Block walls have been used in basement construction for years. In unsupported basement block walls, concrete blocks are laid to form the wall, which supports the building structure (Figure 1). Back-filling of the soil at the exterior of the wall forms the grade, which diverts water away from the wall. The wall system is relatively easy to install and low in initial cost.

Maintenance of the wall requires keeping water away from the foundation and sealing water leakage through joints. With lack of maintenance, back-fill settling and excessive water transportation to the foundation can occur, causing the block wall to fail from hydraulic pressure (Figure 2).

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