basement brick entry- water elimination?
We have a nearly 100 year old row house, and our basement is only about 1/4 above grade. We have steps that go down into a "breezeway"-- about 5' x 18'. This is a brick foundation that creates an entryway/storage area before entering the finished basement part of the house. It is directly under our front porch.
We just tore down the wood paneling that was covering up this brick foundation, and intended to repoint the bricks. Our contractor, however, said that while he's happy to repoint it for us, he suggests that the water that seeps into the ground (from rain, watering the lawn, etc), is going to still come seeping through the mortar, deteriorating the mortar that they put in. He recommends just covering up the brick foundation with a 1/2" layer of cement. I'm not so sure this is a good idea either, though... wouldn't the water still come through the mortar, hit the cement and stream down, weakening the foundation because there's no place for the moisture to escape?
Can anyone advise us what is the best solution to this problem?