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I have a basement that is only about an inch or less above the rear patio leading to it. The patio is below grade and its only water escape is a storm sewage drain in the center.

How can I reasonably waterproof my basement? I would like to avoid a step-sized threshold because it would involve stepping over when entering the basement and be an obstacle. If I just put an Azek board 3/4" thick under the door when installing it, will it effectively protect from water getting in? I understand the higher the threshold, the more water is needed in the patio 'pool' for it to flood inside, which becomes a hazard if the drain outside gets clogged. Essentially, any threshold height will start letting water in given enough flooding outside so nothing is 100% safe but I'm wondering if there is a conventional clearance or code requirement for how high above ground outside a (basement) threshold should be.

  • I like tall thresholds because it gives the door more clearance in case you want to put a rug where the door will swing over it. Rugs getting jammed beneath doors is always frustrating. – Maxfield Solar Jan 27 '16 at 9:57
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    I'm not aware of any code that might exist around this topic, but aside from those it's highly site-specific. Is your patio sloped away from the basement door? Do you get heavy rains that your storm drain can't keep up with? How much do you care if your basement floods? There are lots of ways to make a step work well if that's the best solution. – Shimon Rura Jan 27 '16 at 21:37
  • Sloping away from the door, thankfully – amphibient Jan 27 '16 at 23:23

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