DIY Home Improvement, Remodeling & Repair Forum > DIY Home Improvement > Framing and Foundation > Waterproofing 1924 brick foundation

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Old 09-01-2014, 01:52 PM  
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Default Waterproofing 1924 brick foundation

Hello all,

We recently purchased a 1924 Georgian Colonial that is entirely brick, including the foundation. We've had two relatively major rains and the basement walls leak pretty severely. In isolated areas, the wall weeps water, and in some areas the water actually formed a stream not unlike a drinking was pretty dramatic to see. The house is ~1/8 mile from a large lake, so everyone has to contend with a high water table, but having two ~4-inch floods in the basement in our first two months of living here is unbearable.

My question is this: we have received six quotes for waterproofing. Two are exterior jobs (hand digging, tar application, Visqueen, new drain tiles, backfill) and four are various types of interior jobs. The exterior guys insist this is the only way to solve the problem; the interior guys tell us that digging outside the foundation will compromise the wall stability and may cause the walls to bow. We just want to do the job correctly so we're not constantly revisiting it.

Look forward to your thoughts!


Pic below of the 'good' wall during a major storm....


Last edited by 70L34; 09-01-2014 at 02:03 PM.
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Old 09-01-2014, 09:03 PM  
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Welcome to the site.
I will start by saying I have no experience with brick foundations, but no foundation wall is intended to be a retaining wall. Right now water is raising up the outside of the foundation and the wall is retaining it, the interior drain is to take the water away after it came thru the wall much like it is now and does nothing to relieve the pressure on the wall..
Your interior guys also want to remove soime of the basement slab to complete their work but we don't know if the basement floor is adding to the stubility of the wall so I think there would be greater risk to the wall by working on the inside.

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Old 09-01-2014, 09:32 PM  
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Exterior waterproofing always makes more sense to me. Have you called back the exterior guy to ask him about stability issues? He might have methods to address that.

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Old 09-09-2014, 09:24 AM  
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waterproofing is always done from the outside - inside we call it wtr management,,, you're certain the bsmt wall is brick & not cinder block ? you'll never have dry walls if you only do the interior system - water vapor transmits laterally while wtr runs downhill,,, i doubt your guys said ' tar ' as that's applied hot & isn't suitable for vertical work,,, we use hlm5000 exclusively & protect it during backfilling w/pond liner [no $ interest]

i've never found stone/brick bsmt walls to have stability issues UNLESS there's evidence of major distress,,, of course, it wouldn't be harmful to ask a pe for an evaluation IF he knows the work

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