Michigan leaky basements

Metro Detroit waterproofing questions

Early spring brings Aprils showers in Michigan.  And with those April showers come leaky basements.  Sometimes basements can stay dry for years and then all of a sudden you have water problems.  Many home buyers get nervous about cracks and rod hole leaks.  To me I don’t worry about them because when I was 20 years old I worked for a basement wall company.

A wall crack or rod holes can usually be fixed for under $500 by a basement wall company.  Usually waterproofing companies charge more for the same service.  Basement wall companies are the guys who put the walls in and usually have to warranty them to the builders for a few years so they are constantly fixing walls the first few years after a home is built.  Most homes have at least one or two cracks in the basement walls.  Should you not buy a house because of the crack.  No.  But it is something to watch.

After a heavy rain the ground becomes saturated and water looks for the place of least resistance.  So if the sump pump isn’t working your Michigan basement will flood.  That is why it is good to have a back system for your sump pump in case the electricity goes off.

There are two main types of basement walls in most Metro Detroit homes.  They are either cinder block walls or poured concrete walls.  Today I will talk about poured basement walls because most homes are being built with poured concrete walls.  Cinder block basements were built usually between the 1920 and 1960’s.   Very seldom do you see a new home with a cinder block wall.

poured basement wall rod hole

When they pour the concrete walls they have metal rods through them that they remove.  They fill the holes with a cork and waterproof latex.  Over the years these “rod holes” sometimes fail.  The cork or the latex deteriorates.  Then water starts seeping into the basement.  Then a new cork and new latex has to be put into the hole to stop the water.  It is a simple fix unless the basement is finished.

leaking rod hole Michigan basements

The other issue is a crack in the basement poured wall.  The outside of the wall is sealed with waterproofing.  So even is a wall has a crack it may not leak.  But again over the years settling of the wall and the dirt around it may open the crack up and the basement may leak.

The basement repair guy usually opens the crack up big enough to put latex waterproofing in there to seal the crack.

Metro Detroit basement wall crack repaired wall crack that is still leaking

wall crack that is not leaking

If a wall crack isn’t leaking sometimes it is best to leave it alone.  With the heavy spring rains it will sometimes put too much pressure on old rod holes or basement cracks.  If you have a leak in your poured basement wall give Tom Wicher a call at Valu Walls (734) 427-5122 in Livonia MI.


Russ Ravary your Metro Detroit real estate agent

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