Hello all,

I have a 1939 house with a poured foundation wall. We've been experiencing leaks in the basement since we bought. Initially they were coming from a window well which had a patched over drain. That is still a problem area, but we're managing it until a more permanent solution can be found.

Now, however, we are getting leaks from near the top of the foundation. I can't tell exactly where, as it is behind our basement stairs, but it doesn't appear to be coming in over the foundation wall.

My question is: what would you recommend to address this type of leaking? I eventually want to finish the basement, so I want something long-term. I have been thinking about doing a French drain, but everything I've seen so far points to that being used with cinder block construction, and the drainage would be limited to the bottom of the wall. Since the water is coming in through the top, I'm wondering if some sort of membrane coupled with a French drain would be the ticket.

Thoughts?

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We had an issue with basement leaks and found the biggest problem(s) were with the downspouts and the grade of the yard.  We had some grading done and buried corrugated pipes from the downspouts out to the sidewalk.  Haven't had any problem since then.  (Hope that continues to be the case.)  French drains were one of the options we were offered. 

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