Using Hydraulic Cement to Fix Basement Leaks

By Robert Robillard on Home Repairs And Remodeling

Using Hydraulic Cement

Many times people will ask me what to do about puddles or small leaks in their basement foundation wall.

Often times the leak is outside rain water that seeps of “flows” through holes drilled in the foundation wall for electrical conduit, water lines or a sewer pipe.  The simplest solution is to use hydraulic cement to fix basement leaks and seal around the pipes.

Basement Leak Fix

Hydraulic cement is a rapid setting, high strength repair material designed to plug leaks instantly in concrete and masonry.  Once mixed it sets in 3-5 minutes and can be used above and below grade.

Hydraulic cement is designed to block running water or leaks in cracked masonry or concrete surfaces.  Hydraulic cement is a non-corrosive, non-rusting and non-shrink material.  Applying the hydraulic cement on both sides of the wall is preferred but not always feasible.

Using Hydraulic cement:

Surface Prep:

All surfaces in contact with hydraulic cement should be free of dirt, debris, oil or grease.   For best results undercut the area with a cold chisel. Small cracks should be enlarged to maximize bonding area. The area to be repaired must be saturated with water before placement.

If possible, remove any standing water prior to repair.


For best results, add hydraulic cement to clean, potable water in a small mixing can. Mix only as much as you’ll use.  Mix to a stiff consistency and mix only enough material that can be placed immediately.


For general repairs, press  material into the area to be repaired by gloved hand or with a trowel.

Fill to the full depth and trowel to final level without overworking the material. To stop running water, mold material by gloved hand into a ball or wedge shape and hold hydraulic cement in gloved hand or on a trowel until material becomes warm.

Press firmly into opening and maintain pressure on the patch until material stops the leak or approximately 3-5 minutes.

Trowel material into final shape without damaging plug.

Sealing Cracks

For sealing cracks in walls or floors, force Hydraulic Cement into the crack by starting at the area with the least amount of pressure. Hold into place and maintain pressure until the material has hardened.

Not For Structural Repairs

Hydraulic cement will not permanently repair cracks and joints subjected to thermal or structural movement.

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About the author

Robert Robillard

Carpenter / Remodeler / Editor

Rob Robillard is “The Concord Carpenter” Rob is a builder, general contractor, carpenter, woodworker, and editor of Concord Carpenter and ToolBoxBuzz As a General Contractor and carpenter, Rob owns and operates Concord Carpenter LLC. A full-service remodeling and construction company. Rob is a recognized leader in home building best practices and a source for how-to information for building professionals. On this website, Rob covers all aspects of home construction, building science, home improvement, woodworking, remodeling, and some of the best product and tool reviews. Rob is in charge of our Tool and Product Review series - Concord Carpenter Videos where we post all of our tool reviews and video tutorials. Rob approaches remodeling and building construction with a pragmatic and problem-solving approach. He enjoys using his knowledge and experience to help and educate building professionals as well as DIYers on best practices in the construction and remodeling industry. He's a strong advocate for "raising the bar" in the construction trades and promoting the trades to youth. #BeAMentor #Green2Great Craftsmanship, quality, and pride guide his journey on this channel The Concord Carpenter's motto: "Well done is better than well said!" : Read more about Rob

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