hydraulic cement

There is a space between my Bilco door and the concrete foundation that is about 3 inches wide. Between the door and the foundation is wood and unfortunately it leaks quite a bit there. The previous owners (there for 20 years) said it leaked maybe twice. Bull.
I know it wasn't a definitive fix but I tried caulking above it to prevent the rainwater from seeping down. I can't seem to get it right though. So I was thinking of cleaning it up as best I could from underneath and using hydraulic cement (with gloved hands). It would overlay surfaces made of cement, wood, and metal, in that order.
I don't really like this solution because the water will continue to rot the wood, even though it may not leak into the basement. But outside of removing the whole Bilco assembly and part of my deck, I don't see any way around it.
As usual, any advise is much appreciated.
thanks, bonnie
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Like you I would start over by cleaning out as much old caulk, rotten wood and decayed concrete as possible. Might even use a pressure washer and or compressed air to get where you can't reach.
I don't think "hydrolic cement" is necessary, this isn't underwarer and any concrete or mortar will block water once cured anyway. Mortar isn't very strong if you go too big, you need some aggragate for strength. Use a general concrete mix if you can build a form around the gap and pour it in you are all set. Grout could also be used but you would need a very tight form as it goes in almost like a liquid, maybe not, 3" is a bit much for grout
If the access is difficult and the door otherwise sturdy and firm then you might fill the void with expanding foam insulation. With the nozzle on the can you can inject it into some very tight spaces and it will expand to fill every nitch even upward (cement will always follow gravity down and often flows out of forms). If not exposed, this should last as long as a cement patch. Be sure to get the right foam, some of it is for caulking purposes dosen't expand much and isn't very hard after curing. Read the can, it will be obvious. Best part is if you do replace the door, this stuff can be pulled out easily so you can make a definative fix later. Cement will require some bashing at least.

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Using a pressure washer is a good idea.
I obviously failed to mention that if I'm standing in the basement, the space is overhead. Regular concrete will only drip out before it sets...I think. Hydraulic cement hardens much faster, I believe.
And I think foam insulation is water resistant, not water proof. But I may fill some of the void with it so the cement has something against it in the back.
I had another idea. To systematically use water from the garden hose to see exactly where the water is coming from.
bonnie
: > There is a space between my Bilco door and the concrete foundation that : > is about 3 inches wide. Between the door and the foundation is wood and : > unfortunately it leaks quite a bit there. The previous owners (there for : > 20 years) said it leaked maybe twice. Bull. : > : > I know it wasn't a definitive fix but I tried caulking above it to : > prevent the rainwater from seeping down. I can't seem to get it right : > though. So I was thinking of cleaning it up as best I could from : > underneath and using hydraulic cement (with gloved hands). It would : > overlay surfaces made of cement, wood, and metal, in that order. : > : > I don't really like this solution because the water will continue to rot : > the wood, even though it may not leak into the basement. But outside of : > removing the whole Bilco assembly and part of my deck, I don't see any : > way around it. : > : > As usual, any advise is much appreciated. : > : > thanks, : > bonnie : > : > : :
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bonnie wrote:

Hydraulic concrete _expands_ as it cures. It's for filling things like holes around pipes.
You probably just need a good stiff mixture of regular concrete. I would stay away from quick-setting concrete because it will set faster than you can work it.
--
Steve Bell
New Life Home Improvement
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There are a few different things called "hydraulic cement" - some do expand as another poster said. You could use normal thinset (used to set tiles) and use acrylic admix instead of water to make it adhere better and more waterproof. The admix is sold where they sell thinset. It does set very quickly, about 15 minutes, so you have to plan it out carefully and work quickly. Some stores sell a premium thinset which is slightly easier to work with and the cost is cheap enough to make that worthwhile. Use all admix, no water at all, for the thinset.
Use several thin layers instead of one thick layer. If you have a problem with crossing a deep space use plastic mesh to support the first layer of thinset. Don't use the metal mesh that is sold for plastering because it will rust and expand and cause the cement to break loose. You can add layers on top of each other or beside each other as soon as it is dry enough that it is hard enough that the second coat doesn't cause the first coat to move around. Since it will be exposed to air it needs to be kept damp to cure properly - for at least a day, two days is better.
As with any glue type job, cleanliness counts for more than anything. If the surfaces are perfectly clean and dry almost anything will stick and if there is any contamination of the surfaces almost nothing will stick.
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