I have a crack in my basement concrete wall where the water pipe enters
the house. It's a hairline crack about a piece of paper wide that
radiates down from the copper pipe about 1 inch then takes a 90 degree
turn to the right for a couple of inches. It weeps during heavy rains,
and eventually forms a little stream on the floor just big enough to be
annoying as it tries to find the lowest point in my basement. It's not
much - probably 1 gallon overnight during very heavy rains (I caught it
in a 5-gallon bucket last time), but it could become bigger, so off to
Home Depot I went.
I got some stuff called Drylok Fast Plug, that looks like it'll do the
job. However, it says to "back chisel out the area to be patched to the
shape of an inverted "V". Now, that seems like one of those things that
looks all neat-o on paper, but in reality, I can see me blowing out a
bigger chunk of concrete than I want to (and not in the shape desired).
So, instead of using the chisel I bought, I'm thinking I should try to
use my drill with a concrete saw wheel to try to "cut" it out. I want it
bigger inside the wall than at the surface, so the plug is locked in.
Any suggestions about the best way of going about this? Another wet
winter storm headed my way, and I'd like to get this done today.
Regards, and thanks.
Why not just pump it full of silicone chalk? I've fixed cracked
aquariums with the water still inside, & toilet tanks as well. I'm
pretty convinced it will seal anything involving water except where it
is under considerable pressure, with minimal prep.
The difference might be that there is no dust associated with an
acquarium, and maybe not with a toilet tank, and maybe not with the
OP's wall. He didnt' say.
But if there is dust, it would keep things from adhering. I've used
Shoe Goo, and Goop to repair shoes -- they seem to be a form of
silicone caulk -- and they work fine except in one pair where part of
the rubber in the vertical middle of the sole, under the arch, keeps
crumbling. I scraped it out with a screwdriver to get rid of anything
that was going to fall out, and that didn't work. So this last time,
I scraped even harder. I think in places I got to the next layer, top
and bottom, it will stick, and those places might be enough. I could
buy more shoes -- I have more shoes -- but I'm driven like Ahab to fix
However if there is no dust or crumbling, I would also recommend
PC-70, which will dry while water is leaking around it. You have to
keep pushing it back into the hole becuse the water will push it out,
but after 10 or 15 minutes of tending it, it set sufficiently not to
move anymore, and was waterproof as a sink drain afterwards, at least
for the 3 months I lived there.
Try to find the two 4-oz. cans rather than the 1- or 2-oz double-ended
tube that HD sells. The stuff will keep for 5 or 10 years or more if
one part doesn't touch the other part, and tighly sealed.
It sounds like the whole crack is only 3 inches long, so any technique
can be accomplished in a reasonable time.
But the OP should definitely look outside at downspouts and
splashblocks and anything else that might be fixable.
When ever I hear about people having basement water problems, it seems
that the first place they tackle is outside. They try and elminate
water sources making it to the foundation. Downspouts pointed away
from the house, for several feet, sloping land away from the
Have you tried workign outside first?
tom @ www.YourMoneyMakingIdeas.com
The first thing to check is the old patch for the pipe. The morons who
built my house (a nationwide luxury home builder) used a 4 inch corrugated
pipe as a sleeve for my poured concrete wall even though the water pipe is
less than 2 inches thick. On top of that they left the plastice sleeve in
when they patched it and did not use hydraulic cement like Dam-it or the
stuff you bought. We had to take the hole mess out and put a board against
the inside while patching from the outside. Board was actually a split
board with half holes to surround the pipe and someone held it against the
wall while someone on the outside patched. We used slow setting stuff which
gives you 15 minutes work time because everything was dry. Working from the
inside only will not last in my opinion.
The cure is on the outside!!!!
Anything you accomplish on the inside is temporary at best. Any
concrete product directly in contact with copper is not good.
On new work:
1. Sleeve the wall with PVC
2. Install pipe as required. Control the annular space to
something manageable, 1" or less. Keep the pipe centered if
3. Install appropriate backer rod.
4. Caulk properly with the appropriate dimension permanent caulk.
I prefer NP1 polyurethane.
5. Cap the surrounding area with appropriate damp proofing set in
the proper sealant/adhesive. EPDM works well, Mulehide emulsified
with Yellow Jacket nylon reinforcement works well, fiberglass
reinforced tar paper set in plastic roof cement works well.
3. A drainage plane that allows water to get to the perimeter
4. Keep surface water away from the structure.
A live Singing Valentine quartet,
Thanks for everybody's suggestions. And, yes, I agree that I will
ultimately have to get to the outside problem to fix it right. But, this
is in the face of a snow storm coming tonight, and I just didn't want
the trickle of water to deal with when it warms up, or if it turns to
rain tonight. I used the Drylok Fast Plug, after using a masonry wheel
on my drill to cut out along the crack to make a bigger place for the
drylock to adhere to. And, I used a wire wheel to clean out all the
loose stuff before following the directions on the drylock can to apply
a patch. It sure looks good after a couple of hours of drying. Like I
said earlier, there's not a lot of pressure... just a trickle, so I
suspect that this will hold until warm weather when I can...
1) redirect the roof runoff to a more appropriate downspout
2) dig down where the current downspout is dumping water right at the
leak location, and do it right from the outside. I already put a 4"
plastic drain (10-ft) to direct the flow to a place further away... but
to get it really away from this area, I would need to go across my walk
to the front door... more that I wanted to get into today in the cold
I appreciate all your help today folks.
One more update - it is leaking today after last night's (wet)
snowstorm... but it's not leaking below the copper pipe where I patched
the crack... it's leaking right AROUND the pipe where I didn't apply
any Drylock Fast Plug (hey, it may have been leaking there as well
before yesterday - hard to tell when it's wet). It's not much, so I may
try it again. I'll chip off the old patch adhering to the pipe that has
been on there for 25 years, and clean the pipe to a shiny clean. Then,
I'll fill in the depression all around the pipe with more fast plug. Who
knows... maybe - maybe not, but worth a try until the weather breaks and
I can tackle it from the outside.
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