Cement Block and Water are bad

Cement block and water don’t mix. A cinder block basement wall is usually wet when a gutter overflows and seeps into the ground. Drill a hole into the cement block, waterproof the wall and raise the ground to carry the water away from the house. Do not waterproof the basement wall on the inside article.

Cement block basement walls prevent any inside repair. Problem one with a block wall is that it is mostly hollow. If you prevent water from leaking through the inside of your wall, it will only fill the inside of the blocks with water. As water seeps into a wall it will flow sideways through voids in the mortar. Sooner or later it finds a spot to leak out of and you’ll patch the leak there.

All this patching won’t get the water out of the wall. If you leave it there the block and mortar will become weaker. The tiny crevices will continue to be damp and promote mold and mildew growth.

Drill holes at the base of the wall about every four feet. Shallow holes, just enough to get into the “web” of the block. This will drain any stored water out onto the floor. As long as you expect the water, it will be a controlled flood, from nothing to several gallons. Another thing these drain holes accomplish is that they act as an early warning system if water gets into the wall again.

As your wall is draining, go outside and find the source of seeping water. Is improper landscaping allowing water to flow towards the house? All those rocks and stones along that wall could be accumulating and storing the water. Dump enough water along the side of your wall and sooner or later it will find a way to seep inside.

This situation can be corrected by removing the rocks and raising the grade of the soil around the house. Be sure to get the water to drain at least six feet away from the house.

Another method is to dig down to the footing, tar and plastic sheet the wall to waterproof it. You could even repair or replace the drain tiles that are next to the footing. Raise the grade when replacing the soil around the house. Even if the walls are waterproofed, you don’t want water flowing around and next to the footings.

For this reason I don’t promote basement-waterproofing systems that collect water with inside gutters. Nor do I think cutting the basement floor and installing inside drain tiles a very good solution. Don’t collect water around the basement footing. Prevent it from getting there in the first place.

Cure the problem; don’t treat the symptom.