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During a remarkably heavy rainstorm last week, a small puddle formed in our basement. We could see that the water entered the basement through a fingernail-sized crack in the interior concrete wall. Is it enough to patch the concrete, or are we inviting more serious trouble down the road if we don't investigate the state of the outside foundation wall (at least until there's a recurrence)?

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Conventional wisdom is that you deal with the issue from the outside in.

Is there something causing water to stay in that area? Downspouts dumping water there? Ponding that can be solved by grading the surface? Drainage patterns that can only be mitigated by something like a french drain?

Deal with the exterior "why", and you might not have to worry about a crack.

But if you want to work on the crack, do it from the outside. There's no greater waste of time imho than patching the interior. Hydraulic cement is usually the weapon of choice, here.

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