How do you Seal A Pipe Through A Foundation?
Imagine a dam trying to hold back water.
When it is one solid unit, it will be able to withstand the pressure exerted upon it without leaking.
What if holes develop in the dam, though? Obviously, water will be able to get through. And even if those holes are repaired, they are still a weak spot that will need to be monitored and perhaps strengthened again.
It is similar to the foundation walls of our home. When they are one solid unit, groundwater outside has a difficult time getting in. But, of course, a basement needs access to valuable resources outside. During the building process, holes are cored in foundation walls for the installation of sewer, septic, well access, water mains, gas, oil, electrical conduits, and underground utilities(phone, cable,etc.).
Because of these pipe penetrations in the concrete, a gap is created between the pipe and the hole in the wall. A contractor will often use hydraulic cement in an attempt to fill these gaps and prevent leaks.
The problem is that, like a dam that develops holes, these penetrations will continue to be some of the weakest areas in the foundation walls in regards to resisting the pressure of groundwater.
The hydraulic cement often fails over time and a homeowner is left repairing “holes in the dam.”In desperation, a homeowner may try all kinds of do-it-yourself remedies with – usually – predictable results.
How To Stop Basement Wall Pipe Penetration Leaks
So what are the possible solutions?
And what has the most success?
Possible solutions include:
1) Caulk or cement
- these are coated over the gap or crack in an attempt to seal it
- unfortunately, water still fills the area behind the patch
- this pressure, as well as mineral buildup (known as efflorescence), will eventually compromise the seal, and the area around the pipe penetration will leak again
- so it’s really just a temporary, superficial solution
2) Epoxy injection
- the good news is that epoxy will not break down like caulk or cement – it is very strong
- the bad news is that epoxy will prevent the pipe you are sealing around from ever being able to be removed because it has been “welded” to the concrete
3) Urethane injection
- this is the best solution
- urethane has elasticity, which allows it to flex with the expansion and contraction of the walls
- urethane resins also expand up to 20x their volume(so they are able to penetrate into even hairline cracks and pinholes) and they cure much faster than epoxy
- further, they can be used on dry and wet surfaces
At Crack-X, we’ve been using the urethane injection processon pipe penetrations for many years with success. Most urethane injections are around the outside of the pipe. But, at times, we also have injected inside conduits(pipes used as a sleeve to allow access to the basement), with good results. Our pipe penetration injections also come with the peace of mind of a 10-year, transferable warranty.
So yes, the “dam” of our foundation walls may develop leaks from pipe penetrations. But we can seal those for good without the stress of constant maintenance and trial-and-error.
Need help? Call us at 1-877-727-2259
Photo Cred Flickr