Update to: Leak in my basement (found the source)

UPDATE:
Well, I opened up the wall and found the source of the leak. There was crack in the concrete wall that had been caulked over. It rained a couple of times today and water poured out of the crack about 4 inches off the floor.
http://pics.bbzzdd.com/users/Squisher/crack.jpg
The good news is that that area is only 2 feet under grade.
The strange thing is that after I pulled some of the loose caulk away was that a lot of the water coming out of the crack that then drained out of 1/8" vertical separation between the wall and the floor.
Looking around the interwebs it looks like every crack repair company says their solution is better than all the rest. Anybody got any suggestions? DIY?
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wrote:

Does it leak after the sprinklers run? If so, consider moving that one or capping it off.

You could dig a good size area out below grade and tar/place a membrane of the outside wall. Dig deeper and add some stone for drainage.

To really prepare the crack for repair, it may be necessary to use a 4" angle grinder with a diamond blade to slightly open/bevel the crack up a little. It makes for a better repair, Imo.

Butyl caulk (bitch-a-thane) will stick to a ball of lard. They build buses, trains and other things with it.
DIY two cents.
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Oren wrote:

but if water is "pouring out" patching the crack could just cause hydraulic pressure on the wall, and then the crack will open up more (as well as making the wall bulge.) How's the french drains?
nate
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I forget the name but the hardware stores sell some crack repair stuff that expands in the crack which prevents water pressure from pushing it out of the crack. You can squeeze it in from the inside of the basement. Best results require good cleaning of the crack. Only use the expanding stuff. People will try to sell you on hydraulic cement but that does not expand and will not solve your problem.
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on 7/23/2009 6:50 PM (ET) Reno wrote the following:

UGL DryLok. Fast Plug Can be used even when the water is flowing.
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on 7/23/2009 7:13 PM (ET) willshak wrote the following:

Sorry, move the period after DryLok to after Fast Plug.
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Hydraulic cement DOES expand. At least the stuff I've used over the years does.
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CraigT wrote:

Whatever you decide, patch if from the outside (also).
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Since its only 2 ft down, outside won be that hard
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That indicates that you have drainage issues, which is probably the reason why you have cracks in the wall to begin with. The soil around the foundation is over saturated with water and the resulting hydrostatic pressure is what is causing the problem. No crack repair will hold if you don't do anything to solve the drainage issue and relieve the hydrostatic pressure. Check your gutters, extend the downspouts as far from the house as possible, grade the terrain as to slope away from the foundation and keep sprinkles, garden hoses and plants that need constant watering away from the foundation walls. In other words, do your best to keep that soil as dry as possible.
If that doesn't help, you might need to install a new drain tile. Formerly you would have to dig out the foundation and install or replace the drain tile by the footing. Nowadays, you can do it internally, installing the drain tile along the internal perimeter of basement walls, to collect the water and a sump pump to get it out and away from the basement.
Once you relieve that pressure you will need to clean up (and dry up) the wall crack and then patch it.Keep in mind that basement walls move: they settle with the soil and they expand and contract with temperature variations.So hard cement based compounds will not work, and will be only a temporary solution. You will need a rubbery compound that will follow the wall movements without crumbling or cracking.
Here's some information on wall cracks -
http://www.basement-repair.com/foundation/foundation-wall-cracks.html
And on wall crack repair, with an explanation of all different methods and options:
http://www.basement-repair.com/foundation/foundation-vertical-cracks.html
Hope that helps.
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interior french drain is the best solution once you elminate the easy fixes like downspouts.
theres no way to seal the walls good enough and besides they are cracking
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I agree with some of the other posters. The best first move is to get the water away from the house as much as possible. Extend the gutters. Reposition the sprinkler head so it is away from the house ans sprays away. If needed regrade so you have swells that direct water away.
If you have to seal the wall, do it from the outside. Sealing on the inside is worthless and will simply fail again. Plus the wall is being damaged by the water.
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Thanks for the links.
I don't think the ground is super saturated or is their high hydrostatic pressure. The area of the crack is only 2 feet under grade. The crack seems to be a stress crack from settling (house is only 8 years old). The water has been held back for the entire 4 years I've been the house by nothing more that caulk. The leak is 20 inches to right of that window and note the grade:
http://pics.bbzzdd.com/users/Squisher/leak.jpg
Gutters are clean and twenty plus feet up in a 8 year old sub-division. Not much chance for plugging unless done by varmints. All downspouts enter irrigation pipe in which they and my sump pump drain into a pond that runs behind all the houses.
http://pics.bbzzdd.com/users/Squisher/IMG_6629.JPG
Walkout basement floor is probably 6 feet higher than the high water mark of the pond.
My sump pump only runs during times of very inclement weather.
Given that the crack is only 2 feet under grade I'd like to address the crack from the outside, but all the flexible repair products seem to be designed for use from the interior.
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Use some Quikrete Hydraulic Water Stop Cement to fix the crack and then seal the area with roofing tar/foundation coating or similar...
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CraigT wrote:

Where is the water coming from? Your house is not a swimming pool. Trying to stop leaks seldom/never works for long. You first must identify where the water is coming from. Most of the time it comes from leaky gutters or from drainage pipe often wrapped around your house tied into the downspouts. You can find out by sticking a hose in the gutters and run water for at least an hour, or run the downspouts temporarily through a flexible downspout hose extension that takes the water away from the foundation
If you are getting ground water (not from your roof) you probably will need to put in a french drain. If your walls are only 2 feet below grade, a french drain would be fairly easy. Fixing gutters or drainage tile is the easiest and easiest to investigate.

It's pretty easy to look at them when it rains and make sure they are not leaking. It's also possible that the drainage tile is leaking from settling. roots, poor installation etc. I once had a house that leaked, and turnout the terra cotta drainage tile around the house was destroyed. It was about 1 1/2 feet below the ground and looked like someone attacked it with a sledge hammer...
The idea is to remove the water source if possible. Removing or stopping the water after it seeps through your walls is not a good solution.
Foundation cracks are part of life, no need to worry much about them if if water is out of the equation, which is what you want to shoot for.
All downspouts enter

I guess you don't have enough fall to slope a pipe to the pond? I also assume your basement leaks only during times of very inclement weather, when the sump pump runs?

Is your basement only 2 feet under grade, or is just this crack 2 feet under grade? Are your walls concrete block, poured cement or something else? If water is building up around your walls, there are very likely many places it seeps in.

Thats because it seems far easier to try the inside repair. Often it's easier to fix a gutter/drainage tile problem. After you do this inside "fix" several times, you will eventually be back to finding the source of the water, and stopping it from reaching your walls in the first place. If you need a french drain, you will be digging out the outside walls, and there are lots of products intended to seal the walls from the outside. The big thing still is to get the water away, if you can't, then french drain is the solution.
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In my old house I had a crack "volclayed" with an injection method, it worked, but not 100%. If it is only 2 feet below grade I'd just dig it up, expose and clean the wall and have someone repair the crack and waterproof it properly. Its hit or miss with the injection method (IMHO) unless they improved it in the past 15 years or so.
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Dig outside and fix it right. You won't have to worry about it again. I worked for a builder and every time they made me waste my time trying to " shit repair " a cracked wall from inside a year later I was there facing a very pissed off home owner.And it never seemed to fail It would be in the winter I would be out there digging in the snow.Those damn builders always did it the cheepest way twice.
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