• In this video, This Old House general contractor Tom Silva explains how to repair a basement wall leak around a drainpipe.


    1 Spread drop cloth on floor in work area.
    2 Use sledgehammer and cold chisel to chip away mortar from around the drainpipe.
    3 Remove any wooden forms found in the wall.
    4 Clean debris from hole.
    5 Partially fill the hole with chunks of rubble.
    6 Mix up a bucket of hydraulic cement.
    7 Put on latex gloves, then pack the cement into hole by hand.
    8 Use the trowel to force in cement into the hole.
    9 Smooth cement patch flush with wall, making sure to fill all depressions.
    10 Wash bucket and tools with water.
    11 Fold up drop cloth and carry away leftover debris.
    • Difficulty: Easy
      Working with hydraulic cement is a bit messy, but patching holes goes quickly
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      Video Directory

      Selected Topic/Section

      Tools List

      • sledge hammer
        2- and 3-pound sledgehammers
        used to strike cold chisels
      • cpld chisel
        Cold chisels
        used to chip away old cement and mortar
      • pointing trowel
        Pointed trowel
        used to force hydraulic cement into hole

      Shopping List

      1. Canvas drop cloth

      2. Hydraulic cement

      used to fill hole in concrete wall

      3. Latex gloves

      worn when applying hydraulic cement

      4. Plastic bucket

      used to mix hydraulic cement

      5. Bucket of water or garden hose

      used to hydrate cement