Pipes ran through the foundation walls are sealed using hydraulic cement, caulking, or with an application of concrete - and there are some pipes that have no sealing in place whatsoever. The seal on these pipes will eventually wear out and deteriorate over time. When this happens, they can become the weakest links in the foundation wall. This makes it nearly impossible for them to hold back groundwater, and eventually, this moisture will make its way into the basement environment.
Warning Signs of a Pipe Penetration Problem
If you notice any of the following, then it is likely that moisture is getting into your basement because of a pipe-to-wall problem in your basement:
- Water can be seen trickling down the walls where pipes are found.
- Stains have formed on certain spots of the wall.
- Water is seen puddling up on the floor underneath the pipe itself.
- Mold is noticed growing in the area where the pipe goes through the wall.
Sealing the Crack With Caulking Materials or Cement
One possible solution to the problem would be to use a caulking or cement material to coat over the crack in the wall in an attempt to keep seepage outside. However, water may still be able to get into the crack and get into the area behind the seal. This may also eventually lead to the development of efflorescence on the walls inside the basement, or outside of the home. Also, combined forces from water behind the seal and from the ground itself will eventuallybreak the seal itself and allow even more moisture into the home.
Sometimes, an epoxy injection technique can be used to take care of pipe penetration problems. Epoxy is injected into the area surrounding the pipe. The seal is very strong, but the material often takes awhile to cure completely. During the curing process, it is possible for water to get inside and make the seal not as water-tight as it should be. The seal created also is inflexible, and over time, the material may become weak from weather conditions in your area.
This is the preferred method for repairing problems with pipe penetration in a basement. The gap around the pipe is filled entirely with a high-viscosity polyurethane material. It is able to be used in both dry and wet conditions, and it can even make its way into the tiniest crevices, including hairline cracks in the foundation wall. The material cures quickly, and it will be able to create a water-tight seal around the pipe, making it nearly impossible for water to seep into the basement again.