Cellar Door leak

Old 09-04-11, 01:40 PM
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Cellar Door leak

I have concrete steps down to a basement with a metal cellar door that sits on wood rails attached to the concrete slab. The door angles down and at the low point of the slab the metal doors sit on, the water seems to pool up next to the wood rail which is wedged against it rather than running off.

Result seems to be a difficult leaking problem to solve with caulk. I've tried recaulking a few times on the edge between the bottom wooden piece and the cement slab, last time just before Irene was modestly successful and I suspect it would have worked better if it had been done a few days earlier rather than two days before, as the caulk seemed to give way in a few spots with 3+ inches of rain in a few hours. But in any case, it seems the basic problem is water sits against that edge, and the edge gets a fair amount of strain from the weight of the metal door plus open and closing, and stepping over the edge onto the steps. So I think the proper solution is to get the water to run away from that edge, instead of pooling against it, so the caulk only has to deal with a little water rather than continuous flow and pooled water.

Is there any easy way to do this? A handyman said he could build up that edge with concrete but it would not be very thick and probably wouldn't last very long.

Old 09-04-11, 07:00 PM
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Install a dry well at the bottom of the steps.
Old 09-05-11, 03:08 PM
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You do not say how tall this wood frame is under the door. Would it be possible to remove this section and replace it with a wider board? If so then you could angle the wider board so the water cannot flow toward the doors. Be sure to place construction glue under the entire board before screwing the frame of the doors back down tight.
If it is not possible to change the old board then I would try cutting an angled board and attaching it to the old board with screws and construction glue. If the space in front of the doors is small, say 2 inch or less I would buy a quarter round trim piece and glue that to both the old framework and the concrete. Use plenty of glue so it oozes out and smooth it over the same as you would caulk. It will bond as good or maybe better than the caulk. Hopefully this will give you an idea on the fix!

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