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Water seepage and leakage solution, treatment & repair (2024)

Identifying and Managing Water Leakage and Seepage

Before we discuss how to identify signs of water issues and the steps to manage them, it’s essential to understand the two primary types of water intrusion problems you might encounter:

What is Water Leakage?

Water leakage refers to the unintended release of water from a plumbing system, including pipes, tanks, faucets, and fittings. It can occur in various places such as underground, within walls, or on the external surfaces of a property. The extent of leakage can vary from minor drips to significant, destructive flows. If left unchecked, water leakage can lead to extensive property damage, increased water bills, and health issues due to the growth of mold and mildew.

What is Water Seepage?

Water seepage occurs when water flows from one area to another through small holes or porous materials. This common issue typically arises after heavy rainfall when groundwater levels increase, creating hydrostatic pressure against a home’s foundation. This pressure pushes water through even the smallest cracks in the basement’s floor and walls, and can also cause water to seep over the top of foundation walls.

Now, let’s look at the signs that indicate the presence of these water issues in your home:

Signs of Water Leakages

1.Wet Spots & Stains

wet spots & stains mould

These are among the most obvious signs of water leakage. They typically appear on walls, ceilings, and floors. You may notice discolored patches, damp surfaces, or swelling in plaster or drywall. In cases where the leak is slow, these signs may only become evident over time, and they often indicate a need for immediate action to prevent further damage.

2. Mould Patches

mould patch

Mould growth is a direct result of persistent moisture and can vary in color from black, green, to white. Mould spores can be detrimental to health, particularly causing respiratory issues. Frequent mould patches, even after regular cleaning, suggest an underlying moisture problem that needs to be addressed to stop further growth.

3. Increased Water Bill

water bill

An unusual increase in your water bill often signals hidden leaks. This could be in underground pipes, within walls, or from a continuously running toilet or dripping faucet that goes unnoticed. Keeping an eye on your water meter when all water use is turned off can help determine if there is a leak.

4. Musty Smell

musty smell

Persistent damp, musty odors are a common symptom of hidden leaks, especially within enclosed spaces like cabinets or basements. This smell can linger even after thorough cleaning and usually indicates that water is accumulating somewhere out of sight.

5. Softened Areas

softened area water leak

Soft spots in building materials, such as warped wood, spongy floors, or crumbling drywall, suggest that water has been soaking into these areas. This is often seen in wooden floorboards, around bathroom fixtures, or near external walls that have experienced water penetration from the outside.

6. Visual Changes in Paint and Wallpaper

peeling-paint-or-wallpaper

Peeling, bubbling, or flaking of paint and wallpaper are signs that water is affecting wall surfaces. These issues may start small but can quickly spread across your walls, leading to extensive repairs if not addressed promptly.

7. Sound of Continuous Dripping

softened area water leak

Sometimes, the sound of dripping water can help locate a leak. This could be behind walls, in the ceiling, or in crawl spaces. While this sign is not always present, hearing water when no taps are running is a clear indicator of a problem.

The dampness of walls and water seepage are common problems faced by homeowners. This happens due to poor quality construction and lack of waterproofing measures during the construction of the home. It can cause dampness of the walls, efflorescence (puffy white deposits on walls), and peeling of paint.

These dampness problems need to be tacked for a good home painting experience. There seems to be a lot of confusion on what waterproofing chemicals need to be used and the process involved. So, we decided to write this guide to set water leakage and seepage solution for walls and roofs.

In this post, you will learn about common waterproofing issues and their causes, what waterproofing chemicals need to be used and waterproofing procedures that need to be followed. We have covered solutions and fixes for existing buildings. Preventive measures that are to be taken during the construction of buildings will be covered later in another post. Unicorn chemical provides the best water leakage and seepage solution in Singapore.

How to treat water seepage and leakage on rising wall

Rising damp affects the lower region of walls because of rising groundwater within the wall due to capillary action. This causes efflorescence (white deposit) and peeling of the paint.

