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Old 03-04-2009, 11:30 AM   #1
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Help on removing concrete stairwell going into Basement.


Hi everyone...

Looking some advice since people here are always so friendly and helpfull.


Background: We just had a very large snowstorm at the beginning of the week, followed by mild temperatures and heavy rains which caused a lot of snow melt.

During the day it was raining, I noticed a little water at the corner of steps I have leading to the back door in the basement. I have a 4 -level split with wooden stairs going down into the basement. I don't use these stairs so what I had done when I moved in was to cover the top of the stairs with a tarp, wrapped a piece of plywood with tarp, placed it above the opening with some 2 x 4's for the plywood to rest on, then placed more tarp above. I then just sealed up the door with weather striping and plastic. So I took all that down and when I opened the door, I noticed a large crack on the back wall behind the steps and a crack beside the door.

Issue: I took off the drywall to see the extent of the first crack.



Water is running down this crack and dripping down the door casing, which is where the damp carpet was.

Here is a photo of the crack beside the door frame. you can see the concrete shifted.




Here is a shot of the large crack on the back wall behind the steps:



Water is running down this crack also, down the side of the wall, and when it gets near the door, is disappearing, I'm assuming its going into some drainage system under the foundation.

I had the perma crete guys come in to inspect. They told me that this exterior concrete stairwell is not attached to the foundation, and that it shifted.

Here is a view of the top of the side wall as it sits beside the foundation: Noticed the text is too small and I don't want to post a HUGE photo. It reads: "Proposing to cut this section out to relieve pressure on the foundation. Is this a good idea?"



Here is a shot of the same wall at a lower point:


You can see that there is a noticeable gap between the two and I think this is what caused the foundation to crack as the top part is pressing against the house and I think this is what cracked it.

They said they cannot warranty the work until I excavate the side of the house and install some 2" Rigid insulation. I asked them if it's worth even having this stupid stairwell there at all and they said I'd be better off removing it since all it's really doing is causing cold air to seep into the house and, obviously, issues with my foundation.

Proposal: So I'm looking at some advice on how to do this. Obviously I'm not even going to attempt to seal off the door myself, definitely a job for qualified professionals. But how would they block off the door? With some sort of mould?

I'm just going to get a few guys to help me break up these concrete walls, keep a little at the bottom for drainage, fill up the hole with gravel, leave 1 foot and fill it with good quality soil.

As for the large crack on the back wall behind the stairs... I need to seal this up with some sort of store-bought foundation crack fix kit as a temporary fix to ensure the water penetration is kept to a minimum before I can remove this this summer.

Apart from all this, I'm going to need to install some drainage to divert the water away from the house since the home sits lower then my neighbours and his water seems to run towards me...

Any advice would greatly be appreciated.

Thanks.


Last edited by earthad1; 03-06-2009 at 03:05 PM.
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Old 03-05-2009, 09:25 AM   #2
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Help on removing concrete stairwell going into Basement.


I drew up a rough sketch of the layout of my property (pardon my art skills, LOL)

I need to divert the water away from the property as much as possible. So what I want to do it build 3 drains. 1 Going from my property line to the woods, one going to the road and one going from where the crack is, connect it to the existing pipe from the downspout going into the wood.

Looking for suggestions / improvements to my plans and what the best way to achieve this?

Thanks.


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Old 03-06-2009, 06:41 AM   #3
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Help on removing concrete stairwell going into Basement.


No one can help me with this?
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Old 03-06-2009, 07:50 AM   #4
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Help on removing concrete stairwell going into Basement.


generally speaking, p-crete guys won't have a clue in fairness, nor would any other decorative conc artisan,,, few of us have real-world conc repair experience & fewer still understand waterproofing principles,,, the best result would be gain'd by injecting the crk w/either hydro-phyllic OR -phobic polyurethane,,, its a specialty,,, icri.org would be a good place to begin locating a pro near you,,, good luck !
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Old 03-06-2009, 08:36 AM   #5
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Help on removing concrete stairwell going into Basement.


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Originally Posted by yesitsconcrete View Post
generally speaking, p-crete guys won't have a clue in fairness, nor would any other decorative conc artisan,,, few of us have real-world conc repair experience & fewer still understand waterproofing principles,,, the best result would be gain'd by injecting the crk w/either hydro-phyllic OR -phobic polyurethane,,, its a specialty,,, icri.org would be a good place to begin locating a pro near you,,, good luck !
Thank you sir, much appreciated.

For that back wall, since I'll be removing it anyways, I just need a temp fix so keep the water at bay. What I'll do is fill the crack, using a backer rod with the following caulking I bought from the Home Depot.
DAP 300ML, Slate Gray, Polyurethane Waterproof Concrete Sealant

Seal all gaps, joints and cracks in concrete, stone and masonry with this professional grade sealant. It creates a permanent, waterproof seal that can withstand up to 50% total joint movement-making it a great choice for concrete, sidewalks, foundations, mortar joints, stem wall and stucco. Its textured grey finish will blend seamlessly with a variety of surfaces.

But I dont see the term "phobic" though. So I'm thinking the stuff I bought it not good enough?

