Hatchways probably pose a greater variety of problems than any other area of a home or building. There are three general areas where leaks occur and it is important to watch closely and try to determine which ones are causing the problem.
Check frequently during heavy rain with a good light. Most leaks leave a stain and are fairly easy to see. A heavy chalk line on the wall under a suspected leak will usually create streaks that are easily seen. The first area is the hatchway doors themselves, and where they meet the house and the hatchway foundation. The doorscan be replaced if they are rotted and allowing water to leak in.
Leaks in the other areas are usually caused by improper or deteriorated flashing and caulking. Hatchways that sit too low in the ground are fairly common and in times of heavy rains the water will come over the top of the hatchway foundation wall. Sometimes a curtain drain around the hatchway can be installed to carry water away but usually the doors and frame must be removed.
The hatchway foundation walls are raised by forming and pouring a concrete cap. The doors are then remounted.
A strong bond and a water tight seal are very important and this should only be done by a professional.
The second area is the hatchway walls and the seam where the walls meet the house. Inside or outside patching is adequate for some of these leaks but won't hold up for others.
Get professional advice.
The last general area of hatchway leaks, and probably themost common, is through the hatchway floor, if you have one, or where the hatchway meets the basement floor in pre-cast hatchways. Because these areas are low they are subjected to greater water pressure and usually require some type of drainage system, commonly under the basement floor, to reduce the pressure and control seepage.
Installing a drain in the floor at the base of the hatchway stairs is a common solution to recurring problems. The drain is usually a 3 inch wide plastic grate the width of the hatchway at floor level. This drain is tied into an existing inside footing drain system, or if one is not available, into a sump system.
Professional services are highly recommended for all but the simplest hatchway problems. This will ensure a successful and lasting solution.
Eastern Waterproofing Co., Inc. will be happy to quote this type of work and provide references and a written transferable guarantee.