Treating Mild Dampness in Interior Walls

Interior walls develop damp patches because of the aforementioned reasons. In case if these are mild patches, they can be treated without much hassle and effort. Remember to treat not just the patches but also at least 2 feet around the damp patch.

  1. Use an iron brush to remove loose material around the area to be treated. Remove patches of loose plaster if needed.
  2. In case the plaster has been removed re-plaster the patches using mortar made of cement, sand, and a plasticizing additive chemical like Unicorn wall seal. Allow the plaster to cure and dry out before the next step.
  3. Apply a waterproof coating Unicorn Seal on the re-plastered area using the application instructions. This layer will prevent seepage and can also be used as a surface for repainting.
  4. The surface can now be repainted after surface preparation.

Treating Severe Dampness in Interior Walls

Severe dampness is characterized by peeling plaster, severe visible damp patches on the wall and white chalky deposits on the wall. To tackle this problem of water leaking from walls, the plaster has to be completely removed to apply waterproofing from the brick level.Unicorn chemical provides the best water leakage and seepage solution in Singapore.

  1. Break the damaged plaster on the walls up to the brick level Remember to clear a patch 2 feet in excess of the damp patch.
  2. Apply a waterproof coating agentUnicorn rock seal directly on the bricks according to the right procedure.
  3. Re-plaster the exposed patch using mortar using cement, sand, and a plasticizing addictive chemical. Allow the plaster to cure as applicable and dry out.
  4. Repaint the area after base preparation.

Best Water Leakage & Seepage Repair Contractor

Don’t let leaks and dampness ruin your Singapore home! Le Fong Building Services offers expert waterproofing solutions to tackle rising damp, interior moisture, and exterior cracks. Their experienced specialists will diagnose the issue and provide a step-by-step plan, handling everything from material removal to applying long-lasting waterproof coatings. Say goodbye to water worries – contact Le Fong today for a free consultation and quote.

Repairing & Waterproofing Exterior Walls

Seepage in mid-level walls and those around windows can be due to cracks in the external walls. Before treating the interior walls you need to repair and waterproof the exterior by following these steps.

  1. Fill cracks in exterior walls using an exterior crack sealant.
  2. To protect areas around window frames from water seepage from exterior walls, fill the gaps between the window frames and walls using a special bonding sealant.
  3. After repairing the exterior walls for any cracks, apply any exterior paint with waterproofing abilities.
  4. Unicorn chemical provides the best water leakage and seepage solution in Singapore.

For rising damp specifically, which is moisture rising up through the walls due to capillary action, treatments include installing a new damp-proof course or using damp-proofing injection creams that penetrate deep into the bricks and create a barrier to stop water ascension. This might involve drilling into the mortar and injecting the cream, followed by resealing and replastering the affected areas​.

basement-water-seepage exterior-wall-seepage-stains

Methods for Homeowners to Prevent Future Leakage

  1. Gutter Maintenance:
    • Install gutter guards to keep leaves and debris out, reducing the need for frequent cleaning.
    • Add a downspout filter at the top of the downspouts to trap debris before it enters the drainage system.
    • Schedule gutter inspections and cleaning bi-annually, especially after a rainy and windy day, when leaf fall is heavy.
  2. Optimizing Downspout Efficiency:
    • Extend downspouts at least 1.5 to 3 metres away from your house foundation. Use splash blocks or downspout diverters to further direct water away from your home.
    • Consider installing rainwater butts at the end of downspouts to collect and reuse water for garden irrigation, thus minimizing ground saturation near the foundation.
  3. Enhanced Basement Humidity Control:
    • Seal basement windows and exterior cracks with high-quality waterproof sealants to prevent external moisture ingress.
    • Improve cross ventilation in your basement by potentially adding more air vents or opening windows regularly, if feasible.
  4. Sump Pump Reliability:
    • Perform quarterly tests on your sump pump and its backup by pouring water into the sump pit to simulate operation during heavy rain.
    • Install a water level alarm that triggers if the water in the sump pit rises to a preset level, indicating a possible failure or need for attention.
      Pro Tip:The preset level for a water level alarm in a sump pit typically depends on the specific installation and settings tailored to the individual sump pump system. Generally, you’d set the alarm to trigger before the water reaches a critical level that could lead to flooding.This level is often set a few inches above the pump’s automatic start level but below the point where water would overflow from the basin or cause any potential damage.For example, if your sump basin allows, you might set the alarm to go off when the water level is about 20 to 30 centimetres (8 to 12 inches) from the top of the basin.

