Foundation Wall Bowing and Waterproof Needed

Recently a client of mine contacted me for some advice on a foundation wall that was bowing in. There are water stains on the wall and major cracks from hydro-static pressure. They installed these 2 x 4’s to reinforce the wall (without a professional design). She is inquiring about what to do. I think she needs exterior drainage system installed (to sump pump or storm line?) and reinforcing the wall. Can you guys share your thoughts about what else I can tell her.


Mike, I would not be telling her what she needs to do. It is over your and my head, without seeing on site.

Have here get an engineer involved (Before it caves in.) or Mark Anderson from the Detroit area and one of our members. :smile:

If you would fill out your information, we would know where you are and better help you due to many factors.

I, sincerely, hope this helps.

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Mike, yeah if she wants it done right then exterior waterproofing is needed to a) stop the water from entering the multiple exterior cracks b) to reduce, lessen the soil pressure and maybe some underground roots off the wall, cost depends on length of wall and the depth and what may be in the way on the outside of wall such as a centrail air unit

Those 2x4’s are a joke. Once the outside is excavated, The wall needs reinforcement by foundation expert and waterproofed by a guy like Mark in the above post. That wall is in bad shape and needs to be relieved of that outside pressure.


She needed a qualified foundation contractor long ago. The pressure needs to be removed from the exterior of that wall and the wall repaired.

there are many foundation walls just like this, some worse, that are hidden behind drywall, paneling or a stupid membrane put against the wall by an INT system jerk

More like “rebuilt”!


That’s not going to be a cheap fix. :grimacing:

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I agree Randy, from the pictures he posted.

Wow! I hope they didn’t pay for that repair.

In my area, Flint, Mi, no one would ever excavate the outside of a basement wall. For better or worse all repairs are usually done from inside the basement.

The repair would involve installing an interior water proofing system (like B-Dry) to relieve the water pressure that caused the problem and then support the wall with steel pilasters designed by an engineer.

Really Mark? any repairs on the inside, especially this situation would be useless and disastrous! Are you drinking the kool aid??

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Not drinking the Kool Aid. I’m just saying what the standard practice is here in mid Michigan.

I do not recommend a specific type of repair. If I inspected that foundation wall and recommended it be repaired by a qualified foundation contractor, that’s what they would get, interior drainage and steel pilasters.

It’s always interesting to hear how things are done differently in other parts of the country.

Correct me if I’m wrong, in Ohio you are not allowed to use Aluminum Wire of any kind, yet in Michigan almost all service entrance conductors and 240v circuits like stoves, dryers, AC units are aluminum wire even in new construction today. This is just and example of how different things can be when we are only a few hundreds miles apart.

Mark, does it really matter where the home is being built. If the home was built in Michigan or California, and the situation was hydrostatic pressure bowing in the foundation, the SOP should be pretty similar. From what I know, the water pressure needs to be addressed from its source, the exterior. Not sure why internal systems are even installed, seems like an insurance policy should the exterior fail. Kind of like having a backup to a sump pump. Your thoughts…

Thanks all,

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Mark, the situation that that OP shared needs the pressure from the exterior removed and the wall repaired. That involves excavation and repair/waterproofing from the outside. It doesn’t matter if it’s in Michigan, Ohio or Kathmandu.
If it was my inspection,I would recommend evaluation by an engineer or qualified waterproofing expert like Mark Anderson.


I agree Joe, there is no logical interior system that would fix the problem in the OP’s pictures that was posted.
I’ll bet all my years in foundation work and raise it by saying that by the time you try to plumb the wall up, it might fall apart to the point it needs replacement.
Real good assessment would be required there, that is for sure.


Mark, and what you said IS a chunk of the problem is this business, in MOST cities ‘no one would ever excavate’, right. That’s because in this business almost all of the companies/contractors are interior system bubblehead ripoffs.

So the supposed ‘standard practice’ are scammers, yep, no doubt, zero in my mind.

Say again since most in this business have bullshitted most others, they are allowed to carry on their INT water-diverting, rerouting games.

Grand Rapids, Lansing, Flint, Detroit, Ohio, Indiana etc etc, when homeowners SEARCH for an honest exterior waterproofing contractor what they find is, all or just about all that are left in this business are INT system co’s, and that is because of several reasons, one is throughout the last 20 or so years, the young ones who got into the business as a laborer for an INT company ONLY learned how to play water diverting games inside peoples basements, that is all they learned working for Everdry or B Dorks and when they quit and went on their own, then of course this is what they do, has NOTHING to do with having total knowledge and being competent on this subject.

Secondly, there is much more money $$ to be made by those who install INT systems because they need much less labor $$ and there is much less materail costs involved hence, THEY make more money and often charge as much or more than exterior waterproofing.

And there is less risk invloved for them, no 6’ etc trenches they’d otherwise have to deal with, shtt most of those INT don’t have/carry insurance on EXT waterproofing so of course spinning and lying to homeowners about a supposed need for INT system is all they will push onto homeowners n anyone else. It’s total BS, it is a scam, always has been a scam.

Their risk n i doubt most of them don’t get-it, is when they j-hammer the perimeter floor out, doing that can weakened the wall or cause a foundation wall to collapse in, idiots. The floor helps hold the wall in-place.

short video, BOWED IN wall, leaks, seeps inside where the floor meets the bottom of the wall.

per this video, see the multiple exterior cracks? lolol B DRY or Foundation dorks etc do NOT repair/waterproof ANY of these cracks, they never have, nobody can by installing an INT system! hahaha = incompetence. Clay soil and some underground tree roots CAUSED the wall to bow in, caused the cracks which then allowed water in basement!

They simpy do NOT understand shtt or care to.
B Dry etc do NOT relieve, remove ANY PRESSURE acting upon these walls on the outside, you have to go outside in order to accomplsih that! lolol

underground root caused exterior corner cracks in foundation wall which THEN allowed water in basement on floor, water came in only where the floor meets the bottom of the wall

root now removed, INT system co’s like B Dry do NOT ever remove any of the causes nor do they stop further water from where it’s first entering. All they sometimes can do is divert, reroute the water that will continue to enter hence, they didn’t ‘waterproof’ shtt, basement was not waterproofed.

and what about some walls like this that have deteriorated, disintegrated blocks and yet the INT system fools put in an INT drainage system, loolllll!

B Dry was here, they gave this homeowner all the same SPIN, lies n BS, gave homeowner an est of over $5,000 for a partial INT system for this one wall, hmmm, we did the exterior for $3,200

I agree with everything everyone is saying! I hope no one has the impression that I am defending the way things are being done. Of course I always recommend an Engineer evaluate failing foundation walls and design a repair. All I am saying is how things normally get done here.

Mike, I built homes for 25 years, inspecting is my retirement business. Let me give you some great advice, don’t tell them anything when they ask you how to fix it. Refer a good foundation contractor, or in this case a structural engineer. You are not qualified to make that call and all you are doing is putting your head in the liability noose. Even though I know what the problem is, and how to professionally correct it inside and out, I let the engineer / contractor do their job. There are always new ideas and techniques, pass it to the resident experts at the time.

Rick Moore, BA CPI
Sherlock Homes Inspection & Appraisal, LLC
Mead, CO

Rick, you obviously don’t know Mark. He is a basement water intrusion expert and fixes the leakage from the outside NOT from the inside. Read through some of his posts. Sure he’s crusty but he knows how to stop water infiltration, FROM THE OUTSIDE.

Best to you.