Leaky Window Bottoms, Leaky Door Bottoms and Leaky Fireplace Foundations
Leaky window and door bottoms and fireplace foundations in a basement, all have something in common. These are about the only 3 things we do that we have to dig out from the outside to do the repairs. Just about every other repair we do we do is from the inside as far as basement waterproofing goes. Working on the inside saves us a lot of work and a lot of time, which translates to a lot of money savings for you.
What’s Going on with Leaky Window Bottoms?
Leaky Basement windows consist of a section of glass blocks or a tilt-in metal frame with a couple pieces of glass in it. These are installed into an indentation in the top of the basement wall made to get the window down closer to the dirt level. If you look at a basement window as it is installed, you will see that there is a section from the top of the basement wall to the bottom of the window that runs on something like a 45° angle. That angle section is the part that gets leaky. The problem is that the basement is made out of concrete which is one thing and the angle piece which is made out of mortar is another thing. These two are okay when they are first put in, but the angle piece has a tendency to shrink. This makes it smaller in width and it also pops loose of the top of the basement wall which has been cut down. So there is a seam that goes all the way to the outside of the building that’s leaky because it is belowground. We usually put in a window well with a drain shaft to fix it.
What About the Leaky Door Bottoms?
This leaky problem is almost exactly the same as the window problem, except there’s a layer of mortar underneath a limestone sill. This would be on older homes where they used to build the landing for the back door. Newer homes don’t have this problem. Sometimes we fix this from the outside, as we do on the leaky windows; and sometimes we do it from the inside, due to the fact that landscaping and driveway issues have to be considered.
What About Leaky Fireplace Foundations?
This is a highly technical thing to fix. The leaky fireplace foundations are usually caused by a crack running right up the middle of the foundation that goes all away through to the outside. On first sight you would wonder how this could happen, because the thing is two-feet thick. In reality, the chimney base is not two-feet thick. In the center of the wall would be 12-inch flue liners. That’s 12 inches is divided between the front and the back, leaving a thickness of 6 inches or less on the front and on the back. This thickness of 6 inches makes it a weak spot. These cracks can be fixed on the outside with a lot of disruptive digging, and hauling away of dirt, and bringing in gravel, and sealing the walls, etc. That really ups the price for just one leaky spot. I do have a way of doing it from the inside for quite a bit less disturbance and cost if there is room available.