The issue:

We bought a house, built around 1985, but it has this extremely poorly built walkout from the basement.

Entire walkout

Over flashing

It looks like the builder's "solution" for drainage was a bent piece of tin fastened to the parging.

The tin was under about 4 inches of soil. I dug it out, and lifted it up to see what was underneath. Makes for a fantastic mouse house apparently.

Under flashing

Now, none of this is inherently a problem by itself, but the issue becomes apparent when one looks inside:

Wall caving in

The wall has already collapsed in about a foot and a half, and I'm not confident it has stopped.

Mice coming in

Besides the mice and the soil, it's obvious the wood by itself is not keeping the water out:

Water coming in

There appears to be a drain in the middle of the floor - I have no idea if it works or where it goes. As the basement isn't underwater, I presume it's draining somewhere.


The questions:

  1. How do we stop the wall from caving in and making all of this a lot worse? Is making sure no water is draining into that corner the only thing we can do easily?
  2. This is conceptually a neat feature, is there any fixing it? It seems like the only real option is to excavate all around it, gut the whole thing, and start again. Anyone have any insights?

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1 Answer 1


you are going to have to dig it all out, and then rebuild it properly. you could shore it with steel plates, but it will cost you more to have the system built and then installed than it will to just do it over in concrete.

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