under stoop waterproofing

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Topic: under stoop waterproofing

Masonry January 29, 2013 at 7:51 pm

under stoop waterproofing

our under stoop area (entrance door to garden level) has wet walls – it looks like the water may be seeping in through the steps above. anyone have an recommendations of someone who might be able to help with this? would one of the usual waterproofing companies handle this? a mason? thanks for any leads/specific recommendations…

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we had george haliotis waterproof our cellar, it was an exterior waterproofing job.  we had the work done over a year ago and our cellar has been water free.  you can reach him at 917-589-4208.


You cannot effectively waterproof from the underside. Do not let anyone sell/tell you otherwise. There is no such think as a waterproofing membrane/paint that will block moisture from the inside. This similarly applies to waterproofing the inside wall of a basement/cellar. I have seen many people sold “thurocoat” or similar products to be applied on the inside wall and all that happens is the coating eventually bubbles and blisters from the incoming moisture and you are eventually back to square one. Unfortuanelty, the only way to waterproof an old brownstone stoop is to redo the stoop with a new brownstone cement finish or possibly target the problem areas/cracks usually between the treads and risers. It is also important to rememebr that these stoops are masonry structures that naturally wick and realease moisture. There will always be a certain amount of dampness under these stoops. This is why many of them have small grated opennings on the side that allow the underside to breathe. It is also important to understand that these areas were not designed to store valuables (Many stoops have a small door leading to storage underneath). They were designed for maintenance supplies, coal, possibly firewood, shovels, etc. In fact many simply provided access to the old coal shoot down to the cellar level….so a little dampness never really mattered. I now meet people that want to store bikes, strollers, unused furniture, and other valuables and it is simply not the intent for these types of spaces….

thanks! i did actually speak with george last night - he was really great and suggested just water sealing the top of our stoop (the stairs) to prevent water from seeping in. as far as i can tell at the moment thats the only place water could be getting in. lets see – will need to wait for it to be dry and warmer before i tackle this!

I’d be surprised if the only seepage is from the top – you’re probably better off having the whole thing done.  And I completely agree w/ yte about Thoroseal option.

i’m just not sure where else it could be coming from… the under stoop ceiling and walls are wet and you can see the wall getting wetter from top down (with the rain last few days i can see it creeping down the wall).

Inspect the bricks inside the area under the stairs as well.  Over time the water can errode the mortar between the bricks and then they may begin to crumble which will require repointing.  I wouldn’t do this until you have a better handle on the leak.  However, as YTE pointed out, leaks are inherent to these structures due to their construction and should never be used to store things of value.  You will likely have some level of moisture under there no matter what you do.  I am dealing with a similar situation but have not moved forward with anything yet (bigger fish to fryu in ours right now!).

until you can get the stoop re-done, i suggest sealing all cracks on the steps and seams themselves.  try something like this if you see any cracks anwyhere on top of steps or stoop.  


thanks! am thinking now it could be a burst pipe in the ceiling/wall (i didn’t think any pipes ran there) so it may be worse than i anticipated… am having experts come take a look (although i’m not keen to have the wall and ceiling ripped up!)

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