Water seeping into basement garage

I’m a homeowner and having basement water problems. One of my garage walls (part of basement) is about 5 feet below ground level. The wall is concrete block and, during heavy rain, water seeps in at the floor level. About a year ago my son and I excavated the outside of the wall and sealed the entire part of the outside wall that’s below ground. We also checked and made sure that the French drain was working OK. The leak stopped for a year and now it’s started back again during real heavy rain. Light rain is no problem. The water comes in at the bottom of the wall at floor level in just one spot. I have a basement waterproofing company coming out this week to evaluate and give an estimate. I don’t want to get burned with some type of elaborate system when something simpler might work. What should I expect a reputable company to recommend?

what did You seal it with? were there any cracks or openings that You noticed before You applied the sealer? did You repair them before applying sealer. Are there any openings in the block wall above grade that the water may be entering? IMHO a reputable company would recommend digging up the one spot that leaks, finding,repairing and sealing that spot and call it a day…

After excavating, I inspected the wall and found no cracks. I then troweled the entire wall with Henry Foundation Coating, put plastic sheeting over the Coating and then sealed the edges of the plastic with Henry Coating again. There were no openings or cracks in the wall below or above the grade. There is a overhang right above the area and the ground is dry there after rain. Here is a link where you can see a picture of the house with arrow pointing to problem area: https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/7794269/124.jpg

Wall on the inside is dry except for at the floor where water seeps in between the wall and footer.

Mark Anderson should be along soon. He is our resident basement water proofing expert.

Whatever you do, do not let them sell you an inside water diverting system. It needs to be fixed from out side.

what did you backfill it with?

Where are you located?

It may be coming into the hollow block most anywhere and draining down to the bottom and releasing into the basement.

Listen to Mark…:slight_smile:

Great advice!

BTW, Larry, he’s from the South- He says “footer” :|.)

Where do the gutter downspouts/drain lines terminate? I see two upstream.

First of 2… plz answer each

So per your photo/link, you get water in basement ‘about’ 5’ from/off the CORNER?

Is that part of the basement/walls finished? (can you see the inside blocks?)

And I cannot tell/see photo so… do the blocks extend up, ABOVE grade?
Do they/blocks extend up to that overhand? Again I cannot tell from photo.

Before digging, before spending 1 cent, sometimes it is necessary/best to… do a WATER TEST with a hose on a dry day to determine/identify where the water is actually first-entering.

Was the outside of the blocks ‘parged’???

You say you inspected the wall and saw no cracks… did you use a WIRE BRUSH on the exterior wall before eyeballing/inspecting the wall??

And you said, ‘the leak stopped for about a year…’ so, we’ll assume it DID rain long and hard on at least a few days during that year… yes???
And you did not get water in, correct?

What did you backfill with, the same soil you dug out or gravel or…??
And if you backfilled with the same soil, was it mostly sand or clay or what?

#2… some possible scenarios/problems…

IF the outside wall/blocks are not parged then it’s possible you would NOT see any crack(s) in wall and the water was getting in through 1+ porous blocks or small openings/crevices in–around any mortar joints between blocks.

Or…
there is a small hairline crack on exterior that you may not have seen… especially if you didn’t use a wire brush on wall… and if so, that’s where the water was… and now again, is entering

Or…
it’s also possible water was, again is, entering through some small opening ABOVE grade and has not yet been found/identified, and of course not yet sealed and… it takes a wind-blown rain against that part of the house to hit/soak that above grade opening
(say again, these are just some possibilities and I am limited on time this morning)

If you did have a hairline crack etc on exterior it IS possible that the tar was applied to thin and some of that foundation coating possibly got PULLED DOWN by the backfill before it had a chance to harden/set on the wall.

Some homeowners who have finished basements (drywall-paneling up) may not see where the water sometimes–FIRST–enters onto the floor, along the bottom of wall/floor.
Sometimes it first enters onto floor several feet AWAY from where it is seen, from where it puddles on floor so… just a heads up on this possibility.

