How to Repair a Basement Leak


Authored by Brandy Burgess in Home Repair 
Published on 10-21-2009

Water leaks in the basement have become very common among most households. Homeowners usually become aware of these small cracks in the basement walls or floor when their personal possessions begin to get ruined. If this is happening in your basement, it’s important to discover and fix the leaks before they become worse. Follow these simple steps on how to repair a basement leak.

How to Repair a Basement Leak: The Causes

To determine the proper way to fix a basement leak, you will need to find the cause. It’s very common for carpenters to leave various loopholes during the construction of a house. This can later lead to foundation problems for the new homeowner. Heavy rain fall is one of the most common problems in homes with leaking basements. During heavy rains, the groundwater tends to accumulate. If a home has poor quality tiles, pipes or concrete shrinks in the basement, cracks may begin to appear.

How to Repair a Basement Leak: Materials Needed

To repair a basement leak, you will need four basic materials that you can find at most home improvement stores such as Home Depot or Lowes. The first material you will need is hydrophobic liquid polyurethane. This is very commonly used to repair all types of basement cracks and leaks as it works very well to fill in even the deepest of cracks. When polyurethane is put into a crack or leak, it expands up to 30 times and forms a foam substance. Once dried, polyurethane creates a tight water-proof material that lasts as long as 15 years. The other materials you will need to purchase are crack seal glue, peel-off ports and cartridges.

How to Repair a Basement Leak: Instructions

Begin by cleaning the basement thoroughly to eliminate any toxins caused by algae build-up. It’s essential to have a clean work space in order for the polyurethane to adhere properly to the leaks. Using the crack-seal glue and the peel-off ports, cover all of the cracks you can find. Next, use the cartridges to fill the cracks with the polyurethane. Give the polyurethane some time to thoroughly mix with the water and solidify.

After the polyurethane has completely formed and filled all of the leaks and cracks, remove the crack-seal glue and the peel-off ports. It’s important to never drill into the cracks to try to repair as this can lead to more leakage. It’s best to repair even the smallest of cracks as soon as you notice any leakage to avoid serious damage to your personal property. Inexpensive water-proofing kits should be applied to the basement walls to keep them dry.

How to Repair a Basement Leak: Conclusion

If left alone, basement leaks can lead to disaster for most homeowners. Repairing cracks and leaks in the basement is fairly simple and will only take a few hours to complete an average size basement. Allowing leaks in the basement to remain un-repaired can lead to water damage of anything the basement stores including personal possessions and furniture. For all of these reasons, it’s best to repair a basement leak immediately.


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