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Why am I getting So Many Leaks Around the Pipe Penetrations in My Stone Foundation?

Joseph Coupal - Wednesday, January 02, 2019

Just recently in Cambridge, MA, there was water coming into the home from around a new water pipe. The water company dug out in front of the house a little bit. Once you dig you disturb the soil which has been getting compacted for what could be around 100 years or for as few as five years. Either way, the rain compacts the soil which helps keep the water from coming into your home. But utility companies put fluffy soil on top of a pipe or conduit and they don't compact it at all. Then in the basement, they will use hydraulic cement, put it around the pipe and call it finished. Hydraulic cement is to be used in an emergency to try to stop water, but it doesn't expand or contract. Soil and stones move because of the freezing cycle in Massachusetts. That's why we have so much water coming in around water pipes, electrical conduits, irrigation cable, and other wall penetrations. We see this all the time.

If a utility company is digging down into the yard to install a pipe that is going to run through the wall, and they don't compact the soil, that soil can even act as a sponge and pull the water right to the wall. If the utility company has not done a good job to seal it, that is where the problem lies. To fix this, we'll work from the inside. We will clean out in between the stones and hydraulic cement that they put in. We use oakum, which is like rope. We'll soak that in a polymer resin material and work it into the foundation. That will expand and we then put a specialty mortar over that. These materials will expand and move with the stones and soil, but it will always stop the water.

For more information on basement waterproofing, contact A1 Foundation Crack Repair.

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