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Stairs built directly on dirt

We just bought and moved into a 1920's colonial two weeks ago. It appears that a prior owner took out the ground level basement doors and installed a staircase from the kitchen down to the basement. Last Friday night during a big rainstorm we had water cascading like a waterfall from both sides and underneath the stairs to the basement. I thought it was a clogged drainage system, and I took the downspout out, but then last night we got water again just not as much. There are now two holes in the exterior wall where the old section of the house meets the newer section (probably done 60 years ago)and you can stick your finger in and feel dirt. Underneath the stairs, it looks like they put a piece of plywood down on top of the dirt and simply built the stairs above it. The water last night seeped in through the plywood.

We have a waterproofing company coming on Saturday and I have called a builder and am waiting for him to call me back. I am afraid that we are going to have to have the stairs ripped out and some kind of concrete foundation constructed. Does anyone have any experience with something like this? I am not sure I can trust the advice of a waterproofer and I know nothing about this. Thanks. Terry

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