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Thread: Will waterproofing fix this outdoor stairs problem?

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member alanrudy's Avatar
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    Jun 2011
    longbeach, NY

    Default Will waterproofing fix this outdoor stairs problem?


    I have a house built above a garage and a small living area. I have a problem with 4 of the outdoor stairs leaking into a downstairs living area and I am getting conflicting reports from two contractors. One contractor, who I thought I could trust more, is saying if he waterproofs the stairs, the issue will be fixed and I should never have this issue again. Another wants to do a quick fix with some kind of concrete mix and says the same issue can/will come up in a few years because the stairs are built separate than the foundation of the house (which is true) and because of that and what he sees, the stairs will continue to move and cause the cracks that are causing the leaking. Attached are pictures: Name:  Pictures of Alburtis 005.jpg
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Size:  64.8 KB What do you guys think? Also, is there any work that should be done to the underside of the stairs or does everything look good there besides cleaning
    the mold? Also, I don't know if this is completely out of the question, but is there anything else that I could put on the stairs, like a thin rubber pad, that would solve the water problem as well as make it quieter when someone is walking up the stairs for people living in the area on the first floor? Thanks so much in advance for any help on this issue.
    Last edited by alanrudy; 07-27-2011 at 09:06 PM.

  2. #2
    DIY Senior Member kreemoweet's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Seattle. WA


    Are you saying that the top of the stairs is exposed to the elements and there is living space directly below them?
    If so, then in fact the stairs are a ROOF and need to be built to the same standards as any other ROOF. Slathering
    goop on top of the treads (as it seems has already been done) is pretty much a waste of money. The goop-sellers
    and the goop-appliers will of course have a different opinion.

  3. #3
    In the Trades SacCity's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Sacramento, CA


    I agree, these are wood stairs
    They will always leak some, it can be minimized but there will always be some issue with these. Generally there is a storage area under the steps and maybe a plastic sheet to keep from damaging anything under them..

    If you use plastic try and ensure air flow at the top and bottom.
    Sac City Plumbing

  4. #4
    DIY Junior Member alanrudy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    longbeach, NY


    Thanks for the responses. It is in California in an area with no snow/ice and not much rain either, but it looks like when it does, this will continue to be a problem unless something is done. Would something like this be a permanent solution...http://tinyurl.com/Rubber-Tread-Stairs Or would water somehow get under this product and through the cracks?

  5. #5
    Plumber jimbo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    San Diego


    You need more than just a tread... You might try completely coating with RedGard http://www.custombuildingproducts.co...s/RedGard.aspx
    then put down the rubber tread as a good walking surface.

  6. #6
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    New England


    I think that the expansion and contraction of the wood would require something other than RedGard (which IS a good product, but I don't think for this application). Most membranes are not designed to be walked on, at least on a regular basis. If you wanted to tile it, there would be ways to waterproof it. It would require capping things with plywood first, though, since as mentioned, the solid wood planks just move too much. Look at www.schluter.com for some ideas. Noble and other companies make stuff that would work under tile, but tile would probably make the sound transmission worse, not better. Tile by itself won't fix the water issue, but there are methods to resolve that, then cover that waterproofing with tile for durability.

    You could build a waterproof 'roof' underneath the stairway, which probably would be alot less expensive (if you have the room and somewhere to divert the water that gets through).
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

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