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rickthenewb 12-02-2013 11:10 AM

water sealing around basement stairs
3 Attachment(s)
Hi, I have water that leaks at the bottom of my stairs by my bilco doors when it rains really hard or long (about 3 times a year). And the walls leading to the doors looks like moisture is a problem as well. My question is should i use a paint or a some other sealant at the bottom or a a water concrete and should I reseal the bilco doors or is this normal? I bought my house a year ago and I am learning as I go. Attachment 78475

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Attachment 78477

stadry 12-02-2013 03:03 PM

absent full-depth excavation & proper exterior waterproofing, nothing else works permanently,,, even waterproofing the exterior part will force accumulating water to find another void in the wall thru which to leak. mortar joints have, on average, 100 pinholes per ft - that's why leaks usually start there.

4 rules of waterproofing are:
1 - water runs downhill;
2 - it takes the path of least resistance;
3 - it seeks its own level;
4 - it rushes to fill a void ( try making a hole in a tub full of water ).

paint won't stick to a wet surface nor will sealants,,, IF the bilco is not sealed properly, of course that would be a good place to start :yes: yes, it is normal for foundation walls to leak that haven't been properly waterproofed,,, too bad your pre-sale home inspector was ignorant or, worse, stupid/in a hurry altho, in fairness, there might not have been any evidence of a leak when he did his work.

proper waterproofing is done BEFORE back-fill,,, everything done afterwards is ' water management ',,, even the building code only requires a 3mil dampproofing coating - NOT waterproofing :censored: welcome to the continuing school of home ownership studies :yes: just like the eib, the learning never stops :no:

rickthenewb 12-03-2013 08:29 AM

since it only leaks 2-3 times a year what if I dug out about 1 ft out and 1 ft deep and placea sump pump in there with some rocks?

Bondo 12-03-2013 09:37 AM


Originally Posted by rickthenewb (Post 1274175)
since it only leaks 2-3 times a year what if I dug out about 1 ft out and 1 ft deep and placea sump pump in there with some rocks?

Ayuh,... That'll do Nothing for ya,....

Regradin' the outside, so's the 1st 10' or more is pitched away from the house, oughta Fix the problem, all together,...

joecaption 12-03-2013 10:15 AM

Post a picture of the outside in that area.

rickthenewb 12-03-2013 11:40 AM

4 Attachment(s)
the gutters are clean there is a slight grade from the house as I looked closer it looks like there is a small crack where they attached the stairs to the wall. Here are some pictures.
Attachment 78500

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Attachment 78502

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pics 3 and 4 is where i noticed the crack that I think might be the problem.

stadry 12-03-2013 11:59 AM

on occasion, we have used your approach - dug a couple feet down, lined the btm & side towards the house w/20mm apron/vest store pond liner, placed 5 - 6" of clean #57 stone, then back-filled.

USUALLY we'll do this for hoa's who don't want to invest $$$ in the sump 'n' pump method,,, probably work'd 8x out of 10,,, what we actually did was create a dry well,,, jury's still out on whether this will be per,anent,,, test your ' crk is the culprit ' theory by running a lawn sprinkler for a day,,, upside is it'll work - lesser upside is digging in freshly dug soil when it doesn't :whistling2: it work'd on a monmouth cty house

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