Bulkhead Water Entry into the Basement

Published on December 1st, 2021

In certain parts of the country, on the exterior of the foundation, there are entries to the basement called bulkheads. These bulkheads are dug out and installed onto the foundation wall. The goal of a bulkhead is to allow the homeowner to go in and out from the yard into the basement.

The bulkheads consist of a foundation of some form of concrete and a door that is steel on top. 

There are many varieties of construction for bulkheads and their foundation base and when the bulkhead leaks, the specifics need to be analyzed about which way the bulkhead was built. There are precast “Bolt ons” that are installed after the foundation was installed.

There are bulkhead foundations that are performed with the original construction.

In basement waterproofing, the source of the entry is the most important factor in the bulkhead. The water could be coming from above where the lawn meets the top of the bulkhead and where the metal bulkhead meets the foundation of the bulkhead, or it could be coming in at the seams on a strap on the precast bulkhead where the precast meets the foundation wall. On a bulkhead foundation that is built with the foundation, usually the water comes up where the floor meets the wall. A variety of footing configurations can ensue depending on the builder’s original agenda.

If you identify the bulkhead as being a source of entry, it is important to get a professional waterproofing company in to deal with it; someone that knows the construction of the bulkhead and the options to fix the bulkhead leaks.

If it is leaking where the precast bulkhead meets the foundation wall in that seam, usually, we will do a high-pressure polyurethane injection with Chemcrete C over the top. This will stop the water for a very long period of time.

If it is leaking from the top down where the precast or foundation wall meets the steel bulkhead door, usually a buildup of the foundation wall is called for. This is relatively simple to do for professionals.

In a bulkhead foundation that was built at the time of the new construction, usually the water will be coming from the top, rolling down, or where the floor meets the wall. Each situation has a different solution.

Basement technologies a.k.a. 1-800-Busy-Dog can analyze and engineer the proper solution for every bulkhead situation. Basement waterproofing has never been easier; call us today.

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