I have pinhole leak in my concrete basement floor. At worst, it leaks
maybe one drop every ten seconds. The water flows across the floor
where I walk all the time, collects, and keeps the humidity high. It's
more of a problem than "pinhole leak" would suggest.
What can I do to stop the leak?
It looks as if someone tried to patch it - the leak is in the middle of
a small mounded-up area in an otherwise smooth concrete floor. (The
floor is all painted.) It's about four feet from the sump pump and
There are some other leaks at the joints between the wall and floor. To
help with these, I plan to extend the outlets of the gutters farther
from the house, seal the joint between the garage and the concrete
driveway apron, etc... But the pinhole leak is such a tiny leak - Is
there some direct fix? I might try simple/cheap/quick fixes even if
they're not guaranteed to solve the problem.
Thanks for your help.
On 21 Sep 2006 10:14:46 -0700, email@example.com wrote:
You wont stop the leak, you need to divert the water elsewhere. The
best place would be the earth's core. Simply dig a hole in the
basement until you hit the earth's core. The water will run to the
core and turn to steam instead of entering your floor. You can then
pipe that steam to radiators and heat your home with it. Be sure to
re-cement the floor after you fill the hole with gravel, and put the
pipes into place.
Try hydraulic cement? It's like $8 for a small tub of it. It'd keep the
water from coming in. Mark all the places where the water is coming in,
and then patch them ASAP with the concrete. Water shouldn't be pushing in
like that in the first place though. You have water pressure building up
or water table is too high. Make sure the dirt around your house slopes
down from the house, make sure your gutters are clean, install plastic
downspout extensions. Lowe's has 40 foot extensions for $20. I have them
conencted to all of our gutter downspouts.
They're guaranteed to not solve the problem---sounds as though tbasc is
It would help to know if this is a continuous problem, only occurs when
it rains, only when it rains for extended period, etc., etc., ...
Also, something about location and terrain would undoubtedly be good...
BUT, all that aside, under the assumption it is continual or nearly so,
you could always try hydraulic cement, but given the symptoms, I'm
guessing all you'll end up doing is forcing this water to find the
next-weakest link, so to speak. If, as it sounds like, you have a
water table higher than the basement floor, you have a positive
pressure at least equal to the height of that table above the floor
(and perhaps that's quite a large number if this is part of an overall
water source rather than just that your basement excavation is acting
as a sump). This pressure is the driving force for the water ingress
and closing off one relief point will simply increase the pressure
elsewhere. I had a similar situation in a rental house once where it
leaked profusely during wet weather but was mostly confined to a single
point. Not thinking, I did precisely what you're proposing during a
particularly wet time and as I watched, the leak went from one
comparatively small location fairly near the sump to coming out of
every crack and fissure in the slab. I could actually hear the slab
crack and pop as it made it's pressure relief. Needless to say, that
situation was less palatable than the original. My bet would be you'd
find something similar happens...
To fix this problem is undoubtedly going to take the services of a
qualified engineer who knows the local hydrology and can look at the
particular house and see if there is a practical way to divert the
water away. It might be this is one of those situations where the wall
drain to the sump is the only economically feasible alternative.
I'm a qualified engineer. I will look at the house and might even
take a picture using my Kodak Instamatic. Send me $19,999.99 (plus
shipping & handling). I'll take care of everything. TRUST ME !!!!
By the way, what the fuck is hydrology?
Think of your house as a concrete boat. If water is coming up a pinhole,
thee is plenty more just below hte slab. You have to get rid of it.
Recently, on Ask This Old House, they solved a similar problem by installing
a sump and a pump. You should investigate doing that. Thee was a large
amount of water, just a few inches below the concrete slab. They rented an
electric jack hammer to break up the slab where needed.
You need the following:(
Make certain all downspout drains divert water well away from home.
make certain grade is away from home all around so water doesnt run
The actual; solution is a interior french drain with sump pump, to
elmnate this water once and for all.....
