Extended wet weather is hard on block basement walls. Not only will water try to find a way into your basement, but excessive moisture content in the soil causes the soil to expand and will often cause the walls to crack and bow. These are two separate problems. If finances are tight and both issues cannot be addressed, we recommend addressing the structural repair first. Continued movement of the wall becomes more expensive to repair if allowed to progress.
The best product to stabilize the affected walls so there is no further cracking, bowing or movement is with Fortress carbon fiber grid straps. All the work is done from the inside of the basement and normally can be installed in 1-2 days as a permanent repair. Once this is done you will have the option of trying several methods to reduce or eliminate the water infiltration.
First, check your gutters and make sure they are clean and sloped properly. Next, correct any negative grading where water is coming at your basement instead of away from it. If water is coming in at the corners from higher up on the wall, it’s very likely you have a damaged downspout drain there. The downspout drain is located about 3′ below your grade on the corner where it makes a turn. This location often clogs, cracks, comes apart or is smashed. It’s quick and easy to check it before spending much money.
If water is coming in at the bottom of the wall, it’s most likely the drain tile is not moving water. If your house was built after 1971 the pipe should be PVC plastic and can be jetted out to clean it. If your house is older the drain pipe is red clay tile and is probably broken or crushed.
If addressing gutters, grading, downspout drains and drain tile does not eliminate the water problem and you must waterproof the basement, outside excavation is best. Anything done from the inside is merely water control, requiring a sump pump and often a dehumidifier.