Water leaking into your basement is a headache and causes problems like water damage and mold. It can destroy your personal belongings. Most water problems come from a foundation problem like a crack or improper drainage system. Unsatisfactory grading, clogged gutters, and sump pump failure can also be the source of a water problem. Another issue, one specific to walk-out basements, is water leaking in under the walk-out door. Often this is caused by snow piling up near the door.

After a snowstorm, homeowners are used to having to scoop the snow off of their driveway and sidewalks. It makes it possible to park in your garage and allows neighbors to use the sidewalk to walk their dogs. One area that often gets overlooked, though, is the back patio. Since most people don’t spend a lot of time in their backyard during the cold winter, doing the extra work of scooping snow off the patio doesn’t seem necessary. However, it is wise to get snow away from the patio door so that water doesn’t pool up and find its way under the door.

Walk-Out Basement Construction

When a walk-out basement is built, foundation walls are placed on the footings on three sides of the basement below grade. The walk-out side, usually on the back of the house, is sometimes built out of the same material or may be wood framed on top of a short stem wall. Regardless of choice in construction materials, an opening is left where a walk-out door will be placed. Then the concrete basement floor is poured. The door is installed on top of the basement floor, and the threshold is set at the bottom of the door. This threshold keeps water from flowing into the basement under the door.  

As long as the patio outside the door is sloped away and water isn’t trapped near the door, a threshold will keep water outside. If the patio slopes toward the basement door, water will build up near the entry and leak in under the door. If the concrete settling near the house causes this, it should be lifted back into place. If you find this is the case at your home, our concrete leveling system, called Polylevel, is a great option. 

Clear the Snowmelt from Your Walk-Out Basement Door

The other reason that water can build up near the door is if snow is piled up outside. As the snow begins to melt, the water can’t run away from the door, so it pools and begins to run under the door. By clearing the snow away from the door, you can prevent flooding in your basement from snowmelt.

Shane McClintic, a System Design Specialist at Thrasher explains in this video why it’s important to keep the snow and ice from building up around the door of your walk-out basement.

Hi, my name is Shane McClintic and I’m a System Design Specialist at Thrasher and I am coming to you from my back yard in Bennington, NE.  You can see that last week we had a record snowfall and I wanted to bring a quick tip to homeowners that, like me, have a walk-out basement.  Now, it seems like when we have these record snowfalls, it is followed by snow melts.  Next week we are scheduled for some warmer weather, and a lot of the snow that is out here today will be gone. 

One common call we get during those times from homeowners with walk-out basements, is water getting into the basement, specifically from underneath the walk-out door.  Usually that is because the back patio just hasn’t been cleared.  Your basement slab extends all the way under your walk-out door, so it is actually exposed to the exterior.  So, if you back patio is not cleared and that snow is melting right on top of that slab, often times it has got an easier path into the basement than out into the yard.

So, as much as I hate trudging around to the back yard and scooping the patio after I have spent time scooping the driveway, a few extra minutes doing that can save some headache from water getting into your walk-out basement.  One other thing that you can check is also that the concrete is sloped away from the basement or the foundation.  If it is not, it could be contributing to the problem as well, and that is a pretty easy fix, and something that we can help you with, and that we help folks with all of the time - lifting and leveling sunken and uneven concrete.

I hope this tip has been helpful for you, and stay warm, and I will talk to you next time.

Ready for Peace of Mind

If you experience water in your basement from another cause other than snow and ice piling up around your walk-out basement door, you need to call Thrasher. We’ve been helping homeowners with wet basements for more than 45 years. We have patented waterproofing solutions and our permanent repairs come with a 25-year transferable warranty. Plus, we will do what we can to give you an experience that will make you want to give us a 5-star review. Call us today at 800-827-0702 or click here to go to our easy, free inspection form.

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