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Do it yourself leak repair after this harsh winter

Updated on March 12, 2014

See how water enters the home from outside

Leaks may form in many different ares
Leaks may form in many different ares | Source

Be prepared

As a Chicago native I am use to extreme weather conditions, but nothing like this winter. I can remember the blizzard of 1999, a day or two of sub zero temperatures, but this year features a mixture of both. Much of the country has been affected by these extreme winter conditions which could present problems to some areas of your home. While you may not see any areas of concerns now, as temperatures begin to rise you may notice some problems which you may need to be address. You may begin to notice leaks from your roof, cracks in your foundation, fallen gutters, and more. The problems could be costly or is it? Before you call a contractor or the local repairman, take a look at some common problems and how easy they are to fix. It just may save you money in the long run.

The injection foundation repair

Interior leaks

Once much of the snow and ice begin to melt some home owners may begin to notice leaks in their basements or other areas of the home. It is important to fix these issues before the spring when rainfall can make the situation worst. Check your basement for any leaks in the foundation or other areas where leaks appear. Also survey the exterior of the home for any cracks that may appear in the brick or the concrete around your home. With the extreme weather conditions and the natural shifting of your home, concrete and mortar can begin to crack over time. These cracks are the areas where water penetrates your home and begin to settle.

Mortar repair

Protect your home from leaks forming through brick mortar
Protect your home from leaks forming through brick mortar | Source

Dealing with leaks in the foundation

If you discover a leak coming from your foundation you will need to fix the problem as quickly as possible. Inspect the wall further for more cracks and leaks, next check in the same areas of the home outside. Again look for cracks or holes where water appears to seep in. Next head to your local home improvement store and look for a product call hydraulic cement. This product is great when treating leaks which may be present in the foundation and other areas. Think of it as a permanent bubble gum as once you mix this product you will plug it right into the crack or on the leak and it stop leaks as soon as the product is applied. It can also be used under water for repairs in swimming pools.

Upon inspecting if you find cracks in you brick or concrete there are some great product which you could use to seal them. For cracks in the brick or mortar Some recommended products to use are: The Quikrete 10 oz. Mortar Repair Tube. This product can be easily applied with a caulk gun, and is great for tuck pointing and sealing around brick, mortar, and concrete.

When using QUIKRETE® Hydraulic Water-Stop Cement please understand that the product sets in 3-5 min. and you should not mix more than you can use within that time period. When mixing think of trying to make a ball of putty. The product should be stiff and you will roll it into a ball and press it right into the leak. For more information or data on this product check the Quikrete website for more information on this product. Another great product to consider is the Sikaflex Mortar Fix. This is a great product for sealing cracks and leaks in brick or mortar. Be advice that this stuff is really sticky, and may stain the brick if not performed properly. The great advantage of this product is that it flexes with extreme temps. and also with shifts of the home.

Solving roof leaks

With any extreme weather comes the chance for roof leaks. Before you attempt any repairs to your roof please follow all safety guidelines and local codes. First identify the possible area of the roof that may be leaking. Next determine the type of roof you may have. Although most homes may have a shingle roof structure, depending on the slope of the roof you may have another. There are many products to choose from as a roof patch. For shingle roofs and stopping leaks around most roofing materials, chimneys, skylights, and other vulnerable areas leak stopper or wet-r-dri two great products. Wet-R-Dri is a plastic roof cement and like it’s name can be used in wet or dry conditions. Leak stopper works much like Wet-R-Dri, but is composed of rubber cement rather than plastic. The rubber not only allows it to be used during wet or dry conditions, but holds up well during extreme conditions. This rubber based tar allows it to expand and contract with the weather, and does not crack like other roofing cements. Both products are great by themselves and even better when used in conjunction with a patching fabric. These products have also been used to seal around the home as an extra layer of protection around the home.

Fixing a leaky roof

Do it your self

Many of the products in this article are offered at your local home improvement store. Before the snow and ice begin to thaw remove as much as possible. You will want to check that water that will be coming through your downspout leads away from your home. This process will keep water from building up on the side of your home. Apply salt to thick ice patches on the side of the house and shovel it away while it is in a slush form. These steps will home protect your home from possible leaks and floods that may occur with heavy snow thaw.


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