GRADING is an incompetent, negligent recommendation, it sure as shtt is

Here we have a flipper, and flippers live in a land full of wonder… n blunder, dig?
Flipper paints interior brick foundation walls, pours a NEW driveway, you know… those who think they keep can subsurface water OFF-OF, away from, full depth of basement walls lolol
Here’s new driveway… pretty right?

INSIDE look at, was told, is the only area, only wall that leaks. See efflorescence n shtt under the rug/carpet???

There ARE exterior cracks, cracked parging on the outside of the foundation wall, YES lol there are n THEY are why/where water is entering n causing the crap on inside wall, floor.

FLIPPER had the perfect opportunity to do the smart thing, the right thing, the ONLY thing that would ‘SOLVE’ the problems, exterior waterproofing but chose not to or didn’t wanna spend the $$$ etc

IF those who recommend grading n other crap DID this job aka had the experience, then they would KNOW what the actual, existing problems are and what to do, what to recommend in their clients behalf but nooooooooooooooooooooooooo, they magically think THEY know more than the guy(s) doing the JOB!!! hahahahahaa

You didn’t know flippers are magic, Mark? :roll_eyes:

They don’t know what they don’t know until they know it…and, even then, some don’t care.

Keep up the great work!

Keeping basements dry from outside waterproofing is your specialty! :grinning:

lolll oh those flippers r something special aren’t they lol… in case some don’t get-it, the flippy’s goal is to… make money, as much as possible on each n every flipski so spending money on the correct fix/repairs is often not in their lil budget, folla? Think of the contractors they hire, IF they hire some. (DIY it or have freind do shtt)

quite a few realtors are in that something-special category too, their lil minds are like… hurry up n sell the sob so i can get my commission, i don’t want ANY delays! Sorry i’d rather not squat N take a dump on some but its simply the truth

on leaky basements, i often hear crap such as, “Oh well why can’t the GRADE just be raised or, why can’t we just paint the foundation walls or, Let’s put some drywall up against the wall (s)”, shtt like dat.

To waterproof the exterior walls of an already constructed home requires excavation, installation of an exterior wall drainage system, damp proofing the exterior walls, proper backfill material and methods, and finally, surface drainage control, including swales, grading and correct roof drainage routing. This is the expensive option and usually not necessary. Directing the water away from the foundation can often be controlled by proper grading. When evidence of improper grading is there, coupled with wet walls in the basement it should be the first, least expensive option tried. Neither incompetent nor negligent.


Welcome back to our forum, Stephen!..Enjoy! :smile:

I agree with much of what you say.

Do the other guys do a water test to see where the water is coming in?

What Mark gets “crusty” about, IMHO, is the typically most expensive interior water diverting schemes that many companies do as if the water is not then coming into the basement…but simply hidden behind their coverings to continue to do damage and cause problems.

I am quite familiar with the heavy clay soils that Mark hand digs and seals the holes and cracks, waterproofs, backfills appropriately, grades, etc., to keep the water out, with a guaranty. And for substantially less money than most interior guys.

What you describe in your post is certainly well worth trying and after 40 years of doing this work Mark has seen most, if not all, of it.

I welcome your interaction in the forum…especially as a P.E. I am sure I will continue to learn.

Thanks for you input.

Hello Mr B, well imo when homeowners leak/seep due to say, an exterior cracks in block, brick foundation wall then THAT is what needs to be repaired/waterproofed as in short videos below. If a roof leak due to a tree limb that landed on roof and caused damage, what are you going to do? Re-grade the roof? No, you are going to remove the tree branch, then repair the roof correctly.

Is pouring concrete, new driveway or mudjacking a form of SURFACE water diversion? Surface is hard right and slabs pitched away when new or mudjacked, for awhile.

Leaky basement video’s, homeowner was told her old driveway slabs were THE reason basement leaked, and was told to get NEW driveway and new downspout ext’s, so she did, spent BIG money, she continued to leak hence, the recommendation of new slabs N downspout ext’s was negligent, incompetent. NOT determing the existing, actual problems is incompetent, negligent.Sure is!
We saw cut 18" that WAS right up along the house/F-wall in order to hand dig N waterproof…

See some of her ACTUAL problems Mr B? The exterior openings/cracked deteriorated parging why INDEED why/where water was entering into basement and the ONLY means of repairing them to STOP the water from entering was EXT waterproofing.

