Nobody wants to see moisture on their basement stairs. The obvious reason is because your basement stairs are wet, and you need to walk up and down them. The other reason is that there could be deeper issues at hand. The water had to have come in from somewhere, the questions are "where did the water come from" and "will it continue to come in?"
Water can enter basements through many ways - walls, cracks in the floor, windows, cove joints, moisture coming up through the floor, and more. Diagnosing where the water is entering your basement is the first step in stopping these issues. An experienced professional will be able to diagnose these issues a lot quicker than the average homeowner, so we always recommend having a pro check it out just to be safe.
To keep water out of your basement stairs, you'll need to channel the water away from your home's foundation. This can include keeping the grade of your yard sloping away from your home, cleaning out gutters and downspouts so water doesn't overflow onto the ground, and a variety of other waterproofing techniques.
Here are some of the most common ways to keep moisture off your basement stairs.
If your gutters have debris in them, they could overflow and spill onto the ground near your foundation. During the spring season and on rainy days, the soil could become oversaturated, and it won't have anywhere else to go but into your basement.
If your yard is sloped downwards toward your home, the water will take the path of least resistance. So, again, when it rains or during melting season, the water will funnel into your home. If your stairs are near the wall, they could be left wet if untreated.
Caulking is one of the best ways to waterproof the exterior or your basement. It is essentially a thick paint that doesn't let water through. It takes hard work and heavy equipment to apply, but it's worth it if it keeps water off your basement stairs.
Dehumidifiers can also help keep moisture out of your basement and away from your stairs.
Wet basement stairs can lead to slips and falls. This is not good, given that basement floors are hard and not pleasant to land on.
Mold is a silent striker. It can sometimes be hidden, but it's there, and it is not healthy. Breathing in mold can be harmful to you and your family's health. Fix your moldy basement.
A little bit of water may not immediately rot the wood stairs, but after consistent exposure, the wood will decay and be left for dust after many years of moisture.