I have a cement stairway that leads down to my basement. I recently noticed that the side of the stairs closest to the house has some kind of patchwork done all along the side of the stairs. I only noticed this because I saw that a small trickle of water was getting into my basement from that wall attached to the stairs. Prior to moving in I had the entire basement completely rehabbed b/c there was mold from previous owners. Any advice on where I should begin in fixing this leaking problem? I would hate to have to redo cement stairs and/or replace a brand new basement wall. The new drywall I have is mold-resistant so I'm not worried about that, I just don't want water damage to my floor.
Iíve made some assumptions: The stairs are perpendicular to the house wall. The stairs are completely outside of the basement. The basement walls are also concrete.
This is one idea that could work for you. Dig down at the location where the leak is and thoroughly clean all surfaces at the joint. Then use a caulk that is labeled for waterproofing on any cracks and then apply waterproofing material over the whole area. Iíd go at least two feet on either side of the joint with the waterproofing. Of course while youíre doing this you might have to adjust your plan depending upon what you find. If itís just fine cracks at that joint then this is one way to handle that, but if you find a major disconnect between the stairs and the wall then youíll have to modify this approach. If digging down at that location is difficult you can try sealing the cracks and waterproofing on the inside, but Iíve never known this to work very long.
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