SAME house, further down drive side wall towards front of the house, what do YOU see OPEN on the exterior of the foundation wall in this area? Yeah

The NEW driveway and long downspout ext obviously did not repair/waterproof the existing defects, the exterior cracks in foundation wall etc, nope, no the newly pitched-away slabs didn’t do squat as advertised/claimed.

Same house, INSIDE basement, eyeballing the same wall, one needs experience to correctly point out actual problems and solution, NOT play games with surface water and then hope and pray it diverts enough water away from actual problems… and she spent ALOT $, MUCH more was spent on GRADING games, on surface water diversion games than the EXT waterproofing cost of $4,200, this was about 47’ and had to saw cut, break out concrete-apron, backfilled with all gravel as we’ve done for 40 yrs.

So what would you have recommended here, leaky basement in videos above Mr B ?

Mr B, this homeowner just bought house, the seller was BS’d and spent $15,000 on an interior basement drainage system that did NOT stop the water from where it has alwats been entering (see You T videos)

When he bought the house he was already going to replace the driveway and get new garage but let’s say he wasn’t going to get new driveway, couldn’t afford it whatever. Would YOU have recommended he mudjack slabs or recommend he dig a shallow trench along driveway or caulk along house perimeter? lol
HERE were his problems, where the water has ALWAYS been entering

SAME house, maybe bypass the first :30 sec’s around his front porch, i just wanted to show the job from grade level etc

Same house, inside basement, the INT system did not repair/waterproof the existing defects/cracks etc on the exterior and did not stop water from entering and neither would have mudjacking old slabs or other grading games hence, incompetent, negligent crap

The exterior waterproofing cost $2,650 give or take a hundred, was done 3 years ago

Engineer, long term water penetration THROUGH exterior block wall caused some blocks to disintegrate, wall collapse… so would GRADING have repaired, replaced, waterproofed the EXT of wall, repaired the disintegrated blocks, stopped further water penetration? Nope, not in my honest opinion.

Philly story above, some of the exterior blocks/F-wall likely looked like this…

Same house, wall was bowed in, had multiple EXT cracks and other openings in F wall plus lol, they poured a NEW driveway along this foundation wall in HOPES (lets pray!) it would keep water out, did it? No, and din’t stop further deterioration either.

clay soil, tree roots etc that was hand dug, all gets hauled away, was a ONE day job… bye bye

so i don’t care to disagree with you or some others on here but again, recommending grading or a shallow french drain or 33’ long downspout ext’s or slapping Drylok paint on inside walls or an interior drainage system would be negligent, incompetent because
a) they don’t repair/seal/waterproof the actual defects that are allowing water in n sometimes cause deterioration of blocks, bricks, mortar joints, F wall and
b) the existing defects were not determined, were not identified, were ‘passed over’, deemed unimportant, not significant
= imo incompetence, negligence

Tree branch lands on roof during storm N causes damage-holes etc in roof, water begins to enter… what CHA gonna do, what to recommend?
Would you leave the branch up there, leave the holes/damage open and allow water to enter?
If we could RAISE the ROOF to give it a, ummm, better slope aka pitch, would you recommend that?Would that fix/repair the existing defects/damage and keep water out?

By the way, we do not ‘damproof’ the exterior wall (s) as you wrote, we waterproof them, big difference… n i mentioned they are backfilled with 90-100 % gravel, there ZERO need for a swale

How much you think landscapers etc charge for a swale, an ext-french drain? Not exactly a cheap-option, shtt, we have done quite a few jobs where homeowners already had an ext french drain/drain tile etc installed that cost MORE $ than what i charged for waterproofing the crack in the F wall… expensive? What IS expensive and often not necessary and spread all over with bogus claims n lies are these interior drainage systems, yes sir. All due respect Stephen, am quite certain you R wiser overall than my old balding azz but maybe, just maybe, not on this-subject, take a long look at the videos, then go ahead n fire back man. lol

Hi Mark;

Of course repair of known leaks are required, but that is not the end of the story. That adresses a symptom, you also need to address the cause. Not a big fan of interior drains as they are mostly interceptors whose main purpose is to keep water against the foundation off the floor, once it leaks through the wall or floor wall joint. Regardless, control of the grading, hard surface and gutter draining are key to effective water management around the home and the avoidance of the foundation problems (cracks included) that result. What do you think caused the cracks that you repair anyway? Usually moisture induced settlement. And concerning your tree branch on the roof damage scenario, yes fix the roof, but also trim back the tree.

