Seal Wall Cracks and Leaks
LESLIE: Robert in Utah needs some help in the basement. What’s going on? Tell us about the problem.ROBERT: Well, in our house we have an unfinished room with bare cement walls, going down to the bare cement floor, and there’s a crack in the wall and whenever the sprinklers are on too long or it rains outside, the water comes down and leaks into the basement through a visible crack there. It’s not a very big leak but it could be a problem in the future, so my question is I know that I can dig down the outside of the wall and apply some sort of a sealant to correct the leak from the outside but that implies a lot of digging. I was wondering if there’s some sort of a product or something that I could use on the inside to seal that crack and keep from having to do all that digging.
TOM: Well, sure. I mean, you certainly could use a good quality caulk on that crack; like a white silicone adhesive caulk or something of that nature. The issue here is probably the drainage outside that wall.
LESLIE: Mm-hmm. I mean and you even mentioned, Robert, that it occurs if your sprinklers are on too long or if you get a rain.
TOM: Mm-hmm. Yeah. So I think you ought to take a look at the grading and the drainage at the outside foundation perimeter. Make sure that the soil is sloping away from the wall and, with respect to the rain, make sure that your gutters and downspouts are clean and that if you have a spout discharging anywhere near there, that you extend it out least four feet.
ROBERT: But I could use just a regular silicone caulk on the inside and that would hold?
TOM: (overlapping voices) Yeah, absolutely. There’s no reason you can’t. It’s nothing special; just a masonry block wall. And basically, what water is doing is simply finding the path of least resistance. So you can seal that and you could repaint the wall and you’ll be good to go.
ROBERT: OK, well, thank you very much. Appreciate your help.
TOM: You’re welcome. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.