Causes and solutions of condensate on doors and windows

The winter in Canada is cold and long. Everyone likes to stay at home. We all hope there is a warm and comfortable environment at home. Many people don’t like the indoors to be too dry and set the humidifier’s humidity to be high. Some people never open the window almost during the whole winter, for fear of wasting heat. As a home inspector, I often found that water droplets are hung on the surfaces of doors and windows of many houses, which we call condensate. It will appear soon after it is wiped off. If it is not wiped for a long time, the paint on the wooden window sill will be bubbling and mold will be formed. Everyone is very worried about this and doesn’t know what to do. Today we will take a look at what is the cause of the condensate, and what can be done to solve it.

The generation of condensation needs to meet two basic conditions. First, humid warm air is required; Second, the temperature of the surface of the object in contact with the warm air should be lower than the dewpoint (Dewpoint, the water vapor content in the air remains unchanged, and the air pressure is kept constant so that the air is cooled to saturation temperature at which water vapor and water reach an equilibrium state).

We analyze from the following aspects.
First, check the windows.
If the windows have been more than ten or even twenty years old, you need to pay attention. Check whether the sealing strips of the windows are aging, whether the caulking is aging and cracking, whether there is fog in the middle of the double panes which means air leakage; whether the metal spacers at the bottom are rusted, if these signs appear, consider replacing the windows, because the thermal insulation performance of the windows is not good anymore. The temperature of the glass surface on the side of the room is very low, it is easy to generate condensate, and the heat loss is also serious .

Second, Check the humidity setting of the humidifier.
The humidity setting of the humidifier should be adjusted with the change of outdoor temperature, you can refer to the table on the humidity controller. For example, the outdoor temperature is -10°C and the humidity should be set at 30%. Most people don’t pay much attention to the setting of the basement humidifier, and some people don’t even know that there is a humidifier in the house. When the outdoor temperature drops suddenly and drastically, condensate will easily appear on the window glass. Continue to lower the humidity setting, the condensate problem will be improved, but it should not be set too low. Usually, the humidity is best set at 30%-40%, which can reduce the condensate and protect the wooden structure and wooden window frames of the house. Frames, wooden floors will not crack, and people will feel more comfortable indoors with such humidity and will not feel too dry.

Third, Check the air circulation near doors and windows.
Adjust the airflow near the doors and windows and blow warm air against the doors and windows to blow away the accumulated humidity, increase the temperature of the air, and reduce the humidity around the doors and windows. If there is a skylight, it is better to have a return air vent on the wall below the skylight. Because the surface of the skylight is also prone to condensate, the condensate flows to the drywall and is absorbed. After a long period, the drywall will peel off the paint, and become moldy. The return air vent can promote air circulation near the skylight and avoid condensate.

Fourth, pay attention to lifestyle habits.
People will produce a lot of water vapor when they breathe after one night sleep in the bedroom. After getting up every morning, it is best to open the window for a while to ventilate the humid air. After taking a shower, turn on the exhaust fan in the bathroom to run for a while to expel moisture. Every time you finish cooking, the kitchen will produce a lot of water vapor. It is best to open the window for ventilation and turn on the exhaust fan to run for a while.

The last thing to note is that the condensate on the windows should be wiped off in time, otherwise the condensate will flow to the window frame or drywall and cause damage, which will cause mold in the long run and affect health. If the indoor humidity is too high, in some invisible places, such as behind the drywall, if the insulation is not done well, it will also produce condensate, which will also produce mold in the long run, which will affect your health.

House care in Autumn-Gutter and Downspout

Autumn is the most beautiful season in Canada. The maple leaves begin to turn red and fall with the wind. There is no need to go to Algonquin, the scenery is just outside the door. Autumn is also an important season for house maintenance. As long as you spend a little time on simple maintenance, your house can survive the cold and long winter safely.

Gutter and downspout are an important part of the house drainage system. During normal operation, it can drain rain and snow from the roof smoothly to the ground and stay away from the foundation, which is essential to prevent water leakage in the roof and basement. During house inspections in the summer, it is often found that the gutter is full of fallen leaves and the accumulated water causes serious damage to the eaves. There are also many examples of water leakage in the roof and basement due to the blockage of the drainage pipe in winter and the formation of ice dams on the roof.

