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We noticed a small puddle during a warmer period last week and traced it back to the foundation wall. I removed the drywall and insulation (it was only on top half of wall) and found that the previous owner had patched over a small crack at that spot. They seem to have done a very thorough job and the patch seems fine but it was slightly damp - not wet - to touch so we assume this was the source of the puddle.

Since then we have also cleared the ice around the downspouts and drainpipes and even extended the drain pipes to go further from the house - and we have not seen any water in basement since!!

So - do I need to do anything about this? I am wondering:

  • Should I remove and then re-patch the spot that seemed to be the source of the first leak?
  • Should I just put a moisture alarm in there and replace the drywall/insulation again?
  • Should I just focus on just keeping water and ice away from the house for next year?

As mentioned - there has not been any further leak noticed since we improved the drainage in the area.

  • Hello, and welcome to Home Improvement. Sounds like a significant amount of water came through, more than what would make a patch "damp". I'm guessing your problem is elsewhere. – Daniel Griscom Mar 27 at 11:07
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When a crack appears in the house/basement, it usually is the last place to show that something is wrong on the outside. Your actions were a good step into the right direction. Since the previous owner seemed to have the same problem you should explore the reason.If your house sits on higher ground than the surroundings you should be ok with just the actions that you took and you could just dig that spot up and patch and seal it from the outside. If it is a low spot, you should consider putting drainage in.General rule...your house should be sitting on ground that is as dry as possible. Moisture goes in cracks, freezes and makes cracks bigger. If not taken care of you could end up with costs to rebuild and not only that wall but more since the next step would be a moving house!!!

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