Q: What are the positives and negatives of block walls vs. poured cement walls in an area where the water table is high? — Sheila, Byron, Minnesota

A: Steve says: A high water table definitely demands excellent waterproofing. If you're not replacing your foundation but you really need to seal it absolutely, then there are a couple of different products you can turn to. One is an ice and water shield that actually sticks to the foundation. The other is a product that is applied under heat. But it may be that you're thinking of building or renovating and your project requires a new foundation. It's tough to say. Here in New England, we tend to favor poured foundation walls, but I would counsel you to accept the recommendation of your contractor. It may also be worth your while to consult a soils engineer.
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