The inspection and maintenance of the gutter and drainpipe are very easy, and there is no technical content. In the case of Bungalow, the homeowner can do it by himself as long as he has a ladder. Of course, safety must be the top priority for houses with more than two floors. You can ask a professional for help.

Firstly, check the gutter. If there are fallen leaves and silt in the gutter, remove them in time; if there are large trees around the house higher than the roof, it is best to remove them in spring and autumn. After years of use, the gutter is prone to problems such as aging of the adhesive, loosening of the gutters, and changes in slope. Because of these problems, it is recommended to ask a professional to deal with them to make the gutter drain smoothly.

Secondly, check the drainpipe. If water leaks at the junction of the drainpipe and the gutter, it needs to be sealed. There should be at least one bracket between the drainpipe and the wall. If the drainpipe is unstable, it needs to be fixed. Check whether there is any leaf blockage at the outlet of the drainpipe and clean it in time to avoid blockage and freezing in winter.

It is recommended that the distance between the drainage outlet and the foundation be at least 6 feet, and an extension hose can be installed to prevent water from flowing back to the vicinity of the foundation after being discharged from the drainpipe. If the house is old and there is underground drainage, it is recommended to change to above-ground drainage as soon as possible. If the underground part is blocked or broken, the foundation will be wet and leaking.

Finally, after checking and maintaining the gutter and drainpipes, the window wells can be cleaned. There are often debris and thick leaves. If the drainage is blocked, it will cause water leakage in the basement windows.

How do we inspect geothermal systems?

Geothermal energy is thermal energy generated in the Earth, but when it comes to residential homes, it always refers to a system that uses piping buried in the ground to extract heat from the earth.

Geothermal system uses loop of piping that is buried outside of the home in order to extract heat from the ground, or deposit heat to the ground, depending on which mode the system is, heating or cooling. The loop piping is typically installed in a series of trenches.

Geothermal systems can be used instead of furnaces, air conditioners, boilers and domestic water heaters. They can also be used for driveway snow melting systems or swimming pool heating systems.

Components of geothermal heating and cooling systems always include a heat pump, recirculation pump and ground loop. If it is used to heat water for drinking, bathing and other purposes the system would include one water storage tank or more. Some water heating systems use a dedicated heat pump for heating domestic water.

The benefits of geothermal heat pumps.

Compared to natural gas, the cost to operate geothermal systems can present a 50% savings in heating costs over a year.

What does a home inspector do when inspecting a geothermal system?
Geothermal systems are complex, and the service covers or panels of them aren’t designed to be opened by homeowners or home inspectors, so we do not open them. But there are several items that we check and advise on:

Heat pumps are inspected for physical damage
Electrical breakers, connections and wiring are inspected
Outside loop areas that are visible in the basement or crawlspace are checked for leaks and to ensure that they are insulated
The foundation wall outside loop penetrations are inspected for adequate waterproofing and for signs of leaking
Condensate overflows are inspected to ensure that they are not clogged or otherwise backed up
If the outside loop is un-pressurized (as most are) open the circulation pump and check the water level
If a heat pump for domestic hot water is present, we inspect the storage tank or secondary water heater.
During the heating season we turn the thermostat up and attempt to test the emergency heat feature. We only do this briefly, and return the thermostat to its original setting after inspection.
Only during the cooling season, we make sure that cooling system is working
We walk through the home and test all the supply and return registers for air flow.

How to choose between HRV and ERV?

During the home inspection, we usually see a large metal box hanging from the ceiling of the utility room in the basement. The two sides of the box are connected with duct pipes. Open the box, there will be a lot of dead insects and dust. Yes, this box is HRV or ERV. Unless you already have such a device in your home, you may not know what HRV (heat recovery ventilation) and ERV (energy recovery ventilation) mean. They are both ventilation systems specially designed for houses. So what do HRV and ERV do? What is the difference between the two? Which model is better for your home?

What do HRV and ERV do?
The two types of systems have the following common functions:
HRV and ERV exhaust pollutants (for example, peculiar smell, smoke, dust) and excessive moisture suspended in the indoor air;
Circulate the air in the house regularly. Once the circulation is completed, the exhausted air will be replaced with an equal amount of fresh air;
Equipped with filters to filter out pollen, dust, and insects in the fresh air;
Link to the existing heating system through the pipes and connect to every room in the house;
In winter, they can transfer the heat from the exhausted air to the air entering the room.

