Water in the Basement - Grading or Water Proofing

My house was built in 1916 and has cinder blocks. Used to have grasses in the front yard but had that taken out 2 years ago and planted some perennials. During heavy rains, noticed that water runs through the yard (sloped from left to right)and channels back towards the foot of the stairs and create puddle. That corner has started caving in and water with soil are coming in through the cracks in the cinder blocks(4 buckets of water was collected during the last heavy rain). This must have been a problem prior to buying the house as I see signs of water damage inside the house (not sure how did the inspector missed that). I have consulted with Basement waterproofing company and they recommended internal instead of external due to cost. My concern is if I go through with the internal, constant water penetration might just lead to more damage or problem with the foundation


Do you have an idea of how much it would cost to grade the land, on top of external waterproofing? Are these the only options I have? HELPPPPPPP

ANSWER

Having water in the basement or anywhere else in the house is a nightmare. I totally understand as I have had these issues myself.

Here are your options and and my recommendations. I am not an engineer and obviously can't guarantee, but from my own education and 15 years experience, it is what I would do for myself and clients.

1. Repair the blocks and areas that are crumbling. I would imagine that no matter what you do, this could get worse over time, so you want to fix this at the start.

2. Grade the land away from your house. I understand that you have a sidewards slope, but you can still grade away. This will help alleviate any future surface water seeping into the house.See my pages on Grading and Grading a Lawn

3. Waterproof both outside and inside areas where the water is entering. This is a backup since you are re-grading away from the house. You might consider repairing and re-grading first and see if this solves the problem before you waterproof.

4. A possible alternative to waterproofing is placing a PVC material over the cinder blocks. This was suggested at my house. I chose to re-grade first, which solved the problem but was going to use the PVC if I still had problems.

Grading the land should cost in the area of $800 - $1000 in addition to lawn and bed repair.

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How I Fixed my Basement water problems
by: Anonymous

I could add a bit about the basement water question. I struggled fixing that at my house once, and finally found that a gutter downspout had come off its footing, and the water from the gutter was emptying right next to the foundation! No amount of waterproofing fixed it until I put the gutter back into its footing. Simple solution after hours of patching, adding sealers etc. to the basement wall itself. Later I installed underground drains at footer level all around the outside of the house. My house now has a drain system INSIDE the house around the perimeter of the walls. Oddly, I had a similar battle until I discovered that the exact same thing had occurred, but was hidden by a bush. There was a huge hole in the dirt next to the house where all the water was running down into.

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