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One final point, coatings on exterior walls is known as damp proofing, not waterproofing, avoid the inaccuracy, especially when you talk to your clients.

lateral soil pressure aka expansive clay soil, underground tree roots, sometimes concrete slabs/drive n patio settling right-against a wall, porch footings that move a little cause many of the cracks in walls we’ve seen.

you can play surface water grading games all you like, and it’s a-okay to raise n slope the grade a bit. However on longer, heavier rains, water will still saturated the soil around, along a wall and if there’s a crack, cracked parging then water is going to get onto basement floors, cause mold n efflorescence fairly often, sometimes causing walls to bow in.

Underground roots do indeed grow up against, along foundation walls and we also find stumps right against walls which caused cracks in walls n subsequent leaks in basement as in photos…

—under driveway


those were just a few.

removing some of the clay soil along a basement wall, waterproofing the wall NOT damproofing it, and then backfilling w/most-all gravel, sand… REDUCES lateral pressure against a wall ( U S Army Corps Eng)

Army Corps Eng… i have posted this many times, and with many other unbiased articles such as Donan Eng, John Mann PE, Fairfax County VA, Yoder builders n several others who discuss most of the CAUSES of foundation movement, cracks etc, some of you guys act like/reply like i never bring any of these causes up, not true at all man
-Foundation movement, Causative factors… 3.1 Overview, you can read 'em if you like.

3.2.1 Symptoms
'Cracking can also occur… induced by lateral pressure… 3 types of cracks… horizontal, step cracks 'n vertical cracks

3.4.5 Backfill
‘lateral pressure problems are exasperated by using unsuitable backfill material, usually from on-site excavation… backfill soils analyzed in this study are classified as being expansive which is generally NOT recommended for backfill material’

3.4.11 Modeling results… ‘granular backfills can reduce lateral pressure…’

i totally disgaree with your statement, you said, ‘Coatings on exterior walls is known as damproofing, NOT waterproofing and you say to avoind this inaccuracy’…lolol

well not that i need this builders article but you and he disagree…
‘There is a SIGNIFICANT difference between damproofing and waterproofing…’

Here’s the diff Steve, damproofing is applied CHEAP, it is THIN, it is sprayed on or rolled on etc. Waterproofing is applied much thicker and when a wall is waterprofed correctly, the first step is applying hydraulic cement in, over any cracks, cracked parging, holes etc… then thick mastic/roofing cement is applied then visqueen then trench is backfilled with 90++ gravel, all gravel not a mix of shtt.

Your damprrofing is applied ‘thin’, its cheap, and most always the builders/subs backfill with most-all same crap clay soil, often throwing wood, cans,concrete or bricks etc into the trench against the wall BIG differnce, damproofing is crap, its like applying Drylok paint on the exterior

John McEwen, what does he try n show people…damproofing vs waterproofing

BIG difference Steve, all due respect i believe it is you who needs to avoid YOUR inaccuracies when dealing with homeowners

Asphaltic coating=Damproofing

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That would not cut it here. Preparation of Surface

  1. Unit masonry walls to be waterproofed shall be parged on exterior surfaces below ground level with not less than 6 mm of mortar conforming to Section 9.20.
  2. Concrete walls to be waterproofed shall have all holes and recesses resulting from removal of form ties sealed with mortar or waterproofing material. Application of Waterproofing Membranes

  1. Concrete or unit masonry walls to be waterproofed shall be covered with not less than 2 layers of bitumen-saturated membrane, with each layer cemented in place with bitumen and coated over-all with a heavy coating of bitumen.

lololllll what r you 2 talking about? Cut what THERE? hahahahaaa

You 2 simply do not understand, not my fault, you could learn a bit more then you’d understand a bit more but you choose not to, fine! Codes are bs, lolollll wtf… codes pfttt hahaaaaaaa. WHO toys/implements duh waterproofing codes? NO experts i’m aware of, NO ‘hands-in’ experienced experts, just a bunch of coffee drinking, donut eating chumps who ‘think’ they know what’s best for foundation walls/homeowners, just more nonsense.

