A Dry Basement?? I think so…

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In every house that I have ever lived in, we have had a leaky basement. I don’t understand why this is such an issue for so many houses! Since about to weeks after we moved into this house, our basement has leaked in at least five different places…numerous times… not including when the sewer backed up. (That was a lot of fun, let me tell you)

We have tried digging up from the outside and patching the leaks, we have patched from the inside, and yes, we even hired someone to fix the leaks…. but somehow, the water keeps coming in…

Luckily, the water up until now was coming in from the unfinished part of our basement, but, when the water started coming in again this spring in came in from the finished part, so….I did what any intelligent educated woman would do… I took a hammer to the drywall! This is what the wall looked like when I was finished with it…

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There was a whole lot of mould and water damage, so we decided that the framing had to go too. So, my lovely and willing assistant, no, I mean my skilled and handsome husband, ripped it out. (Thanks honey!)
Here is what one of the cracks we found looks like…yes, there was more than one, but this was the big one. You can see in the photo that someone has already tried to patch it.

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So, we took a few days to look into some different products. (OK, OK, we left it a couple months, but who’s counting?) But, in the meantime, a friend told me about this product and it sounded pretty good, so we thought we would give it a try…

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Is is a two part product by Sika called an Injection Repair Kit. The way it works is that you chisel out the crack, attach these tubes or nipples over the crack, parge over everything, then inject the expanding foam into the tubes.

So, out came the chisel, and we started hammering. I would also recommend some earplugs and eye protection. It was loud, and there were pieces of cement flying everywhere. But, we chipped out the crack so it was exposed and then used a wire brush to clean out the crack.

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Now, I consider myself to be pretty handy, but unfortunately, I can’t hammer if my life depended upon it. It takes me about 20 hits to hammer in a nail, and I only hit the nail half the time! So, after hammering for half an hour, this is what my thumb looked like:

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Don’t worry, I’m OK, once again, my incredibly coordinated husband came to the rescue and finished the job!
So, the next step was to attach the tubes, we used a glue gun to attach them to the wall. We place them about about 6-8 inches apart.

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The next step was to parge around each tube, but I was a little worried that the cement would block the holes, so I stuck some paintbrushes in each hole, to keep the holes open. We also wet the wall at this point because the expandable foam only works when it comes in contact with water.

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Then we used the cement that came with the kit to parge over the tubes. I just mixed a couple tablespoons at a time, because it sets really fast.

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Once the cement set (the kit said to leave for 1/2 hour), we took out the brushes that were blocking the holes. The expandable foam that came with the kit works with a caulking gun. You simply insert it into each tube and squeeze until it drips out. The kit came with plugs to put in each tube to stop it from dripping.

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It worked amazing! The foam even expanded to the outside of the house. When I went outside to check, the foam had expanded so much it was coming out the outside of the house.
I have to say, so far, so good. It has rained twice since we repaired the crack, and not a drop of water!
We are working up the courage to turn on the hose on the outside of the house to test how well it worked. I’ll let you know!

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