Hydraulic Cement Still Looks Wet: Reasons And Ultimate Fixes

Most people don’t face any trouble with their hydraulic cement to fill cracks and leaks of their floors or concrete walls. But that’s not the reality for everyone!

Yes, it’s a great waterproofing product but if not done right, it won’t work.

If you are one of them and your hydraulic cement still looks wet, you are in the right place to figure it out. You will learn the possible reasons and how you should apply them the right way.

Stay with me for a while.

Last update on 2022-09-02 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Possible Reasons For Having Wet Hydraulic Cement

hydraulic cement to fill cracks

Is the water still leaking through the applied hydraulic cement? Does it look wet?

Well, here is a list of a few reasons:

  • You did not clean the surface before applying the cement. To make a good bond, you need to clean the gap with compressed air or water.
  • Mixing too much water with the powder. Some people make it too soupy because they don’t read the mixing ratio on the label carefully. So, their applied cement does not work well. It should be relatively dry/stiff like peanut butter.
  • If you don’t make sure the cement is confined to make physical interlocks, it won’t work for a longer period. Applying it just on the surface is a waste of money. Forcing a stiff blend into the clean cracks or holes is the key to get success using it.
  • You are not fixing the cracks of your block wall from the outside. If you try to patch the cracks from the inside, cracks will make their ways from the outside.
  • You are not using a bigger chunk of hydraulic cement for your cracks. The size of plug relative to the cracks matters!
  • Using old hydraulic cement. The reason is pretty simple. Old cement does not work well because it absorbs water a lot!

Many things can go wrong while plugging those holes and cracks with hydraulic cement, right? Let’s talk about what you can do to avoid these errors.

Tips To Apply Hydraulic Cement The Right Way

What I have seen so far is that people don’t mix and apply the hydraulic cement in the first place.

That’s why things go south and you keep wondering why it’s not working like everybody. Well, follow these tips and you won’t have any trouble later:

  • Before applying the cement, make sure the surface is free of dirt, grease, and other contaminant. Cleaning the surface is a must to have a proper bond between the cracks and the hydraulic cement.
  • The above preparations should include enlarging the cracks and holes a little larger to get rid of the loose surface.
  • Read the instructions carefully before mixing the powder with water. Maintaining the ratio is critical and you must start with smaller batches.
  • Blend slowly and in small batches so that you can place it on the surface within the working time. Use a mechanical mixer with rotating blades to have a proper mixer if possible.
  • Maintain the temperature of the area between 7 degrees Celsius to 32 degrees Celsius.
  • Start plugging the cement from the top of the cracks making your way down. Press the cement firmly so that it can get into the cracks and holes.
  • Once applied and the mixture begins to set, you can’t add water to it.
  • Clean your tools used to prepare the next batch.
  • Lastly when you are done, clean your hands and tools FAST.

You can watch this video to learn the right way of applying hydraulic cement.

Is Hydraulic Cement Worth It?

Considering its higher popularity, I know it’s a very unpopular question to ask but hear me out. There are plenty of plumbers, waterproofing specialists, and home servicing companies who don’t recommend it.

Plugging the hole with any hydraulic cement is just a temporary fix. Meaning, you have to do it again and again.

The reasons are pretty simple. Hydraulic cement is structurally weak. So, if you use it as your basement waterproofing material, any shift or movement will lead to crack in your hydraulic cement patches!

And don’t forget using hydraulic cement to fill cracks is just a surface patch. If you use it to fill a crack of your foundation wall, you are applying it on the surface of that wall only.

Now, such surface patches are prone to pop off if the water pressure comes through the cracks. So, many waterproofing professionals don’t recommend it for basement waterproofing.

Yes, it has some uses as a fast-acting quick fix like fixing light leaks around a water or gas pipe.

But I would trust a waterproofing professional who uses expanding urethane and inject it all the way through the crack for any basement cracks. You can’t get away with quick and easy fixes always!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How long does it take hydraulic cement to dry?

Unless there is a cool and damp condition exist, any fast-acting hydraulic cement should be set in within 3 to 5 minutes. Once set, you won’t be able to rework the cement!

How long does hydraulic cement take to dry before painting?

Hydraulic cement sets in within 3 to 5 minutes but you should wait at least 24 hours before painting.

Will hydraulic cement harden underwater?

Yes! Any modern hydraulic cement like Quikrete and DRYLOK Fast Plug can cure underwater. It does not depend on water evaporation either. But you should read the label first if you have any more confusion.

Does hydraulic cement stop water seepage?

Stopping water seepage is the primary function of any modern hydraulic cement. That’s why people get hydraulic cement in the first place to stop leaks in their masonry structures and concrete.

Can you sand down hydraulic cement?

Yes, you can sand down hydraulic cement to level the uneven patches with an angle grinder.

Is hydraulic cement stronger than concrete?

No, hydraulic cement is weaker than concrete. That’s why any cement has to be mixed with sand and aggregate to form strong concrete.

Final Thoughts

As you can see, there are so many good reasons why your hydraulic cement still looks wet. It’s very important to follow the instructions and make necessary cleaning and preparation before the application.

But if it seems it’s not working for you even after following all the instructions and steps, you should call a waterproofing professional. Maybe you are using it to plug the wrong cracks!

Only a professional can advise you in this regard after a proper inspection.

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