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Old 11-29-2012, 11:18 PM   #16
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Best way to waterproof old exterior concrete steps?


After some more research, I think Canarywood1 was probably right that it is NOT concrete, but stone stairway (sorry I didn't know the differences). Is it what they called yorkstone paving (rustic grade) or flagstone steps?? For such stone, is it porous? If it is porous by itself shouldn't some type of concrete sealer (e.g. RadonSeal LastiSeal) still would be able to help in some way? Thoughts? Thanks!

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Last edited by ohman; 11-29-2012 at 11:25 PM.
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Old 11-30-2012, 09:32 AM   #17
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Best way to waterproof old exterior concrete steps?


even IF you were to install concrete stairs, they'd still leak altho not as much as you're currently experiencing,,, according to aci, concrete becomes waterproof AFTER5,000psi compressive strength +/- a few little tweaks in the design mix,,, usual conc mix is 3,000 - 4,000,,, even then, a capillary treatment would be suggested to further enhance the water-resistant qualities of the mix.

when all that's said & done, i'd bet water will not penetrate the steps,,, i'd also bet it will STILL run down the steps & pool at stairwell's bottom.

so after dumping $$$ into the repair, you'll STILL need a pump UNLESS someone posts a response indicating how to make water run uphill,,, since ' natural stone sealers ' penetrate the material's capillaries, any sealer effectiveness depends on the abrasive resistance of the ' stone / concrete ',,, concrete/stone will not wear out in your lifetime,,, i wouldn't use ANY conc hardener - another waste of $$$ imo

ps to all - ' cement / ceement ' is an ingredient of concrete
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Old 12-05-2012, 02:29 PM   #18
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Best way to waterproof old exterior concrete steps?


Thanks for everyone's response.

So what we have decided to do, is to follow these steps (based on a contractor's recommendation):

1. Use Wet & Forget (or Spray & Forget) to remove moss/mildew on the surface now, and hopefully we don't have to do power wash (as it might create a pond in the storage room beneath the steps).

2. Apply the first coat of stone/concrete sealer (I have ordered the product of LastiSeal Brick & Masonry Sealer) without removing the current OLD caulking at the seams and joints...and wait until the sealer is dried

3. Then we remove all the OLD caulking, and apply new Sikaflex caulking (wondering which flavor would be the best to use, the self-leveling product or???)

4. Finally we apply the 2nd coat of stone/concrete sealer.

I think the contractor explained WHY he thought applying the 1st coat of sealer first, then remove the old caulk would be a better idea. However I forgot. Does these steps make sense to you? Do you think we should remove the old caulking first, then apply two coats of sealer? Any other thoughts or comments? Thanks!
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Old 12-05-2012, 04:11 PM   #19
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Best way to waterproof old exterior concrete steps?


The reason he wants to keep the old caulk in place,is because the new caulk will not bond to the sealer your going to apply.
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Old 12-05-2012, 05:34 PM   #20
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Best way to waterproof old exterior concrete steps?


doesn't make much sense to me but we only do this work for a living IF it works for you, wonderful hopefully all this work will keep water from infiiltrating your fine would love to see water running uphill before i die !

clorox ( bleach ) & wtr removes moss/mildew,,, sikaflex knife grade is for vertical joints - self-leveling, horizontal - we use knife grade for both & tool 'em like we're supposed to do


your contractor does have the advantage of actually putting eyes on the stairwell,,, would he have done the job & guaranteed the solution/method ?


read somewhere advice is free but lessons are $ 75 hr

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Old 12-05-2012, 06:27 PM   #21
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Best way to waterproof old exterior concrete steps?


In terms of removing the OLD caulking (on the seams and joints of this stone/masonary stairway), if I am to DIY, any tips or advice do you have for what best tools to use to remove these OLD caulking and how to best clean it (hopefully without power washing the surface)
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Old 12-05-2012, 06:32 PM   #22
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Best way to waterproof old exterior concrete steps?


utility knife, 4" grinder w/wire brush, screwdriver(s), 2# hammer & brick chisel - anything that works absolutely NO water - you need the joints DRY to seal 'em
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Old 12-05-2012, 06:42 PM   #23
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Best way to waterproof old exterior concrete steps?


Thanks itsreallyconc for your feedback!

Just wondering why you would prefer to use bleach over "Wet & Dry" (or "Spray & Dry"), doesn't bleach kill plants and we do have roses and apple trees right next to the stone stairway?? Is it still a good idea in this case to use bleach? Thanks!
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Old 12-05-2012, 07:28 PM   #24
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Best way to waterproof old exterior concrete steps?


you only need 1 c in 5gal H2 O - soak your plants 1st - doubt if you'd need 5g solution,,, also we prefer bleach because its cheaper,,, IF this kills your apple tree, i'll buy you another 1
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Old 08-04-2014, 09:30 AM   #25
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Best way to waterproof old exterior concrete steps?


Hello from the UK.
I know this post is a longtime after your initial inquiry, but we have recently moved to a place which is having similar problems.
The solution we found is this, if the cracks are not huge or liable to allow a liqiud filling to run back out, to fix the gaps in our stonework we used molten lead. I know, it comes with its risks of poisonous fumes and burns, but if you are careful, the beauty of it is, it goes hard really quick and there is no further maintenance required, hope this helps
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Old 08-05-2014, 12:08 AM   #26
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Best way to waterproof old exterior concrete steps?


Thanks for everyone's participation with this discussion. I just want to report back that after two years, our stairway remain to be in good shape after we fixed this issue using two-part Epoxy caulking. Just a quick FYI
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Old 08-05-2014, 06:14 AM   #27
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Best way to waterproof old exterior concrete steps?


most epoxies are 2 part - some 3 & even 4,,, i'm curious which particular product you finally select'd ? because of the materials viscosity, vertical-grade materials are very specialized,,, 1 can ' tweak ' some w/cabosil, etc, but this is a skill / technique usually demanding extensive experience - tnx in adv

irc
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Old 08-06-2014, 11:48 PM   #28
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Best way to waterproof old exterior concrete steps?


Our contractor picked the brand so I don't really remember. However originally I was thinking of using Sikaflex epoxy caulk as I have heard a lot of good things about it (it just that we couldn't find it locally and it will take a long time to order from Amazon). If you google "Sikaflex epoxy caulk" you should be able to find a lot of info. Hope this helps!

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