Need suggestions sealing up leaking brick steps on grade

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Oct 27, 2003
North Cadillac
My wife and I decided to take a plunge into buying an old home and fixing it up as part of our long term retirement plan. We got a great house in a great location. the biggest issue with the house has been ground water. The house was built in 1924 and has a cellar with crawl space. When we first purchased the home after a rain the basement would be very wet. Luckily there is a gravity drain that works so the water has a place to escape but still, I'm not OK with a wet basement.

This summer I have put French drains around the rear of the house which has eliminated at least 85% of the water. The only time I get moisture in the basement now is after a few days of steady rain. I am planning on pulling the trigger next year on a basement system with a warranty.

This brings me to the brick steps that lead down into the basement. They are inside the house and built on grade. After a rain you can see water starts to seep through the steps. A long and heavy rain will result in even more water on the steps. As you can tell it appears the homeowner before me tried to paint the walls with a water paint which is peeling off and needs to be redone. You can also see I had a bottle of caulk that I used on the main joints. It's to the point now where it is really bothering me. I can smell it in the area of the house where the steps are. It smells musty and wet.

Can anyone make some recommendations on a product that I could use to seal this up and stop the water intrusion?

Sealing it is likely to cause more problems than it solves. If you have that much hydrostatic pressure, any sealing is just going to get popped back off.

The French drains are more useful to solve the problems. I can't see what the landscaping is beyond these steps, but sloping things away from the house and possibly a french drain across in front of it will do more to alleviate the issues.

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