What are their differences?
The main differences between HRV and ERV are:
In winter, ERV can transfer humidity from the exhausted air to the air entering the room, and can maintain indoor humidity; HRV can only reduce the humidity of indoor air, and it needs to cooperate with a humidifier to maintain indoor humidity.
In summer, the humidity in the air entering the room will be removed by ERV. It saves energy by reducing the load of the air conditioning system and dehumidifier. However, HRV cannot remove the humidity of the air entering the room.

How to control HRV and ERV?
Some HRV and ERV are equipped with a separate control switch on the wall, usually interconnected with the fan of the furnace. When the HRV is turned on, the fan of the furnace will rotate for ventilation;
There are also HRVs that do not have a separate control switch. In winter, as soon as the furnace is turned on or only the fan is turned on, the HRV starts to ventilate. Sometimes the furnace and air conditioner at home do not work in April or October. If you want to ventilate the house, you can manually turn on the fan on the thermostat for a while, and the HRV can work.

How to make a choice?
The choice between HRV and ERV depends on the humidity level in the house, but the following points should also be considered:
The number of people in the home – HRV is suitable for families with a larger number of people and therefore more humidity. Conversely, the fewer people in the house and the drier the air, ERV is the better choice.
House size-Generally, HRV is most suitable for small and medium-sized households where humidity will accumulate quickly; ERV is suitable for larger houses with drier air.
Airtightness of the house-HRV is more suitable for houses with better airtightness.
Climate-ERV is more suitable for cold and dry climates; HRV works better for a humid and mild climate.

Knowing so much, are you ready to choose between HRV and ERV?

8 signs of structural damage to a house

The structure is the most important aspect of the house safety. If the structure is damaged, the safety of the house will have a lot of hidden dangers. No matter how good the decoration and the school district are, it will be useless. Therefore, whether you are buying a house or living in your own house, you should pay attention if you find signs of structural damage. Otherwise, it looks like a small problem will gradually evolve into a big dangerous problem, which will bring expensive maintenance costs. In summary, structural damage has the following 8 signs:

1. There are cracks or bulges on the wall or ceiling
Not every crack in the wall or ceiling indicates structural damage, but they need to be watched closely. Over time, small cracks can become big problems. Large cracks in walls or sinking ceilings, or cracks distributed in steps above the doorway, will be more serious.

2. Soil pulling away from the foundation wall
As the four seasons alternate, the soil will expand and contract. If the soil is found to be separated from the foundation wall, it may indicate that the foundation wall of the house has shifted.

3. There are big cracks in the foundation wall
The diagonal cracks in the foundation wall indicate that the house has irregular settlement, especially the lateral cracks will be more serious. The soil produces a horizontal force on the foundation wall, and the cracks will become bigger and bigger as time goes by.

4. Cracks in the chimney
Observe the cracks in the mortar and bricks of the chimney. Similar to other exterior walls, cracks in the chimney indicate that the house may have shifted and exerted excessive pressure on the bricks.

5. Uneven gaps around windows and doors
Because walls with doors and windows are more susceptible to pressure. Therefore, the area around doors and windows will show signs of structural damage earlier than other areas of the wall:
The gaps around doors and windows are uneven;
Doors and windows won’t open and close smoothly;
Doors and windows cannot be locked;
Doors and windows are separated from the wall;
The door won’t close.

6. Sagging or cracking floors
If the floor sags or cracks, the foundation wall of the house may be displaced.

7. Sagging and leaking roof
If the roof structure is okay and it has not reached the end of its service life, the roof can’t sink or be uneven. If there are problems with the roof structure itself, there may be the following reasons:
The wooden beam moves;
Lack of maintenance;
A load-bearing wall was demolished;
Termite damage
The size of the frame wood is incorrect;

8. Broken concrete/brick
Concrete or bricks that have been wet for a long time or in contact with chemical substances will age and break prematurely. This situation usually occurs in the area under the waterproof membrane of the foundation wall of the house.
If you find any signs of damage to the above structures in your house, be careful. You can ask a structural engineer to further inspect and assist in maintenance to avoid major safety problems.

In the seller’s market, how should buyers inspect the house ?

