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Suggestions for fixing Bilco Door stair leak ?

Hi gurus,

I have a basement with Bilco doors that were installed 20+ years ago. Just recently, I started getting seepage from the front of the bottom 2 steps. The steps were created with cinder blocks. I noticed that both spots were corrected with hydraulic cement in the past. We just had a major rain event and the seepage was enough to trickle into the basement. It took 9 days for the seepage to get back to the point where a single beach towel on the step was enough to absorb and stop the water for 2-3 weeks. I believe there is some underground spring/pool/etc that is keeping the water table high. The rest of my basement has been 99% dry.

So, it's time to fix the steps. Here were my thoughts:

Plan #1: My initial plan (from the fall) was to wait until the seepage stopped and DryLok the steps again. Unfortunately, they've stayed moist and I'm not convinced DryLok'ing the wet seepage points will work.

Plan #2: After the rain, I attempted to add more hydraulic cement to patch the seepage. But, the water simply moved to a different spot.

Plan #3: I had a waterproofing company come in today and suggest removing the first step, putting in a drain, and running a channel from the drain into the basement and adding a sump pit/pump. (I currently don't have a pit). My concern is that the continued leaking through the steps will just get worse over time. Also, I worry that adding a sump pit to a relatively dry basement might create new issues.

Plan #4: Completely remove the old steps and install a new set. Bilco seems to have a pre-poured concrete solution. I assume that as long as they are properly adhered to the outside of the basement, I should be leak free for a while. This won't be cheap as they would have to tear up the old stairs and an asphalt patio poured around the Bilco doors. Plus, I worry that the underground spring/etc might be an issue when we remove the existing steps.

Any tips on which strategy to look at or avoid ?



Re: Suggestions for fixing Bilco Door stair leak ?

If you have no sump pit and pump, I'd say adding that would be a good idea. Like insurance, you don't want to need it but if you do need it, it's there for you. Waterproofing is always best done on the outside, but in lesser cases you might get by with what you can do inside. Based on the situation and layout, maybe having the sump pump near the stairs would solve things well enough so long as it collected all the water from there, and was also low enough to save the basement should the worst happen. If you reworked the stairs maybe it could go under them, giving you service access if needed. If the basement is lower than the stair floor then maybe two pumps, one for each, they're not all that expensive or tough to install. Just be sure that wherever they exhaust water will not add to the problem at the house. They should handle the amounts you're beset with well enough then you can work on waterproofing with a more casual time-line.


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