      This setting gives you enough warning to intervene before the situation becomes critical, ensuring that the pump is functioning properly or that a backup system needs to be activated if the primary pump fails.It’s important to consult with a professional or refer to your sump pump’s manufacturer guidelines to determine the optimal preset level for your specific system to ensure it provides effective and timely alerts.

  5. Comprehensive Pipe Insulation:
    • Use superior-quality foam or fibreglass insulation sleeves, which offer better thermal resistance, to wrap your pipes.
    • Install heating tapes around pipes prone to freezing, particularly those on external walls or in unheated spaces, with a thermostat to manage activation and energy use.
  6. Improved Ground and Surface Water Management:
    • Install a French drain system (a trench filled with gravel or rock containing a perforated pipe) around the perimeter of your house to enhance surface water management and guide it away from the foundation.
    • Review the garden’s landscaping to ensure that the terrain slopes away from your home at a gradient of at least 5 degrees, directing water towards drainage areas rather than accumulating near the structure.

By doing these things, you can help prevent water damage and keep your home nice and dry.

Who Pays for Leak Repairs in Your HDB Flat?

Here’s a breakdown of who is responsible for fixing leaks in your HDB flat, depending on the source of the leak:

Under Warranty

  • If your HDB flat is still within the Defect Liability Period (usually 3 to 5 years after purchase), HDB will cover the repair costs for any leaks or water seepage.

Common Areas

  • Leaks originating from the roof or walls of your HDB block are considered the responsibility of the town council. They are responsible for maintaining these common areas. If you experience leaks from these areas, file a complaint with your town council and provide photo evidence for documentation.

Within Your Flat

  • Leaks stemming from cavities within your flat, such as those found in window frames or old air-conditioning panels, fall under the homeowner’s responsibility. You will need to hire a professional to fix the leak and cover the repair costs yourself.

Between Units

  • Leaks occurring between the ceiling of a lower unit and the floor of an upper unit are a shared responsibility between both flat owners. As per HDB’s Home Care Guide, both parties will need to arrange for repairs and split the costs. It’s best to communicate with your neighbor and work together to resolve the issue.

Best Waterproofing Company in Singapore

Experiencing issues with damp walls and water seepage? Le Fong Building Services delivers top-notch solutions in Singapore. Our waterproofing specialists addresses rising damp and severe interior dampness, offering step-by-step instructions for treatment.

From removing material to applying waterproof coatings, we ensure a lasting fix. We also specialize in repairing and waterproofing exterior walls, addressing cracks with our sealants. Bid farewell to worries with our reliable solutions. Contact us today.

Key Summary

TopicKey Solutions/Methods
Water Leakage and SeepageIdentify as unintended water release from plumbing or seepage through materials. Addressed by understanding the location and nature of water intrusion.
Signs of Water IssuesLook for wet spots, stains, mould growth, increased water bills, musty odors, softened areas, changes in paint/wallpaper, and the sound of dripping.
Treating Interior Wall DampnessFor mild dampness, use iron brush and re-plaster with waterproofing chemicals. For severe dampness, remove affected plaster to brick level, apply a waterproofing coating, and re-plaster.
Repairing and Waterproofing Exterior WallsSeal cracks with exterior crack sealant, fill gaps around windows, apply waterproof exterior paint, and use damp-proofing techniques like damp-proof courses or injection creams.
Preventive MeasuresGutter maintenance, optimizing downspout efficiency, enhancing basement humidity control, ensuring sump pump reliability, comprehensive pipe insulation, and managing ground/surface water with French drains and proper landscaping.