Recently, the Canadian real estate market is so hot. I learned from many real estate agent friends that a house often receives a dozen or even dozens of offers, and buyers add 200,000 or more to grab a freehold house in very ordinary conditions. In some popular areas, the price of a house of the same type is already 300,000 higher than at the end of 2020, with an average monthly price increase of 100,000. Faced with such a market, many buyers do not know what to do, after all, how can they be assured of a house with hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars without asking a professional home inspector to check it out. In the past, when you bought a house, you could add inspection clauses in an offer. It’s normal to find an inspector to inspect the house calmly for two to three hours; now you can only inspect the house after you buy the house. They hope the inspector will not tell them that the house has major problems.

Nowadays, in the seller’s market in the Great Toronto Area, it has been very difficult to inspect houses before bidding or include inspection clauses in offers. However, it is not uncommon to find major defects in the house after paying the deposit or moving in. This situation greatly increases the buyer’s risk and even causes immeasurable losses. The buyer’s agent will also be under tremendous pressure.

So the question is, is there really no way for buyers in the seller’s market? Must bear huge risks? Of course there is a way, that is to continue to ask the inspector to “inspect the house”, but we don’t need to do a complete house inspection in every aspect. It only takes about 15 minutes to do a quick home inspection when the buyer is visiting the house. Quick home inspection is a kind of home inspection to protect their own interests when the buyer does not have enough time to inspect the home, especially in the case of grabbing an offer. It mainly inspects whether the house structure has major problems, whether there are Kitec water pipes, asbestos and water leakage in the water supply system, whether there are major cracks in the foundation and major problems of water leakage, whether the power system is old, and whether the important equipments work and so on. Some people may ask how necessary it is to do a home inspection without any tools in a few minutes. In fact, an experienced home inspector can use his  experience to quickly find out the various problems.

After a quick home inspection, the buyer can have an objective understanding of the overall situation of the house, minimize the risk.

Finally, I hope that all buyers can buy ideal and good houses.

Aluminum Wires

During home inspections customers often ask me : “Does this house have aluminum wires? Is it safe?” “The house has aluminum wires, can this house still be bought?” I think it is necessary to talk about the knowledge of aluminum wires , so as not to misunderstand the aluminum wire.

The history of aluminum wire
Since humans had electricity, copper wires have been widely used. However, in the mid-1960s, due to the soaring price of copper, aluminum wires were widely used in North America due to lower price.

There are rumors that “aluminum wire has been fully recalled”, “aluminum wire is now completely banned”, “aluminum wire must be replaced with copper wire” However the facts are: Aluminum wire is also being used now. As long as the material meets the requirements and is installed correctly, there is no problem and it fully meets the electrical industry standards.
The problem of aluminum wire:
Why do people worry about aluminum wires in their houses? That’s because the aluminum wire does have some problems during use:

  • Soft and easy to fold: Aluminum wire is not as tough and flexurally as copper wire. Therefore, be extra careful when installing the aluminum wire, not to damage the aluminum wire.
  • Creep: Current passing through the aluminum wire will cause it to heat up and expand. When the aluminum wire expands and contracts repeatedly, it will eventually cause the interface to loosen, causing local overheating or disconnection.
  • Rust: the copper wire rusts into green copper oxide, which also has good conductivity; but the aluminum wire rusts into white alumina, and the electrical conductivity is further reduced, causing local overheating of the circuit.

Conductivity of aluminum wire:
In the process of transmitting current, aluminum wire has a higher resistance than copper wire of the same thickness. For example, we generally use 14-gauge copper wire, but if we use aluminum wire, we must use 12-gauge wire. (The smaller the number, the thicker the line).

Solution to aluminum wire problem
The aluminum wire problem occurs at the interface, such as socket or switch interface, light interface, electrical interface, and power control box, etc. Therefore, the key to solving the aluminum wire problem is that these interfaces must be able to connect to the aluminum wire.
Many interfaces on the market now can be connected to both copper wire and aluminum wire: CO/ALR
• Small socket marked with CO/ALR or AL-CU
• Large socket marked with AL-CU or CU-AL (>20A)
• Switch marked with CO/ALR
• Wiring screw cap marked with AL-CU or CU-AL
• Air switch box/distribution panel marked with AL-CU or CU-AL

Home insurance issues
If you have aluminum wires in your house, the most worrying thing is insurance. Some insurance companies believe that the aluminum wire is a fire hazard and therefore refuse to insure; while some insurance companies require the homeowner to issue an inspection certificate from a professional electrician or an authority.
In conclusion
Aluminum wire does have many problems, but aluminum wire is not banned even though the installation and use of aluminum wire have special requirements.

