Preventing Flooding Through Basement Stairways And Hatchway Doors

Friday, October 16th, 2015 by Thrasher

When you waterproof your basement, you're counting on it to be dry permanently. If your basement is flooding from the stairs and hatchway entryway, then the job is not done.

How Hatchway Entrances Are Constructed

Understanding how hatchway doors are designed can help you see how they leak.

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.

Where Basement Stairways Flood

Basement entryways leak from three critical points:

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.

Where The 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.

Because it's rare for this joining point to be sealed by the contractors, it is 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.

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.

Meant as part of a perimeter drain system, it's a great way to keep hatchway flooding out of the basement.

Stopping Basement Flooding Through Hatchway Doors

If water is flooding into your home through hatchway doors, our TrenchDrain(TM) Hatchway Door System is a great way to keep it out of your basement space.

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

The TrenchDrain(TM) 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. This system can also be used along garage doorways or other entrances that allow water intrusion. Click to learn more about our perimeter drain systems .

We Can Stop Your Hatchway Door from Flooding Your Basement

Whether your hatchway doors are leaking or you have some other basement flooding problem, your local waterproofing experts at Thrasher have the solution you need. From leaky hatchways to flooding floors, iron ochre issues, wall cracks, or even ugly basement windows, we have it all!

We'd like to meet with you and show how we can make your basement dry -- all the time!

Contact us today to schedule your free basement waterproofing quote! Each free quote comes at no obligation and includes an on-site inspection, personal consultation, and free written cost quote.

We'll also send along a complimentary copy of our full-color waterproofing book! We serve the Nebraska, Iowa, and Missouri area, including Lincoln, Omaha, Sioux City, Council Bluffs, Bellevue, Grand Island, Kearney, Norfolk, Fremont, North Platte and many nearby areas.