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The soil around the foundation, which was once dug in order for the basement to be built, is always less compact than the undisturbed portions of the terrain surrounding it. As a result, water tends to accumulate in that soil. In building science this is called the "clay bowl effect". As the water builds up, hydrostatic pressure pushes the water down and against your basement walls. The water will then follow the path of least resistance unless it is intercepted and diverted by a good basement drainage system. It will find its way into your basement, through the joint between the walls and floor, the cracks and joints on the wall and floor, or by seeping through the porous concrete.