tldr: How can I, (temporarily and quickly), keep at least some amount of leaking water dammed and away from a wall?

I live in a three unit condo. In the basement, there is a cheaply constructed wall dividing my portion from my two neighbors. The floor of the basement slants significantly towards my part of the basement.

There is a modest water leak through the exterior wall in my neighbors' half the basement, near the dividing wall. It's a little damp for them, but they aren't really experiencing a huge issue with it. What's really happening is that all of the water is immediately flowing through/under/around the dividing wall and pooling in my half of the basement. It's actually pretty remarkable how quickly the water flows away from them and through the wall.

Because of the lack of impact, they don't quite sense the urgency of fixing the issue. We all keep odd hours, so I haven't been able to really show them the extent what's going on in my basement.

Is there any way that I can easily dam up the base of the wall so that, when the water leaks, it at least stays near the leak? I don't want to be a jerk neighbor - they'll get it fixed eventually - but its beginning to damage the stuff I have in storage and I need it stopping now not at some ill-determined point in the future.

  • 2
    Cynical non-useful comment: I've always thought that most condos were a perfect balance: All the disadvantages of renting, and all the disadvantages of owning. There are exceptions, but all too often...
    – keshlam
    Dec 11, 2014 at 3:04
  • Where is the water coming from? If it says so I missed it. Is it water through the roof and down a wall, is it a leaky pipe, you don't know, etc?
    – user20127
    Dec 13, 2014 at 14:46
  • "leak through the exterior wall" - "The association covers the main frame of the house." -not you guys problem.
    – Mazura
    Apr 10, 2015 at 5:00

1 Answer 1


You don't want to stop the water. You are going to make a bad situation worse. Yes you could use some leveling agents or caulking to stop the water flow. But then what happens?

The water pools right at the wall, you get mold all over the place and then you and your neighbor have a big issue. I don't know who maintains the walls of the condo. In some condo places the outside walls, roofs, lawn, and so on is completely paid for using dues. Basement wall is one of those grey areas. You need to call the association to figure out if they should be paying it or your neighbor.

If they say your neighbor should be then they need to enforce this. [You should try to talk to your neighbor and make sure they understand the importance (mold being the big issue or damage to your property) but it sounds like you have done this] It should be taken care of right away. Either the neighbor or the association is libel for damages based on someone else's property. Do not mess with your unit or another unit though. Because if you do incur damages they could point blame at your changes. I would file a claim with the association right away given your neighbor isn't taking action - even if it is something petty (ruined $5 toy or box or whatever) but it will get the ball rolling.

  • Fair points. I would note that "the association" in this case is me and my two neighbors. That's the real rub. Regardless of who is paying for it, I need to get them to recognize not so much the importance, but the urgency. Dec 10, 2014 at 21:06
  • If you mention that you need their insurance information I am sure they will start to think about it quicker. Also since it is just 3 of you, who covers exterior walls? Is this clear?
    – DMoore
    Dec 10, 2014 at 21:09
  • The association covers the main frame of the house. We all pay dues. It's simply that the governance of the association is us three owners. And, of course, there's other water related work on the roof and siding that we'd all like to be putting our dues towards. Water, water, every where! Dec 10, 2014 at 22:15
  • I would just start getting bids and then talk to the other owners. If you think it is just their problem then you can handle it different. But you might as well get the ball rolling.
    – DMoore
    Dec 10, 2014 at 22:26

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