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I had two holes in the poured concrete floor of my cellar. I was planning to fill both holes. So far I have only filled one because I ran into a problem with the other one.

How I filled the first hole: I removed any crumbled edge pieces. I mixed the "rapid set mortar mix," using a liquid mixture that was half "concrete bonding adhesive" and half water. I removed the standing water from the hole. I painted pure "concrete bonding adhesive" to the edges of the concrete floor (which was surprisingly thin, by the way). I was supposed to let that dry before continuing, but I couldn't because of the generally damp conditions. I put the mixed mortar mix into the hole and pushed down on it with a piece of wood. I smoothed the surface with a rubber gloved hand.

The problem I encountered with the second one: water wells up (slowly) from below one edge of the concrete floor.

Question: how can I fill the hole, given the slow but constant influx of water?

Size of filled hole: approximately 5 inches in diameter.

Size of other hole: approximately 12 inches in diameter (slightly oblong shape).

Notes: The water trickles towards the sump pit where it gets pumped out with a sump pump. I am also working on figuring out how to eliminate the water entry in the first place, but in the meantime I would like to fill that remaining hole.

Update: I just got a call back from a friend who suggested that I go ahead with the same procedure, but on a very cold day, when hopefully the trickle will be much slowed. Today it is 50 degreed Fahrenheit outside. Feedback would be much appreciated.

Another update: yes, the ground froze, but not all the way down. There is always some water seeping up from underneath. My new idea is to put in the patch, stationing an assistant at the upper part of the hole with a turkey baster and a rag to remove water as it appears (while I'm making the patch). Then poke a couple holes in the lower part with something like a knitting needle, to provide a way for the water to come up and then flow down toward the sump pail. What do you think?

  • Patching the holes will not solve your problem; you have hydraulic pressure of water pressing against the hollow cube that is your cellar and it will find a way in. More complex/invasive/expensive intervention will likely be needed in the end... – Jimmy Fix-it Dec 28 '18 at 20:46
  • @JimmyFix-it - I am also working on figuring out how to eliminate the water entry in the first place, but in the meantime I would like to fill that remaining hole. I don't know if that quick mortar will set and bond in such a situation. I wonder how to use the bonding agent in this situation, too. I'm also considering using "fill and seal". – aparente001 Dec 29 '18 at 3:50
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First as long as you have water coming up your patch probably won't hold. When I want a good seal in cases like this I do it in the summer when the ground water levels are lower. I believe hydraulic cement is the proper type of material to fill these holes, many times if you can plug them water will start coming up in other locations.

Allowing the water to flow through the patch will reduce the risk of someone getting hurt because of the hole but I would plan to do the repair in the summer if trying to seal. A couple of holes will allow the water to flow and not push the plug of new concrete out. Water underneath is not the problem, it's the pressure. They pour bridge footings under water, once the concrete displaces the water and fills the forms, it cures and works fine.

  • What do you think about my idea of providing some holes at the lower part of the patch (there is a gentle slope) to allow water to weep out? I do want to do something, because the large shallow hole means standing water. Also, the hole is right smack dab at the bottom of the steps. – aparente001 Feb 7 at 15:22
  • Allowing the water to flow through the patch will reduce the risk of someone getting hurt because of the hole but I would plan to do the repair in the summer if trying to seal. A couple of holes will allow the water to flow and not push the plug of new concrete out. Water underneath is not the problem it's the pressure. They pour bridge footings under water once the concrete displaces the water and fills the forms it cures and works fine. – Ed Beal Feb 7 at 15:32

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