Water Leaking in Basement Wall Around Pipe Penetration


Water leaks in basement walls commonly occur around improperly sealed drainpipes. Mortar seals around drainpipes eventually deteriorate and loosen from concrete walls, allowing water to leak through. Not only are water leaks often damaging to flooring and furnishings; the leaks also increase moisture levels in basements and therefore provide optimum conditions for mold growth. Although mold spores don’t generally affect healthy individuals, people who experience asthma or allergies are typically susceptible to respiratory issues, eye irritation and skin rashes. Promptly repair leaking basement walls around pipes to prevent mold infestation and damage of nearby objects.

Things You'll Need

  • Drop cloth
  • Sledgehammer
  • Cold chisel
  • Safety glasses
  • Work gloves
  • Portable wet/dry vacuum
  • Trowel
  • Hydraulic cement powder
  • Bucket
  • Latex gloves
  • Spread a drop cloth onto the basement floor directly below the leaking wall.

  • Chip off all of the old mortar around the drainpipe using a sledgehammer and cold chisel. Tap the chisel’s head with the sledgehammer while positioning the chisel’s tip against the old mortar. Wear safety glasses and work gloves as you remove the old mortar.

  • Extract grime and debris from the hole surrounding the pipe using a portable wet/dry vacuum. Hydraulic cement bonds best to clean surfaces.

  • Pack the loose chunks of mortar inside the hole surrounding the pipe. Partially fill the hole with the mortar chunks to take up space. Now you won’t have to completely fill the hole with cement.

  • Prepare only enough hydraulic cement to use in three minutes. Using a trowel, mix the hydraulic cement powder into a bucket of 70-degree Fahrenheit water for 30 seconds. The cement mixture’s consistency should resemble peanut butter. Use the ratio of 1 quart of water to 8 pounds of hydraulic cement powder for a mixing guide.

  • Take off the work gloves and put on latex gloves. Swiftly pack the wet cement into the hole surrounding the pipe, using your hands. Pack the cement firmly up against the mortar chunks and pipe until no empty spaces remain.

  • Press the cement even deeper into the hole using the trowel. Continue packing the cement into any voids or low spots, if necessary. Smooth the surface of the cement with the trowel.

  • Allow the hydraulic cement to fully cure overnight.

Tips & Warnings

  • Have an assistant help you fill the hole surrounding the pipe with cement to ensure that the cement doesn't begin to dry before the hole is completely filled.
  • Don’t mix the hydraulic cement longer than 30 seconds.
  • Don’t mix the hydraulic cement with water hotter than 70 degrees Fahrenheit.

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  • Photo Credit Ablestock.com/AbleStock.com/Getty Images
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