Q.: One wall of our block basement is bulging inward and it has cracked horizontally for the length of the wall. We don't have any accurate measurements, but we think it has moved inward at the center about an inch during the past week. The wall is about 25 feet long and we have been having repeated trouble with leakage on that side of the basement, though a waterproofing company had some time ago introduced a drainage system on the inside at the level of the footings. This keeps getting clogged up and the company keeps coming back to clear it out. What can we do about a permanent remedy?
A.: You should perhaps have a structural engineer look at the wall and evaluate the situation. The wall very likely needs to be reinforced. A good method is described in our February 1983 issue, page 141. After the wall has been reinforced, you should perhaps add some fill outside the wall to drain surface water away from the house at grade level. This should reduce the load on your subgrade drainage so that it doesn't continually plug up.