Sump Pump

Whether there is a Sump Pump in the house depends on the location of the house. If the house is in an area with high groundwater level, or an area with frequent floods, or an area with frequent heavy rains, it is best to install a Sump Pump in the house. Many areas have now mandated the installation of Sump Pump in new houses.

What is Sump Pump?
Sump Pump is a drainage pump, which is generally installed in the lowest part of the basement floor. It can effectively prevent excessive surface water (such as rain/snow water) and groundwater from entering the house. Most Sump Pumps are installed in a reservoir. When the water level of the reservoir reaches a certain height, the water pump will start to drain the excess water outside the house.

How does Sump Pump work?
Sump Pump is usually located in a 2-foot deep and 1-1/2-foot wide reservoir at the lowest part of the basement. The water pump is connected to a drain pipe that extends outside the house. When there is flooding outside the house, or there is a lot of rain/snow, the underground drainage system will collect the surface water flowing to the house into the reservoir. When the water level reaches a certain height, the pump will start and drain the water through the pipe to a place far away from the house, at least 6 feet away. This can effectively prevent excessive surface water from entering the basement through the cracks in the foundation wall, causing water to flow in the basement。

Sump Pump Tips:
Standby pump: If the power fails, the pump cannot work. Therefore, it is best to have a battery-powered water pump as a backup.
Reservoir: The cover of the reservoir must be tightly sealed, and no dirt can enter, otherwise it will damage the pump and make it unable to work.
Drain pump: Make sure that the drain pump is installed firmly and is not tilted or falling off.
Drainage pipe: The drainage pipe should be unobstructed, and the outlet of the drainage pipe should be at least 6 feet away from the foundation. Otherwise, the discharged water will flow back to the reservoir.
Sump Pump test: You can pour water into the reservoir, usually the pump will start. At the same time, you can check whether the water is drained outside the house.

Causes of leakage in basement and disposal suggestions (二)

What to do if the basement leaks?
1.Check gutters and downspouts.
Are there any leaves, branches and other debris in the gutters that block rainwater from flowing smoothly into downspout. If the slop of the gutters is improper, it should be adjusted . Downspouts must not only ensure smooth drainage, but also drain the water at least 6 feet away from the house. Gutters and downspouts are essential for the drainage of the entire house and the drying of the basement.
2.Check the grading around the foundation.
Check the slope around the foundation, including walkway, Patio in the backyard, and driveway. A good slope near the foundation can keep rain or melted snow falling on the ground away from the house. On the contrary, rainwater or melted snow falling on the ground will flow to the house, resulting in long-term high water pressure on the foundation wall. If there is a tiny crack in the foundation wall, the water will directly enter the basement, causing water leakage in the basement for a long time. It will also cause the foundation wall to peel off and cause structural problems. Therefore, make sure to have the correct slope around the house.
3. Repair the interior walls
High-pressure injection of waterproof glue into cracks in the wall. There are two kinds of waterproof glue. Epoxy and Polyurethane. For high-pressure injection of waterproof glue, a series of process holes must be drilled in the wall first. These holes are about 4-8 inches deep, starting from one end of the crack in the wall, one every 4 feet, and lined up to the other end of the gap. Then firmly insert a plastic injection needle into each hole. Use a high-pressure water pump to inject a mixture of mixed water and acid in the injection hole to remove dirt and impurities in the gap, and then inject high-pressure water for further cleaning. After these tasks are completed, you can inject high-pressure waterproof glue into the cracks. This kind of waterproof glue foams and expands itself when it encounters the water in the crack, and quickly fills the gap. After the work was completed, a row of plastic injection needles were left on the wall. High-pressure injection waterproof glue is simple and quick, and it is the most economical way to control foundation leakage on the market.
4. Repair the exterior walls
Find the leak point, then dig the ground in the corresponding outer wall. It must be deep enough to reach foundation footing and wide enough to allow workers to enter the pit for construction.
After finding cracks, use a high-pressure water gun and iron brush to carefully clean the foundation wall. After completely drying, apply waterproof coating to the cracks.
Fix the waterproof plastic membrane on the wall. This waterproof plastic membrane has protrusions on both sides and is very flexible. These protrusions can prevent the backfilled sand and soil from contacting the foundation wall. Due to the excavation of the ground, the original drainage pipe at the bottom of the foundation may be damaged. It needs to be carefully inspected, cleaned, repaired or necessary replaced.Final backfill. It is important to note that at the bottom of the pit, the upper part of the drain pipe should be backfilled with sand and gravel to facilitate drainage. The principle of this method of attaching plastic membrane to the outer wall is to allow external precipitation and moisture in the soil to adsorb on the plastic film to avoid contact with the wall surface and quickly drain into the drain pipe at the bottom of the foundation.