I can't begin breaking these walls up untill I can get someone to seal up that door. What someone suggested here was, since I need to seal up the doorway anyways, that I should get them to remove the section that is cracked, square it off, and make it part of mould for the door. Also, The photo I posted where you see the wall pushing against the concrete of the house, It was suggested that I chissle a section out to relieve the pressure against the house. Is that a good idea?



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Old 03-06-2009, 08:47 AM   #6
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Help on removing concrete stairwell going into Basement.


What are you calling, "mould"? The foundation looks to be block, not concrete. Which is it?
Ron
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Old 03-06-2009, 08:52 AM   #7
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Help on removing concrete stairwell going into Basement.


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What are you calling, "mould"? The foundation looks to be block, not concrete. Which is it?
Ron
Hi Ron, its a poured foundation, not block.

What I meant is that I was to have someone come in and seal off this door completely, but I have no idea to be honest how that is done...
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Old 03-06-2009, 09:05 AM   #8
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Help on removing concrete stairwell going into Basement.


we do this for a living,,, no apron store's got acceptable material for us - nor for you !
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Old 03-06-2009, 10:36 AM   #9
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Help on removing concrete stairwell going into Basement.


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we do this for a living,,, no apron store's got acceptable material for us - nor for you !
oh yea... that I understand. I definately want some pro's to come in and fix the crack in the house foundation. I was just looking for something temporary to seal off the crack on that outside stairwell to keep the water away so I can save up the money to have that entrance to the basement sealed/ house crack fixed by the pros...

Just was not sure if that ingredient you spoke of was available from Home Depot.

Thanks for your advice.
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Old 01-22-2010, 07:48 AM   #10
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Help on removing concrete stairwell going into Basement.


So Update to this thread.

I've had both cracks sealed up. I had them flush out the drain tile. I got them to pour a concrete floor with a drain instead of just having a gravel floor. I had them excavate around the entire perimeter of the walls and place a waterproof membrane.

The only issue now is that, after backfilling the hole, the ground has sunk where the crack was a bit so I need to fix this grading before the spring thaw.

Some people are telling me to just get some topsoil and tamper it down untill the grading is fixed. Others are saying to put gravel for drainage first.

I want the water to run AWAY from the concrete, not drain down beside it, so which one should I use?
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Old 01-22-2010, 08:16 AM   #11
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Help on removing concrete stairwell going into Basement.


Topsoil and grade the slope to direct the surface water away. Keep your dirt 8" below any wood or siding.
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Old 01-22-2010, 10:31 AM   #12
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Help on removing concrete stairwell going into Basement.


Great! Thanks.

I kinda figured topsoil was the way to go... I can't see why I would want to drain water down there...

Thanks again.

Now the problem is finding some. I've called all the normal big box stores and no one has any. All they have is potting soil. I really don't want to wait for them to stock in the spring. I need to put something there now but concerned at using garden soil... But if I really compact it good with a tamper, I'm thinking its better than nothing for now... I can always dig it back up in the spring and replace it with topsoil.
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Old 01-22-2010, 11:11 AM   #13
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Help on removing concrete stairwell going into Basement.


Slope it 1/4" per foot for at least 10' away from the house or egress. Once you get further out you could go down to 1/8" per foot slope. Are you having problems with the water pooling around your house right now? If not and you do not have severe seasonal runoff, I'd wait.
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Old 03-29-2010, 01:59 PM   #14
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Help on removing concrete stairwell going into Basement.


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Slope it 1/4" per foot for at least 10' away from the house or egress. Once you get further out you could go down to 1/8" per foot slope. Are you having problems with the water pooling around your house right now? If not and you do not have severe seasonal runoff, I'd wait.
Hey, Sorry for the late response.... Yea the yard is all messed up. The water comes off the driveway, runs down towards the back of the yard, then takes a sharp turn to the right and pools near the foundation.

I've dug some trenches to divert the water away and into a 4' hole as a temporary fix until I can get the grading fixed and drainage installed and will be installing a dry-well.

Basically, from the gutter,I want to dig a 2'x2' trench, sloping away from the house. Line it with a few inches of gravel, lay down some filter cloth (landscape fabric) and install 20-30 feet of solid pipe. This pipe needs to connect to a 4-6FT hole where a plastic garbage can with 3/4" holes will be filled with rocks. This will be the dry well.

Something like this:

http://www.richardcleaver.com/wp-con...04/drywell.jpg

Just have to figure out the distance. Some say 10 FT is enough, some say 30, some say 10' with a solid pipe, then connected to another 10' of perforated pipe before reaching the well.

Other thing is the slope. It needs to slope 12 inches of distance for every 50 feet of property, a 1/4 inch slope for every foot.

So if I slope away 30 Feet, I need to make sure the end of the line is 7.2"inches lower than the house...

So, assuming the starting point is already 2FT deep, the end needs to be min 2'.72" Feet deep, which is in range with a 4 Foot Deep dry-well (The pipe needs to be fastened as close to the top as possible, so I may dig down 6 Feet.

The only thing I'm not sure on how to do yet is how you "bury" the dry-well (soil, gravel, then soil, should the top also be fitted with landscape fabric, ect....)

Thanks again

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