We have a concrete basement foundation. It's the type with a retaining wall that can only be seen from inside the basement and a second outer wall on top of which the structure is built. The retaining wall has a crack and is leaning. We got a few quotes and the fix is.... not affordable at the moment.
One guy said that the best thing I can do immediately is dig a french drain on the outside of the house because the damage is caused by water pressure from the land sloping gradually in the direction of the house.
I thought that would be a simple google search and then I could get digging, but it turns out there are different views of what a french drain is and how it should be dug. I'm very confused.
I have a lot of questions, but first and foremost: Am I digging a trench that has no outlet, but is deeper than the foundation and catches the water from upslope and drains it beneath the foundation? Or am I digging a trench from the back yard to the front yard that drains the water into a drywell or something in the front yard?
I have to find a way to drain the gutter also since it currently drains into the front lawn from an above ground corrugated pipe. Can/should these problems be resolved together?
Photo 1: I pointed out the crack location and compromised wall in red. I pointed out the downspout with corrugated pipe in blue. There is a small slab foundation addition that I pointed it out in blue so as not to confuse anyone. I also pointed out in red the cracked wall for the stairwell which is due to the weight of the slab foundation (separate issue, but thought it might be relevant).
Photo 2: A close-up from a different angle.
Photo 3: showing the downspout and alleyway to the front yard.
I am appreciative of any advice at all. I don't have any experience with this kind of work and this house has too many problems for us to get professional help with all of them.
Couple of progress picks here. Not yet sure how I'll manage getting around the sewer pipe which is about a foot down. Also, found an old foundation wall, I'm going to have to pick up a sledge hammer to bash it to bits.