Properly Sealing Your Basement Hatchways

If you want to waterproof your basement and foundation, it is important that you also seal your basement hatchways. Otherwise, water will still have a way into your basement.

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Basement waterproofing measures are more sophisticated and diverse than they have ever been; whatever kind of home you have, there is a solution that is perfect for you. Sadly, when waterproofing their basement and foundation, many homeowners forget to properly seal and waterproof their basement hatchways. This is unfortunate because these external access hatches are one of the most vulnerable spots in your basement when it comes to water. 

before sealing basement hatchway

Why You Should Look into Sealing Your Hatchways 

Basement hatchways are generally constructed separately from the property’s foundation walls. This would be fine, but older hatchways have a very distinct seam that was often left unsealed. This seam provides the perfect entry point for water and even certain pests as it inevitably widens with time and elemental exposure. This can happen very quickly. 

This can lead to increased humidity, problems with dampness, mold formation, and even leaks and flooding if the weather is severe enough. These issues are only increased if the hatchway doors, like so many in older homes, are wood or metal with very little in the way of waterproofing. So, as you can see, sealing your hatchways is incredibly important to the health of your basement. 

Where to Look for Signs of Water Damage and Dampness 

Broadly speaking, there are three points at which basement hatchways are most likely to leak. These are the areas you should investigate when checking to see if your hatchways need sealing: 

Underneath the Doors 

Metal hatchway doors in particular are not flush always with the concrete frame, so when rain builds up on the doors or the rainfall is particularly heavy water will begin to pool. Once it does so, there are only two possible outcomes. Either the water will flow out toward your yard or it will begin to seep into your basement. 

The Seam Between the Hatchway and Foundation Walls 

The shell of the hatchway is mounted onto your foundation walls with bolts that are drilled through the concrete. Because it is so rare for this joining seam to be sealed properly, this is a huge weak point when it comes to water and dampness. 

Through Cracks in the Concrete 

Your basement hatchway is susceptible to water intrusion just like any other concrete structure. If you see cracks in your hatchway or the foundation wall that it is attached to it is likely that you will find dampness in this area, especially when heavy rain increases soil saturation. 

How You Can Waterproof Your Basement Hatchways 

If you have wooden hatchway doors, it is important that you replace them because there is almost no way to effectively waterproof these doors. If you have metal hatchway doors, trim can be added to repel water. It is also important that you seal the joint between your hatchway frame and foundation walls. Once you have done this, you will notice a huge reduction in the amount of water and dampness getting into your basement. 

If you still find there is water entering your basement via your hatchway doors during heavy rain or storms an effective interior drain system will collect any water that does get in and direct it to a sump pump system so it can be properly removed from your home. Additional waterproofing measures that will further help keep your basement dry include dehumidifiers, vapor barriers, anti-freeze discharge line attachments, and more. 

Whether you’re trying to deal with existing dampness issues, or you want to finish your basement to expand your livable square footage, we at Foundation Recovery Systems are here to help you. We offer free basement inspections and estimates to homeowners in Kansas City, MO, and surrounding areas, and we will recommend solutions tailored to your specific repair needs.