We are currently midway through a major renovation to an old house. Part of the renovation was digging out a new basement and adding a new foundation around it. The basement has a ceiling height of about 8 feet, with about 5 feet below grade and 3 feet above grade. The basement and foundation work was completed a few months ago.
We are seeing some very damp areas on the new foundation walls after heavy rain. Here are some example photos. You can see the water dampness by the discoloration of the wall in the photos. It's mostly in the corners and where the wall meets the floor:
This house is still under construction. There are no gutters at all yet, and the grading hasn't been addressed at all yet. In other words, when it rains, the water literally just pools up along the side of the house and sits there.
My contractor is telling me that this is why we are seeing these water issues right now, and that after the gutters are installed and the grading is addressed it will not be a problem.
I think this makes sense, but I am also wondering if that's just a convenient explanation. In other words, even without gutters and proper grading, should the foundation walls still be water proof if they were constructed correctly? Or does the contractor explanation seem reasonable?
Here's an additional photo showing the damp-proofing that was applied to the new foundation before the dirt was filled in:
The corner closest to you in the outdoor photo is the same as the corner furthest from you in the "office" photo.
Thanks very much for the help!