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Leaking Hatchway Doors In Basements

An open basement hatchway with wooden doors.

Leaking hatchway doors are a nuisance for homeowners who'd like their basement to be dry -- especially in a finished basement.

If you're planning on waterproofing your basement, you're going to want to count on it to be dry -- and stay dry all the time! If your home is experiencing water leakage through your hatchway entry doors, then your home is not yet protected.

How Hatchways Are Built

The way that hatchway doors are designed will help you to understand how and why they leak.

When a home's foundation is poured, hatchway entryways are usually built as a separate piece that's added on after the walls are created. The hatchway door consists of a concrete shell that is bolted on to the foundation walls, sometimes with built-in stairs.

Then, metal hatchway doors are fixed on top, the stairs are built inside (if necessary), and the construction is completed. Generally, these hatchways are not sealed to the walls.

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We have solutions for hatchway doors that are leaking into your home --including our TrenchDrain™ basement drainage system! Call us for a free basement waterproofing estimate today!

A flooded basement staircase, with water pooling underneath the stairs.
Illustration of a hatchway door leaking at the three critical points.

(Above) A basement staircase is usually built separately from the rest of the home, and it can flood from many different locations.

(Below) In this diagram of a flooding basement staircase, water is flooding in from around the hatchway doors, through cracks in the wall, and at the point where the hatchway door meets the foundation walls.

Where Hatchways Leak

Hatchway doors leak from three critical points:

1. Under The Metal Hatchway Doors

As rain beats down on hatchway entryway, it slides down around the edges of the doors. These metal doors are not flush with the concrete frame they're resting on, so the water leaks from the doors on to this concrete frame.

From there, the water will sometimes continue to flow to the ground. Otherwise, it will flow under the metal hatchway door frame and into the space.

2. Where The Hatchway Meets The Foundation

The concrete frame of the hatchway is fixed to the concrete walls with bolts that are drilled through the foundation wall to hold it into place.

Because this joining point is rarely sealed after the hatchway is bolted to the wall, this creates a significant weak point in your basement's ability to hold back water. As groundwater begins to build up around the foundation during wet periods, it will press on this weak point, allowing water to leak in.

3. Through Cracks In The Hatchway Walls Or Door

Like any other concrete structure, a concrete hatchway can crack over time. As it does, water may intrude, entering into the hatchway space.

Alternatively, old-fashioned hatchway doors are sometimes made with loose panels of wood, with little or no attempt to keep water out involved. Water can leak through openings in these wood panels, dropping into the hatchway area.

Once water begins to build up in the hatchway space, it will puddle, flowing into the main basement area. In some cases, this pudding can be a significant problem.

A grated basement drain system for leaking basement staircases.

Our TrenchDrain™ system features a grated opening on top that's designed to collect water entering the space.

Collected water is then directed to the perimeter drain system and, ultimately, to your sump pump.

Stopping Basement Flooding Through Hatchway Doors

If you'd like to take steps to prevent moisture from flooding into your home through your hatchway entrance, we recommend our TrenchDrain™ hatchway door drainage system.

The TrenchDrain™ is a half-round pipe with a grate fitted on top of it. It's installed level with your concrete floor, with the floor restored on both sides for a clean, professional look.

Designed to work with our perimeter drain system, TrenchDrain™ spans staircases, gathering water spilling downwards and directing it to your sump pump.

This system can extend inside of the hatchway itself, or it can span the entryway only. Our TrenchDrain™ system is also sometimes used along garage doorways and other entrances where water may intrude.

More about our TrenchDrain™ System.

We Can Waterproof Your Basement!

No matter what basement problems you're facing, we have a customized solution that is perfect for you. From leaking hatchway doors to water intrusion through the walls, flooding floors, iron ochre, or any other kinds of issues, we have the products, training, and experience you need to dry your basement -- permanently!

We'd love to meet with you to show you what we can do for you! For a free basement waterproofing estimates, call or e-mail us today!

We have locally owned and operated dealers throughout Canada and the United States. To schedule your free appointment, contact us today!

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Our innovative and forward-thinking approach to designing products has solved wet basement problems that the basement waterproofing and crawl space industry has faced for decades, and our patented sump pump systems are the smartest and most reliable. Plus we listen to our customers and respond accordingly! Basement Systems Inc. has been awarded 24 Patents and 19 Innovation Prizes on waterproofing products we use every day, including a battery back up sump pump system. This approach ensures the best waterproofing systems and solutions available.