3

We had a heavy rainstorm a few days ago. I discovered that a small hole in my basement wall was leaking water. The hole is at least 6 inches deep. On the other side of this wall is the area between the houses where the downspouts from my neighbor's house drain. The whole area was flooded with several inches of water.

I am the first owner of the home (constructed in 2013). I have not seen this hole leak prior to this point.

Note:

Questions:

  • Why does it look like there's a PVC pipe inside the concrete?
  • Would filling it with Great Stuff expandable foam be sufficient fix to stop a future water leak?
  • Besides digging up the ground outside of the hole (it's about 5 feet below), is there anything else I can do to plug this hole?

hole in concrete wall

4
  • Adjusting the drainage from the downspouts should be near the top of the list. Inside repairs should be considered temporary repair only, that means repairing from the outside(digging) is the best permanent repair. Hydraulic cement(comes in small tubs) put in the hole is probably the best temporary repair.
    – crip659
    Sep 12, 2022 at 18:09
  • Drainage spouts are on my neighbor's property, so not much I can do there. Is the PVC pipe embedded in the concrete normal? Sep 12, 2022 at 19:39
  • Is hydraulic cement only available in tubs, and not tubes? Is there any way to inject it deep into the hole the same way you could with expandable foam? Sep 12, 2022 at 19:43
  • Would would say not normal if going up, normal use is as a path to let water pipes/electrical cables though the wall. Can try asking neighbours to help with the spouts, maybe bring cookies.
    – crip659
    Sep 12, 2022 at 19:47

1 Answer 1

3

Hydraulic pressure can do amazing things -- I wouldn't count on any indoor fix keeping the water out. Even if you could 100% seal up this spot there's sure to be another point waiting to leak nearby. And leaking isn't the worst of it, either. In an extreme case the water could cause settlement and even failure of the foundation wall or footing.

Several inches of standing water outside a foundation is nature's equivalent of a flashing neon sign saying "you gotta do something about the drainage here!"

One hopes a neighbor would be reasonable and cooperative about correcting the discharge of storm water from their property. But if they're not helpful, there's likely to be some municipal or higher law on your side to help "encourage" their participation. I believe it's a common principle that a person must configure their property in such a way as to be able to contain a certain amount of storm water on-site. Failure to do that can cause significant erosion and other damage further down slope.

The best fix is probably to arrange a pipe to carry the down spout water to a location in the yard further away from the buildings. A possible alternative is to erect a berm (on property you control) to prevent foreign water coming in. Maybe that'll help the neighbor understand the problem when he sees his storm water flooding his own basement. ;-)

1
  • 1
    Greg is right. You can chase these holes forever. But as regards the hole I would not use foam. It will not last. Hydraulic cement comes dry in the tubs. You hydrate it and then you can shoot it in or pour it through a hose into the crack as you see fit .
    – Willk
    Sep 13, 2022 at 1:39

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.