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rapid tanking for a live leak in basement

Tanking Live Leaks in a Basement - How To Guide


Damp basement walls and floors are ideal for applying cementitious tanking to, or considering a Type C cavity drain system. You can plan for this. However, sometimes you’ll find yourself in a situation where you have water visibly ingressing into a basement or cellar via the walls or floors. In this case, you need to act fast.

Water ingress could be down to a high water table; local flooding / river, poorly drained soil leading to increased hydrostatic pressure and a weakness in construction being exposed. Regardless of the root cause you need to install a rapid tanking system to stop the water coming in and provide future protection.

Remember, stopping live leaks in a basement MUST always be part of a larger waterproofing system. Blocking live leaks can force water pressure to other areas over time which is why the whole area needs to be waterproofed and not just the leaking area.

Rapid Tanking System for Basement Water Leaks

Permagard offers a rapid tanking system to deal with live water leaks in cellars and basements. This unique rapid tanking system allows you to install a waterproofing repair and solution in a single day, protecting the homeowners’ possessions and property.

When hydrostatic pressure is being exerted, you are unable to apply cementitious tanking over it as the pressure will push it off before it has a chance to cure. A rapid waterstop reacts with water and sets within minutes. It is therefore effective at plugging the leak or site of the water ingress.

What’s in the Rapid Water Plug system?

Our Rapid Water Plug system contains two core elements:

  • Rapid Waterstop / Waterplug - this is applied to the area where water is ingressing. It sets extremely quickly and is able to resist hydrostatic pressure. This allows you to apply a suitable tanking product over it.
  • Cementitious tanking - You can then tank over the Waterstop with a cement-based tanking product such as Sulfatex Rapid Grout or PermaSEAL tanking to stop the water ingress longer term.

How Rapid Waterstops work?

The unique, fast acting formulation of rapid hardener reacts with water immediately. In the space of 15-30 seconds the formulation starts to react and form a plug of mortar blocking the ingress. The “plug” then rapidly dries out without shrinking allowing further remedial works to be commenced almost immediately.

The product can either be used neat as a dry powder applied to the surface in a gloved hand (see safety data sheet) or premixed with clean water.

Note: Rapid Waterstop can only be used as a powder when the water ingress is clean water. If mud or dirt is present in the water it must be premixed with clean water before application.

How to Install a Rapid water plug system

The rapid water plug system is simple and quick to install. Follow these simple installation instructions. 

Installing a rapid waterplug

These waterplug installation instructions are based on Remmers RH Rapid.


It is important to remember that plugging a live water leak is part of a larger tanking project. Therefore the area and surrounding areas must be prepared as per the tanking system’s preparation guidelines as well as the additional guidelines below for the area of the leak.

  1. Remove all loose material / debris from around the leak
  2. Chisel/ chase out the seepage area at least 3cm deep (can be cracks and joints). Widen a wedge shape towards the inside.
  3. Mix 4 parts Waterstop and 1 part clean water by hand. You are looking to achieve a putty-like consistency. You want a ball large enough to fill the area. Immediately press the ball into the chiselled out area. You should do this with suitable nitrile gloves on (See product safety data sheet). Hold the Water Stop in position until it has hardened.
  4. Make sure the water stop is flush with the surface.

Seepage areas can be chiselled out as described above and sealed with Water Stop in powder form using the water that seeps in as mixing water. Remember to wear protective nitrile gloves.

Note: In case of particularly strong running or seepage areas, use relief tubes (speak with our technical team).

Waterproofing after the leak has been stopped

Once the live water ingress has been stopped and the water plug is dry it is essential to start waterproofing the surrounding areas. For this we would suggest the application of Remmers Sulfatex Rapid Grout. This rapid setting tanking grout allows multiple coats to be applied to the substrate in minimal time. The rapid grout is recoatable in 1-2 hours which allows 2-3 coats to be applied in a day. The benefit of this system is that it becomes water pressure tight quickly giving the user the best chance of success against the hydrostatic water pressure in the wall.


You now need to prime the surface with an application of Kiesol Primer 1:1 with water. Once this has been applied it is essential to over-coat with rapid tanking grout in 15-30mins before the primer has dried.

Applying Sulfatex Rapid Filler

Sulfatex Rapid Filler allows you to complete waterproofing in just one day. You want to apply two to three coats of it as tanking by brush at a coverage rate of approximately 1.6 kg/m²/mm layer thickness. Wait for the coating to become touch dry, when the surface can support the next coat apply the second coat. Repeat this process for the third coat.

You can read more on installing tanking in a basement or cellar in our guide.

Finishing Off

Tanking coatings should always be protected and never left exposed. Apply renovating plaster in one coat between 10 - 15mm thick to finish off. You can apply additional coats if a greater thickness is required. And remember between coats and before the application of a finishing coat, the surface should be combed or lightly scratched to provide a mechanical key. After this render coat has been applied and allowed to fully dry, dot and dab plasterboard or a multi finish can be used.

Permagard - Rapid Basement Waterproofing Systems you can trust

We are proud to stock this rapid tanking system - a reliable and efficient way to deal with live water ingress below ground. If you have any questions about basement tanking or waterproofing systems then please contact our expert team.