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How to Identify When Water in The Basement is From a Leaking Bulkhead - Boston

Joseph Coupal - Monday, February 24, 2014

Between all the snow banks that are taller than a Volkswagon and the rain we had over the weekend, it can be a challenge to keep water out of the basement.

A1 Foundation Crack Repair has gotten quite a few calls for basement leaks and problems caused by leaking bulkheads. The top of the bulkhead is made out of metal in most cases. But the steps are either a poured concrete that are bolted onto you regular foundation, or they are poured in place during the construction phase. There are also metal steps, and if those rust, you might as well throw them out and get new ones.

This means there are lots of parts and pieces and potential for leaking. So what can a homeowner do to prevent the bulkhead from leaking?

First, when it snows, shovel the snow away from the bulkhead to prevent the melting snow from leaking in.

Second, take a look at the bulkhead itself from standing within the basement. If you can see light, water can get in. Those cracks can be caulked. Often, handles will break off leaving little round holes where the screws once were. These holes can be caulked as well. Often the bulkhead doors themselves are bent, they can be put back in place and that will help also.

But often, there are water leaks at the bottom of the bulkhead steps. We often see this, especially with pre-cast bulkheads. There are a couple of solutions for bulkhead waterproofing. We can inject a closed-cell polymer where that bulkhead structure is bolted to the foundation of the house. The polymer starts as a liquid and then it expands and encapsulates that seam that has failed.

Another method is to break the floor just inside the basement and put a heavy duty gutter with a grate on it which allow the water to come in. The gutter is pitched and attached to a pipe which allows the water to flow out of the basement. The pipe is attached to a sump pump which forces the water out of the basement. If you have basement water problems, contact A1 Foundation Crack Repair.


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A-1 Foundation Crack Repair, Inc. is a fully registered home improvement contractor. Contact us today to talk to a knowledgeable, master waterproofing professional.