Winter is coming to an end. All the snow/ice in my back lawn is thawing. A massive vertical crack has opened in my basement wall (the foundation) and water is hemmoraging in. I tried parging it with hydraulic cement but it literally is jetting out of the wall and the cement won't hold.

What kind of contractor do I call for this? Mason? GC? Home emergency restoration services?

  • 1
    Just how big of a crack are you dealing with? Can you measure how wide and long it is? Has there been a significant change to the foundation such as settling? This could be a much bigger problem than just water in your basement. Feb 25, 2016 at 18:08
  • 1
    Thanks @JasonHutchinson (+1) - you were right :-( Please see my answer below!
    – smeeb
    Mar 4, 2016 at 10:13

2 Answers 2


Just for future readers, I ended up bringing in structural engineers who found my basement wall was bowing from the stress of the soil outside the house (becomming water-logged, freezing, expanding, etc.). This was also the cause of the vertical crack/fissure that opened up, which was my chief complaint in the original question above.

The solution they sold me on was to bring in 5 heavy-duty steel I-beams and anchor them between the basement floor and the rafters above. $2700 after everything.


It depends a bit on what the actual problem is. A mason won't likely have the answers you need, which are related to water management.

If it's a surface drainage issue, call a landscaper to raise grade and create slope, and/or a rain gutter specialist.

If it's a water table problem, call an excavator to install exterior drain tile and better backfill material. Have a membrane installed while things are open.

If you need both exterior and interior drain tile (with sump), and/or repair work inside, call a general contractor.

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