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Flooding from Basement Stairways & Walkouts

An open hatchway door that's flooded.

Leaking hatchway doors are a nuisance for homeowners who'd like their basement to be dry -- especially in a finished basement.

When you waterproof your basement, you want to be able to count on it to be dry and stay dry. Unfortunately, leaking hatchways and flooding from the stairs will prevent that goal from happening.

Hatchway entrances are typically constructed separately from the foundation walls. This entryway is usually designed as a concrete shell that's bolted on to the foundation walls after they're built. Often, stairs will come already built in. Next, metal doors are fixed on top. If necessary, the stairs are built inside, and the construction is completed. These hatchways are usually not sealed to the foundation walls. This lack of sealing is a major factor in allowing water to seep through into your basement.

Where basement stairways leak

Basement entryways leak from three critical points:

1. Underneath metal hatchway doors

Metal hatchway doors are not flush with the concrete frame they're attached to. As rain builds up on the doors, it will slide down the doors and pool on the concrete around the edges of the doors.

From this point, the water has two paths that it can follow -- it can either continue to flow down to the ground, or it will slip underneath the metal hatchway door and onto the stairs inside.

2. Where hatchway and foundation meet

The concrete shell of the hatchway is mounted to the foundation walls via bolts, which are drilled through the concrete of the foundation.

Since it's rare for this joining point to be sealed by the contractors, it's a major weak point where water can flood through.

As groundwater builds up around the foundation during a rain event, it presses in on this weak spot and allows flooding.

3. Through cracks in the concrete

Like any concrete structure, a hatchway will begin to crack over time. Water will flood through these cracks, move to the stairs and end up in your basement.

Some old-fashioned hatchway doors were built with loose panels of wood (instead of metal), with little or no attempt to keep water out. Water easily floods through the gaps in these doors. Once water builds up in a hatchway entrance, the puddles will expand into the basement.

Our grated drain system installed on a leaking basement staircase.

The TrenchDrain™ system is designed with a grated opening on top that collects water and sends it to a drainage system.

Solution for basement flooding through hatchway doors

No matter how water is flooding into your home from the hatchway doors, our TrenchDrain™ Hatchway Door System is a great way to keep it out of your basement space.

The TrenchDrain™ is designed with a half-round pipe section, with a grated top fitting. When installed, it's flush with the rest of your concrete floor for a clean, professional job.

The TrenchDrain™ is meant to be used as part of an existing perimeter drain system. It spans the staircase area, collecting water that spills down and directs it to your drain and sump pump system. This system can span the entrance of the hatchway or it can be extended inside the hatchway itself.

TrenchDrain™ is also sometimes recommended for use along garage doorways, as well as for other entrances where water may intrude.

Find the right flood prevention solution for your basement

Whether your hatchway doors are leaking or you have another basement water problem, your local waterproofing experts at Basement Systems have the solution you need. Contact us today to schedule a basement waterproofing consultation and get a cost estimate on installing the right system for your home.

Looking for a price? Get a no cost, no obligation free estimate.

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