No matter how you use your basement, it is important to invest in proper waterproofing. When considering basement waterproofing options, however, many people forget about sealing and waterproofing their basement hatchways. The main problem with this is that hatchways are generally constructed separately from the main foundation walls. As a result, they are more vulnerable to dampness and leaks than any other part of your basement.
Where Basement Hatchways Leak
Basement hatchways most commonly leak from one of these three places:
Underneath the Doors
Many hatchway doors do not sit flush against the concrete (metal doors especially), and as a result, water is more likely to seep in underneath them. This is far more common in older hatchway doors, of course, especially those which are made of treated wood as they degrade far more quickly over time.
Between the Hatchway and Foundation
The fact that basement hatchways are added after the foundation and walls have been constructed leaves a seam between the two, of course. The problem is that this joint is rarely sealed properly, so water starts to seep (or even flood) through when it rains heavily enough.
Through Cracks in the Concrete
Like any concrete structure, basement hatchways are sensitive to hydrostatic pressure and foundational shifts. If your foundation becomes unstable or the level of hydrostatic pressure in the soil increases, it is likely that the concrete will begin to crack and allow water and dampness to seep through.
The good news is that water coming from under your hatchway doors or seeping through the seam between your foundation walls and the hatchway is a relatively easy-to-fix problem. Replacing old hatchway doors and sealing the seam between the hatchway and wall should fix the issue entirely. If, however, the water is coming from cracks in the concrete, the repairs will be a little more complex.
Sealing Your Basement Hatchways Will Keep Your Basement Dry
When it comes to waterproofing your basement hatchways, you have a number of options available to you. If your hatchway and doors are simply old and worn, replacing them with up-to-date weather-resistant options will make a huge difference. If this is not possible for any reason, however, you should seal the gaps that you can access as a starting point.
Once you have sealed the seam between your hatchway and basement, as well as any other gaps that may be letting water in, you should think about the drainage systems you have in place. While the ideal goal would be to prevent any water from getting into your basement, you should plan to deal with it in the worst-case scenario.
JES Foundation Repair offers a huge range of waterproofing solutions, but the BasementGutter™ interior drainage system is one of our most popular. Using a patented design that minimizes the chances of blockages and clogs, this system runs the perimeter of a basement and funnels collected water into a sump pump that will safely remove it from your home. Grated drainage pipes can also be placed at hatchway doors to prevent water that seeps under your door from entering the basement at large.
When paired with other waterproofing measures, this system has been proven effective. These other systems include the aforementioned sump pumps, as well as dehumidifiers, vapor barriers, exterior drainage, and more.
For help with waterproofing your basement and hatchway door areas, contact JES Foundation Repair. We offer free basement inspections and repair quotes for recommended solutions to keep your home safe, healthy, and dry.