I agree with TriPolar - back to basics.
Unless you live in a place with lots of groundwater and a high water table, there are usually 2 things that cause water problems:
- The grading around the area. The land should slope away from the structure. In other words, if your patio is at a low point in your yard, that’s not a good thing.
You want top soil - tamped down and compacted (not garden soil or compost, which doesn’t compact) - to slope downward, away from the patio so that the water runs away from the structure and doesn’t sink into the surrounding ground.
- Gutters. If the water is a result of concentrated runoff from the roof of the house or a garage, then gutters, along with strategically placed downspouts that redirect the water away, will make a big difference.
For #1, of course, you’re limited if there’s not enough room between houses to re-grade. Obviously, you can’t regrade your neighbor’s lawn. They don’t take kindly to that. But, if you do need to fix the grade and have the room to do so, you can usually find someone to do that work for a fairly reasonable price, if that’s what needs to be done.
There are a number of youtube videos about how to grade around your house; I’m sure the same logic applies to any other area where you want to keep water away.
#2 is a relatively cheap fix. I’m amazed at how many times a simple and functional gutter system can make a big difference, assuming the problem is caused by runoff from the roof of a house and/or garage.
You need to walk around your house and any outbuildings while it’s raining and see if there are spots that have a lot of concentrated runoff from the roof during a rain storm. Maybe that upper patio is channeling a lot of runoff from upper roofs to the lower patio. Gutters may help there.
Depending on the size of your house and the configuration you need, you can get a decent, serviceable gutter system professionally installed for under $1000. I’ve paid as little as $650 for a whole-house simple installation, up to about $1300 for a multi-story Victorian (I went overboard on the gutters here just to be safe). Anyhow, it’s a pretty inexpensive thing to do, unless you want heated gutters or something really fancy.
You’ll should scope out the problem spots yourself and point them out to the installer. The installation itself is something that can usually be done in one day or less, so it’s not an intrusive project.
There are lots of decent sump pumps out there, if that’s the way you go. But I would try the basic solutions first. You may still need a pump at some point, but it’s a lot less stress if you can mitigate the water problem at the source.
Good luck. I know what a pain in the neck it is to deal with water issues.