Read below to find easy ways to repair a leaking bulkhead
Over time the bulkhead door can fail to function and develop gaps that allow rain and debris to enter your basement. This can cause water leakage, flooding, and the growth of mold in the basement. Proper maintenance and repair of the bulkhead door are crucial to keeping your basement dry and fresh. Continue reading to find out different ways to repair a leaking bulkhead.
What Are Bulkheads?
- Mounted at horizontal angles into the ground, bulkheads are heavy metal doors that open into a basement or a cellar. The bulkhead door opens onto concrete steps that usually lead into the basement.
Proper functioning of the bulkhead door is necessary to keep your belongings safe and damage-free. When the bulkhead door fails to function it can give rise to many problems including water leakage into the basement.
Reason Behind A Leaking Bulkhead
- Most bulkheads are not a part of the original pour of the home’s concrete foundation. They are added after the foundation cures. These precast bulkheads are bolted to the foundation during the building process. Therefore, the connection between the bulkhead and the foundation is a cold joint. A rubber seal is installed between the bulkhead and the foundation to prevent leaks and moisture from getting in the basement.
The problem is that this rubber seal fails over time and creates gaps that allow the seepage of moisture. Here are some effective methods to repair your leaking bulkhead.
Track Down The Source Of Leak
- Over the years the rust deteriorates the metal door thereby causing leakage. Improperly sealed joints and cracks in the concrete foundation surrounding the bulkhead can also cause bulkhead leaks. The first step in the repair of the bulkhead is to identify the cause of the problem. It becomes easier to treat the problem once the cause is identified.
To pinpoint the source of the leak look for:
- Leaks in the joints where the bulkhead connects to the concrete foundation
- Cracks in the foundation surrounding the bulkhead
- Improperly sealed joints
- Holes in the bulkhead door
Repair Cracks In The Foundation
- If cracks in the concrete foundation are the culprits behind a leaking bulkhead, they need to be sealed. To seal the cracks dry the areas with a high-power fan.
Apply the concrete sealant in the region where the bulkhead meets the concrete foundation. It is advisable to do so on a non-rainy day so that the sealant is easily dried.
Seal The Joints
- A waterproof sealant is applied both inside and outside the bulkhead door to seal the joints. The sealant should bond with both concrete and metal around the edges of the bulkhead door. Let it dry for several days before testing it with outside water.
Replace The Bulkhead Door
- Rusted or rotten bulkhead doors can easily allow water or debris to enter your basement. Replacing the bulkhead door will eliminate the problem. Due to the size and weight of the heavy-duty bulkhead doors, they require professional handling. It’s best to call a professional to replace the bulkhead door for you.
A rubber seal is usually placed between the concrete and the bulkhead door. A sealant is then applied to bond them together. In the end, the bulkhead door is bolted in place.
- Sometimes the bulkhead leaks are caused by the movement of the bulkhead unit. The rubber seal that has been compromised due to movement is removed and a spot injection of urethane is used to seal it. The urethane foam seals any gaps in the concrete, making it completely waterproof.
Bulkheads don’t have to be a cause of headaches. Contact us at 877-727-2259 to protect your assets. Crack X offers bulkhead repair and waterproofing services. We are located in Maine and New Hampshire.