Foundation / Grading Question

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chicagoguy
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Q:

I have a question that I hope someone can help me with.  I moved to a home that afterwards I discovered had some water issues.  Specifically, most of the home's foundation wall is below grade (by approximately a brick or two in some spots).  The house has a small basement with drain tile and pumps that has stayed dry through rains, with the exception of a huge rain in July where 7-8 inches fell in an hour, flooding the city's storm sewers (so the pump had no where to go).  As a result the basement filled up with about 4 feet of water and eventually recided once the sewers cleared.  However most of the home is on an unfinished crawlspace and that filled up with water entirely and spilled over into the basement (which is lower).  I also noticed that water comes in over the foundation wall in the crawl space.

I've taken measures so far such as having all of the downspouts completely extended out away from the house using PVC pipe underground.  I also had the ground regraded to the best that I could.  The real challenge though is that my lot is rather flat and there just isn't a whole lot that can be done in terms of real grading, so there is still the problem of the soil being above the foundation wall in most spots around the house.

Can anyone suggest what options/solutions there may be?  Is it even possible for example to dig up parts of the house in small sections and remove the equivalent of a brick or two height and extend up the concrete foundation so that it becomes above grade?  Are there known sealants or products that can replace over the brick to act as a foundation wall?  This isn't a problem with cracks in the foundation but instead the foundation being too low and really not having the lot elevation options to make smple grading the solution.  

Any suggestions and help is VERY much appreciated!!!

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Sorry for the delay with pictures!  How do I post pictures?  I have taken some but can't seem to figure out how to upload them here?

Thanks!

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Please take a few photos of the house, the lot and the foundation so we can see the situation. It may be able to create a sort of retaining wall adjacent ot he exterior of the home (but not touching it) that wouold allow yuo to get the perimeter grade up higher.  You can post your photos to this page.

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