Before you do any of the things the others suggest, paint the floor.
With waterproof paint recommended for basement walls (maybe floors to,
but the usual problem is walls).
Back in 1961, my mother still owned the house she and her late husband
had lived in, and the tenant complained about the wet basement
(actually he had gotten a reduction in rent on the promise that he
would fix the place up, but he never did anything except complain to
the building department about the wet basement as he moved out owing
So the building department was after my mother, and the inspector told
her that all she had to do was get this waterproof paint. Well my
mother was 53 and I was 14 so I got the job of painting it, and I did
my best but I'm pretty sure I painted some cobwebs right onto the
wall. But it was under the stairs. The whole wall, floor to ceiling,
side to side, only took an hour, iirc.
I actually didn't think any of this would help, but apparently it
solved the problem completely and for years thereafter, at least 5 but
I think she had the house even after my motehr and her husband moved
700 miles away. That is, the basement was dry afterwards.
The hardware store at Myrtle and Jay street in Brooklyn had a display
of part of a cinder block, painted on one half and not on the other,
with a pump circulating the water, and the water came right through
the unpainted part and not a bit on the painted part.
I would think the paint is as good now, hopefully even better than it
was in 1961. I don't know if you need to take off the paint that is
there now first or not, but if you have to paint it again no big deal.
You only need do a square foot or so. I'm sure you can paint over the
waterproof paint with paint that matches, or contrasts with, the rest
of the floor.
Don't go for hard ways to do things if you can do them easily.
On 21 Sep 2006 10:14:46 -0700, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
Been there tried that:(
It helps on walls some but not floors where the water pressure will
easily get the leak going again.
dont get me wrong waterproof paint does seal, the trouble is adhesion
it can bubble pewel off whatever its painted on espically old paint.
Thanks all for the many responses so far. Please continue.
Responding to various questions and comments:
It's been a wet year (Northeast US).
We have two sump pumps, one at each end of the (large) basement.
Both work. Even when it's not raining, both sometimes run.
Both sumps were dry one year ago when we bought the place.
As was the floor.
How deep should the sump holes be?
The holes have some sort of liner on the sides, with holes for the
water to enter through.
Where should the highest hole be - right under the slab?
The holes may be lower down...
Thanks for pointing out that fixing one leak may cause others.
I think I can improve the drainage from the gutters.
Sounds like talking to an engineer would be a good idea.
What's the right name for the kind of engineer I need - e.g., "Civil"?
What's the best way to find a good one?
On 22 Sep 2006 08:42:07 -0700, email@example.com wrote:
Although they both work in construction, it seems that civil engineers
are so named because they work for the govenment, from the Latin for
citizen. So they build bridges and exways and I don't know what else.
It took me decades to realize what made them civil. I thought they
were just polite.
So yu have 2 sump pumps, but still have water coming out of floor:(
Rent a jackhammer, or buy one from harbor freight.
Run a perforated pipe from one of the sumps to the area where water
comes out of floor, surround pipe with gravel.
This will give the water, likely a underground stream a easy path to
the pump and end your water problem:)
I had to do this, add a leader in my old house after the permimeter
french drain failed to elminate all the water....
I RECOMMEND you investigate a back up sump pump system in case you have
a failure, like power goes out.theres battery or water powered if your
on city water
this also happened to me:( hurricane Iven and power failure left 6
inches of water in basement, ruined brand new vinyl floor too.nearly
cost me home sale too....
Ideeally sump drain by gravity to a spot well away from home below
homes level, at least a overflow kinda drain.
its imp[ossible to plug the type of leak you have, all you can do is
redirect it elsewhere.
I found out later a stream had run thru the property before the homes
stream just went underground surfacing in my basement.
Not to change the subject, but somewhere recently, I heard this:
God must be a civil engineer. Think of how women are designed. Who else but
a CE would locate two raw sewage conduits right in a popular recreational
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