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Question DetailsAsked on 10/30/2017

Leak in basement coming from 1st floor stoop. Stoop protrudes in to basement about 18". What type of contractor?

Front door stoop is concrete and the leaks are coming from both ends, about 6ft apart.

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1 Answer


Following answer assumes the "stoop" is landing and stairs in monolithic concrete sitting on/in the ground. if a cantilevered concrete landing but open underneath, ignore any parts about concreting - you just need to (on the caulking end of things) caulk the top and end joints, and a foot or so in underneath from each side (as discussed below) - plus do the measures to limit wate access to the stoop in the first place.

IF you can assure that you are getting the bulk of the water (surface and roof runoff) away from the stoop, so you are dealing only with direct rain splash and a bit a snow melt maybe, then you or a Handyman can thoroughly wire brushing the interface area on stoop and foundation - sides and top joint area - then thoroughly caulking with a long-life silicone caulk worked well down into the gap with a putty knife then caulked over to give a smooth surface should work. If a wide gap first fill the gap with backer rod, which is a round foam rod designed to provide a backup for the caulk - foam in a can can also be used as the backer material unless in an area with carpenter ants or termites (which love to tunnel/nest in it). The joint caulking/sealing will probably have to go all the way down the stoop to its bottom, so may need a bit of digging along the edge to seal the joint all the way down to foundation contact. Working in under the edge a foot or so on each side underneath (bottom of stoop contact with foundation) would also be a good diea if feasible, then pouring and rodding bagged concrete into the excavated hole underneath to maintain support and further restrict infiltration under the stoop.

Another thing that can be done to restrict inflow under the stoop is digging down about 6-12 inches (into compact, not free-draining soil prefeably) and in a few inches under the edge of the stoop and concreting that in too, as a cutoff against underflow.

If a large gap (say over 1/2" or so) sthen it is probably going to take an elastomeric sealer and maybe compressible joint filler board to fill the gap and waterproof it - then if cracking opens up again because of movement reseal the crack with long-life exterior caulk.

If the stoop is sloping toward the house so water hitting it comes in on top of the stoop,, then you are going to have to (after filling the crack) put in a metal or treated wood strip high enough to stop the water completely (commonly piece of 2x2 cedar which you treat with copper ground-contact timber treatment, or ground-contact treated 2x4), fastened to and caulked down to the stoop so water can't get in underneath, and extending off the edges of the stoop so the ponded water flows off the sides of the stoop and not along the foundation - then ensure that water flows away from the house on the graded ground surface.

If the situation is one where you cannot reasonably or easily get the water away from the stoop, then the above will still be needed to keep water out of the crack. Then some regrading or a french drain may be needed to collect and divert the water away - which if a minor job might be done by a Handyman - but normally a Basement Waterproofing contractor would be the one for in-ground controls, who can also put in a flexible permanent waterstop if needed (generally only in cases where the house is in a hole or swamp so you cannot drain surface runoff away from the house). Landscaping would be the category for just regrading and compacting the soil around that area to divert standing water away from the foundation - some Handymen will also do that for a small area like you are talking about.

Handyman for building an overhang to divert falling water away from the stoop - or Gutters category if you do not have roof rain gutters keeping roof runoff away from the stoop area.

Lot of ways to attack it depending on your specific situation, but the key is always to first divert the surface or roof runoff water source as much as possible away from the house and stoop area, secondly to directly protect the area directly from water if necessary (like with an overhang or awning or even arctic type entrance), thirdly (as last line of defense) seal the joint to restrict water inflow. And on the joint caulking - the outside is the place to stop that, not from the inside.

Answered 2 years ago by LCD

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