How to Repair Your Minor Basement Leak

Any water leak, however small or large, can be a big complication for a homeowner.

Follow these steps to identify and fix that leak right away.

Find and fix the source

First, understand that you have to stop the cause of the problem. Redirecting water away from your foundation in the first place is the best first step in preventing water from getting in your basement.

A big clue to the cause will come from knowing where the leak is occurring, and thinking about how water could get to that spot. Water may be pooling along your foundation from a variety of sources. Check for leaky downspouts or gutters that allow water to pool beside your house and seep down to your foundation. Blocked drainage pipes and improper grading or ruts that direct ground runoff toward your foundation could also be the problem.

Prepare the surface and seal the cracks

Next clean the area as completely as possible. If you have puddles or pools of water from a leak, mop up the area completely with mop or towels. Be sure to remove anything that could become damaged by the water.

Next, remove any loose or broken mortar, dirt, dust, or other debris around the leak area, using a broom or stiff brush. Then dry the surface thoroughly.

Now that you’ve prepped the surface, you’re ready to apply sealant to your basement walls. For the best results, apply the first coat with a nylon or polyester bristle brush. The second coat can be applied with a brush or masonry roller. You may choose to use a caulk gun to apply a sealant that way.

Then using a trowel or drywall spatula, even out the surface to match the rest of your basement wall in texture.

Depending on the directions for your sealant, it may take more than one coat. Follow the directions carefully. Some sealants require ample time to bond with the concrete or with additional layers of sealant, and proceeding before the bonding occurs will create an incomplete bond that you will have to repair sooner.

Then follow the manufacturer’s directions for dry time.

Finally, apply a layer of primer and then one or two layers of paint to restore your basement to its original form.

Photo by Joshua Hoehne on Unsplash







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