Right now, our most common call regarding water in the basement is people who are finding water at the bottom of their bulkhead steps in the basement. Water is coming in from the snow melt right now.
With the snow melting, the water is often coming in from the top of the bulkhead door where it meets the concrete. The way you can see that is to simply feel the wall or seam at the very top of the bulkhead or you can just check and see if you have any water lines at the top of the concrete. However, there are other place with bulkheads that water can also come in.
With a pre-cast bulkhead, this is a bulkhead that is actually bolted onto your foundation, water can come in at the seam where the bulkhead steps meet the concrete foundation wall. We see this all the time.
If it is a poured-in-place bulkhead, which means they actually poured it in with the foundation at the same time, there could be cracks in the wall or leaking where the cement floor and cement wall meet, and this is underneath the steps. These are the most common areas we see bulkhead leaks from.
Too often homeowners attempt a DIY fix before A1 Foundation Crack Repair even gets the call. We've seen all types of home remedies. The most common is hydraulic cement which is used for an emergency situation. Hopefully it works, most often it doesn't. With these bulkheads, especially with the pre-cast, they get pushed around from the freezing and thawing of the soil. Hydraulic cement is not a permanent fix.
We also see a lot of Flex-Seal. It gets sprayed on and is supposed to absorb water, but it does not.
If the bulkhead is leaking at the top, we clean up the area of any rust, and we can re-caulk it with a specialty caulk. If it is a crack in the wall or seam, we will do an injection process where we drill small holes, put ports in the holes and inject a closed-cell polymer resin that will encapsulate that area and fill in the crack.