Example— have seen some homeowners get water in through 1+ openings above grade, like by their front door and that water is not visible inside the basement under the front door BUTT rather, several feet away

Short video, am showing ‘some’ of the exterior possibilities/cracks…where water enters the block basement walls


:45 in video… small cracks in parging are sometimes the only problem/where water first enters the block walls and then that water comes out in the basement, only at-along the very bottom of wall/along floor, yep.

1:30–1:55 small, hairline horizontal crack… see it? These hairline cracks will NOT always be seen, especially IF the wall has not been BRUSHED

2:00 if you had a crack like this, you should have seen it. And some of these ‘corner cracks’ ,go… around the corner so some diy’ers or some contractors don’t TURN the corner, they don’t dig/waterproof around the corner hence, if there is a crack/other opening around a corner then the homeowner will still leak/seep in this area

Shorter video, showing ‘some’ of the culprits/openings above ground level where water can first-enter hollow block walls and then, possibly been seen inside the basement ONLY way down low, along the cove, cold joint/whatever anyone wants to call the sob


:05 or so mark in video… see my left hand… see the 2 courses of blocks ABOVE grade level? Those blocks and joints are obviously NOT parged. So any openings in blocks OR joints etc above ground level can allow water into the hollow blocks and often, not always, that water can be seen down low inside the basement along wall/floor.

1:00 yep, same old saying BUTT… so true, very important to FIRST identify/determine/find the actual problem/opening(s) BEFORE spending one cent

It may still be best for Ben to… run a water test with a hose aka, recreate a very heavy rain with a hose on a dry day.
Run the water right AGAINST the basement wall, blocks, from ground level down ONLY.

One may need to let the water run up to 45 minutes or so. (won’t get into the reasons right now).

Soak the soil/wall/blocks, ground level down, and see if any water begins to enter the basement. Do this on the outside of where you get/see the water inside.

Gotta go, back later and check in

Ok, have a few more minutes, had to get loaded to cut concrete today for Weds job…so here’s a little more

‘If’ and when there was no parging applied on exterior walls, NOT good…
Photo of what I mean, and know without question…
http://picasaweb.google.com/101049034584960315932/Crawlspace#5540664978227860290
See scraper?
There’s NO crack in this area as that scraper is in an open mortar joint which is indeed where water can easily enter into hollow blocks
((( Sooo, some homeowners may NOT have/see an exterior crack in wall but DO have 1 or more crevices/openings in wall, mortar joints etc where the water can enter)))

And like I said, applying thin-damproofing with NO visqueen/other membrane and then backfilling with the same excavated soil could/does PULL DOWN some of the tar/mastic etc RE----exposing a possible open mortar joint etc

For some people, they’ll have 1+ exterior crack in wall but also can have 1+ ‘other’ openinsg where water can easily enter along or above ground level, like here, under door but above grade…
http://picasaweb.google.com/101049034584960315932/BasementWaterproofing39#5466969717292941186

Photo of same, close up…
http://picasaweb.google.com/101049034584960315932/BasementWaterproofing39#5466969754320608322
So waterproofing the walls does NOT seal/repair any possible openings above grade… this house needed OTHER work under/around that FRONT DOOR threshold so, could still leak until THAT shtt is fixed-correctly

The rest of this homes photos/job…
http://picasaweb.google.com/101049034584960315932/BasementWaterproofing39 …click any photo to ENLARGE that photo

Your SURE you dug all the way DOWN… and then sealed everything, from top to bottom and end to end?? I ask because…some other homeowners and contractors did NOT dig all the way down (they told me they did, they thought they did) or, did not seal/waterproof everything or, again, used a thin damproofing product or, backfilled with same soil which pulled down//OFF some of the tar/mastic etc

Another possibility for ‘some’ homeowners IF they had some exterior waterproofing done (correctly!), and still seep/leak is, every now and then there can be x–amount of water trapped inside 1 or more of the blocks and it simply needs to be… let out.
Yep, every now and then water can get trapped/locked up inside 1 or more blocks from years of water getting inside those blocks.
NOT at all saying that this is what is happening at your house but does happen every now and then at others.