This may be the most expensive method of solving the problem, but it’s sure to work.

BTW, if you do nothing, you could develop mold (if you haven’t already).

  • What is moisture barrier? Is it Tar seal? If you put a water collection pipe 6-8” below the concrete floor, it is going to be very deep. – user10277759 Aug 27 '18 at 4:36
  • @user10277759 Yes, the wall surface is sealed with a coating specifically made for for sealing below grade concrete. I like bitumen with layers of building paper and rubberized sheets. However, we also add a 1/2” layer of protection board so when the rock is backfilled against the wall it doesn’t create a hole through the moisture barrier. – Lee Sam Aug 27 '18 at 8:27
  • @user10277759 Yes, the perf pipe needs to be below the surface of the floor slab. Otherwise, the subsurface water will seep into the basement before it flows into the perf pipe. (Water flows in the direction of least resistance.) – Lee Sam Aug 27 '18 at 8:31
  • While the 'correct' way is to do it from the outside, that is not what the question asks. The most correct way to do it from the inside is going to depend on the users specific situation. – virtualxtc Aug 27 '18 at 13:31
  • @virtualxtc : I was wondering if there is new technology fixing the cracks from inside that is as good as from outside. The digging from outside is not supposed to be a civilized way to fix a hairline crack in the basement in a clean quiet community. This is just my thought as a layman. But it seems like everyone is suggesting to do this from outside. What if I fix it from out side for this crack, will I need to repeat it if I find another crack next year? – user10277759 Aug 30 '18 at 19:56

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