An important point to remember – wall cracks, cracks in the floor, or in the joint between where the poured concrete floor and walls meet, is just one source of basement leaks. Water could also be leaking in through the window wells, through the stairwell door, or via pipes that aren’t properly sealed. Find the source of the basement leak first.
If it’s the basement walls, make sure you don’t use tar to cover up the cracks. After applying hydraulic cement to any cracks, apply a coat of sealant, which goes on like a coat of paint. That’s another product you can pick up from Home Depot or Canadian Tire that will keep moisture from making its way through. (However don’t apply sealant over a wall that has been painted – blast off the paint first.)
The best way to counter a leaky basement is to install either an exterior or interior home waterproofing system. Using hydraulic cement to fix cracks in the wall is good, but you’ll have to stay on it, because the water pressure pounding up against the foundation walls of your home is relentless. That becomes even more of an issue with more rainfall – which absorbs more into the loose soil around your home, pushing its way through the basement cracks. It’s almost a “finger in the dike” scenario.
Interior waterproofing involves a number of steps that re-directs water away from your home’s foundation – in turn reducing the water pressure on the basement walls. Licensed home waterproofing professionals will install a drainage system along the inside of the wall, featuring a four-inch weeping tile that connects to a sump pump pit, that then pumps water out to the exterior of your home. It also includes installing a drainage membrane along the walls of the basement.