Causes of leakage in basement and disposal suggestions

Leaks in the basement is one of the most undesirable and most prone to housing problems. It is also one of the most concerns of buyers and homeowners. Though basement leaks can often be prevented with some proactive maintenance and knowledge of what to look-out for, many times small issues get ignored leading to major issues. I made a summary of the causes and disposal methods of basement water leaks. Due to the large amount of content, I will talk about it in three articles, first to talk about the reasons for the leaks in the basement, and then to deal with the suggestions.
1. Water leaks from the top of the foundation wall

If the grading of the external terrain around the house is not good, it is easy to accumulate water around the house, and rainwater may enter into the interior from the top of the foundation wall. This kind of problem is especially likely to happen in older houses. The soil around many old houses is dense due to age, which leads to low depressions near the foundation. Especially when the downspout and leader extension are not long enough(6 feet from foundation) and the rainwater is directly discharged to the root of the wall, this kind of problem is more likely to occur.

According to Ontario Building Act the top of the foundation must be at least 6-8 inches above the ground, depending on the material of the exterior wall panel, to protect the exterior wall panel and the wooden structure of the house from rain damage.
2.Water leaks from the basement window wells

Window wells are protective components built around exterior basement windows below ground level, and are generally protected by galvanized steel plates. Window wells can protect low windows and reduce surface water erosion. There is a drain pipe pre-buried in the window well when building the house, which leads to the drain pipe near the foundation. The upper part of the window well is cushioned with sand and gravel with good drainage performance. However, if too much sand and gravel is buried, the windowsills will be too low, and the water in the window wells, especially the large amount of water generated when the snow and ice melt in spring or it is rains heavily in summer, will enter into the room through the windows.
Sometimes homeowner wants to reconstruct the old house, the basement windows that were originally higher than the ground were enlarged downwards to be lower than the ground. At this time, a window well needs to be added to prevent rainwater enter into the house. However, in many cases, only a circle of guardrails is added without buried drain. It is predictable that during heavy rain, the surface water will be collected in the window well and flood into the room.
3.Water leaks from mortar joints

The foundation of many old houses is not cast with reinforced concrete, but is made of stones, hollow concrete blocks, etc. Mortar as a mixture will form countless joints. The strength of these joints is generally much lower than that of the wall material itself. With the passage of time and the erosion and weathering of water, these joints may break down. Due to the special structure of this foundation material, the leak point of the mortar joint is not easy to determine. For example, water leak has occurred at one point of the concrete block foundation. The actual leak point may not be here, but somewhere above. Water passed through the interior of the hollow block and flowed to a place at the bottom.
4.Water leaks from cracks of poured concrete foundation surface walls

This is always the most possible reason that we can think of. Indeed, the leaking of the foundation surface walls is the culprit of the leaking of the basement.
Firstly we need to understand what is the water table. There is natural water under the land where we live, just like a river flowing underground. In areas near lakes and rivers the water table is very high; In desert areas the water table is very low. In addition, the type of soil also has a great influence on the level of the water table. In areas where the soil is basically clay, the poor water absorption of clay may also cause the water table to be high.

When it rains, the water in the soil will gradually saturate and excess rainwater will seep into the ground, which will cause the water table to rise. This produces what is known as hydrostatic pressure. The foundation of the house will be subjected to great pressure in every direction, and water will enter through cracks in the wall, causing water leaks.
5. Water leaks from Tie Rod Holes

If you are a homeowner with an older basement, you might notice a quarter-size stain on your basement wall with a leak mark that goes down to your floor. These are known as Tie Rod Hole leaks. These little annoying, pesky holes result from the construction of your home. With older constructions, concrete forms are built from wood and held together with steel rods every 1-1/2 feet. The steel rods are typically placed in two rows being about 1 foot high from the top of your basement floor to five feet high. After removal of the rods and wood forms, there are tiny holes called rod holes. By and far, these are one of the most common basement leak issues that are facing homeowners. These rod holes can easily be repaired by using polyurethane crack injection method.