Home>Discussions>EXTERIORS>Best way to repair rusty threshold on basement bulkhead
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Best way to repair rusty threshold on basement bulkhead

Hi all,

We recently purchased a 100 year old home and one of the first projects I've decided to tackle is to fix up the basement bulkhead since its interior has become quite rusty. I'm guessing that this bulkhead is t least 30-40 years old. The exterior is in pretty good shape but the interior has degraded quite a bit. There's a lot of peeling paint and rust that I've already started to tackle with a metal brush. Once I have all the rust removed I plan to put down a coat of rust preventing primer followed by a coat or two of rust preventative paint.

One thing I'm not sure how to properly address is the threshold since part of is is so rusted out that it's got voids underneath part of it. When the bulkhead was installed the threshold was embedded into the concrete at the base.

Here's a picture of the threshold looking out from inside the stairwell:

And here's a closer view of the really damaged part:

My question is what would be the best way to repair this? Once I've finished getting rid of all the rust should I fill the voids in with something, and if so what would work best?



Re: Best way to repair rusty threshold on basement bulkhead

You can install new steps or you can repair the ones you have.

I'd guess you want to repair. To do so, clean them well and fill in the cracks with concrete repair paste. There are number of them available at the big stores. If it's your first time doing this, watch some video demos before you start on YouTube.

Re: Best way to repair rusty threshold on basement bulkhead

At the very least, I would suggest tearing out the top step and pouring a new one. Unless the metal threshold is needed for a bulkhead door you should be able to just use concrete.


Re: Best way to repair rusty threshold on basement bulkhead


I wonder if you could post additional photos of the bottom of the concrete stairway, the stairway landing, and the entrance to the basement; from the looks of the photos you have posted so far, it looks like the whole threshold and stairway was originally improperly installed; I can't imagine how rainwater & snowmelt (which flow by gravity) are able to do anything but pool at the top threshold and eventually eat everything out at the joints----is rainwater being directed at the threshold to the left side of the stairs by the corroded metal piece to some channel or drain system???? Use a garden hose to check it out if you're not sure. Photos please.

They at least should have put in a large runoff drain at the top threshold slab & connect it underground to the base of the stairway to another large drain at the base of the stairwell, that would then connect to a lower pitched drywell to collect all water runoff from the threshold, the stairs, and the base of the steps; I wonder if there's at least a working drain now at the base of the stairwell.

If not, there's no way you're going to have a dry basement & prevent rainwater from entering the basement & creating a perennial mess.

I'll with-hold judgement until see further photos, but the way it looks now, if you expect to dispose of the water you're sure to get with each snow & rainfall, you may have to rip out the whole deal & install a properly pitched threshold & stairwell with a proper drain system.

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