Since the traditional way to fix basement leaks involves digging up around the foundation or some part of it, many homeowners seek out interior basement leak repair solutions. Fortunately, regardless of the type of foundation that you have, it is possible to fix a basement leak from the inside of your home; in this post we tell you how.
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The case for interior waterproofing repairs
The exterior excavation and waterproofing approach to fixing basement leaks is widely considered excessive and has some notable drawbacks:
- Digging soil may not be an option because of the presence of patios, walkways, decks and other landscape related restrictions;
- Excavation requires cooperative weather (both temperature and precipitation), which is totally outside of anybody’s control;
- Digging and waterproofing is labour intensive and therefore expensive; and
- Excavation always results in landscape damage.
It is for these reasons that interior basement leak repairs are popular and gaining increasing market acceptance.
Factors that determine how a basement leak gets fixed from inside
There are several repair options available to stop basement leaks from inside your home. These options are dictated by a few factors:
- The type of foundation upon which your home is built (poured concrete, cinder block, brick and stone);
- How the water gets into the basement (foundation crack, seeping block walls, etc); and
- How easy it is to access the repair area inside the home.
How to fix poured concrete foundation leaks from inside
Leaks in poured concrete foundations, the most common type of foundation constructed since the late 1970s, are normally repaired from inside using pressurized crack injection because it is inexpensive and completed within a couple of hours, at any time of the year.
How not to fix a basement leak from the inside
In waterproofing, as with any repair solution, there is no such thing as a “perfect” solution; nevertheless, some basement leak repairs are professional and some are not. Here are a few interior leak repair solutions that we commonly see and do not recommend:
- The patching over of the crack surface with a material such as hydraulic cement is not an effective way to fix basement leaks because a patch repair approach causes ground water to be trapped within the crack in the wall. This trapped water will saturate the concrete and cause it to weaken over time. These repairs fail most of the time;
- Another approach to dealing with leaks in poured concrete foundations is the installation of an interior perimeter drainage system. While this basement leak repair method will keep your basement dry, we don’t recommend it for poured concrete foundations because it is far more expensive than injection repairs and promotes concrete saturation, as do the surface repairs mentioned above; and
- One heavily promoted approach involves sealing the crack surface and draining the water under the basement floor. While this approach seems sound, a significant drawback is that the water from the crack adds to the height of the water table under the basement floor, which increases the likelihood that water will enter your basement from beneath your basement floor.
How to fix cinder block foundation leaks from inside
When it comes to waterproofing a block foundation from the inside there is one professional method that works very well and is quite popular: installing a perimeter drainage system. In a nutshell, the system manages and evacuates the water that penetrates the block foundation walls. This type of system can be installed at any time during the year without limitation.
Click out this hyperlink for greater detail about the internal perimeter drainage system.
Interior block foundation waterproofing repairs that are a bad idea
Block foundations are very different from poured concrete foundations because block foundations are largely hollow; therefore, applying coatings onto interior block foundation walls will effectively trap potentially significant amounts of water within the walls. Again, this is undesirable because the trapped water will cause a rapid deterioration of the blocks.
Similar repairs, such as building up concrete against the base of the foundation walls which are leaking, will also trap water in your foundation walls.