Say one more time, you are waaaay off on damproofing vs waterproofing.

John’s video clearly shows the THIN azz damproofing aka garbage aka why bother versus ‘part’ of the waterproofing process, BIG diff.

'n no i do not agree with everything they say either… but we do agree on the following, they write,

–>>>>Page 3,
“Many people mistakenly use the terms damproofing and waterproofing inter-changeably but they are NOT the same. Damproofing quick, INEXPENSIVE coating to discourage moisture… waterproofing represents a much broader class of moisture protection… damproofing cannot bridge cracks… damproofing is NOT a substitute for waterproofing… damproofing is used because it is MUCH less expensive… damproofing products are of a lesser grade and they are applied as a sparse coat with LITTLE ATTENTION to DETAIL…”

Hence to repeat wtf i said, damproofing is bulllshttt, its cheap shtt but for some reason you 2 keep kissing it’s azz. Who should YOU TWO and handful of others on here be pizzed at? I’ll fkg tell ya, whoever told you, showed you the shtt you have been yapping about, THEY mislead ya’s, filled your melons w/some bullshtt, got dat? Get pizzed at them for kristttt sake. lolol

YOU would not cut it on waterproofing people’s basements here, there n everywhere… dig? No ya don’t, part of the problem but go ahead n continue with your incompetence on this-subject if U wish.

just for you two, Uncle Bubba is going to repeat what Hoffman says in their article BECAUSE… it sounds VAGUELY IMPORTANT

'MANY people (including 2 home inspectors here) mistakenly use the terms damproofing and waterproofing inter-changeably but they are NOT the same…
Damproofing is a quick, inexpensive coating to discourage moisture…
waterproofing represents a much broader class of moisture protection…
damproofing cannot bridge cracks…
damproofing is NOT a substitute for waterproofing
damproofing is used because it is MUCH less EXPENSIVE…
damproofing products are of LESSER grade and they are applied as a SPARSE coat with…
LITTLE attention to DETAIL!!! ’


leaky, MOLDY basement, due to… ready? EXTERIOR cracks and cracked parging on exterior block foundation wall!!! omfg
:40 see the freakin mold, efflorescence, water… whatCHA wanna do, pour concrete? Put on 22.2 mile long downspout ext? Put in an INTERIOR dumb ass, scam ass system and sump pump? All would be totally negligent recommendations!!! N E G L I G E N T

The mold n efflorescence n shtt, when many INT systems r installed what they often do is… cover/hide the basement wall (s) with vinyl/plastic or a black membrane… do you know why? lol To CONCEAL mold, efflorescence, water, cracks widening and so on… YES they do. They did not ‘waterproof’ the exiting problems, exterior cracks etc… READ these morons supposed guarantees! They do NOT cover aka guarantee that no water will come through, penetrate any foundation wall when they install an INT system … misleading scam, misrepresenting the homeowners actual-existing problems for… self-gain.

The original premise concerned site grading, and how, negligent and incompetent inspectors are that recommend correcting found conditions. You opinion that “waterproofing” trumps any effort to address directing known and obvious site surface water and roof drainage conditions away from the foundation. Hydrostatic pressure from water against the foundation is the problem, and will continue to be until mitigated. First step? Correct the drainage.

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I don’t know what the code for waterproofing is for your area but from your descriptions and videos, you appear to be dampproofing…

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Then keep telling people you have “waterproofed” their basement when you have not.

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lololl what a jerk, we waterproof the homeowners existing problem… never said we waterproofed the entire basement, SOME Nachi home inspectors are indeed screwed up BIG time on this-subject as you have shown TYVM

Above copied from one of your posts above…Stop misleading your clients Mark!