Do I Have To Waterproof My Concrete Steps

4 Replies

The front steps of my house is starting to crumble. The tenants used snow salt this past winter which cause the concrete to begin to deteriorate at the edges. I called a concrete/mason company an he said that partof the repair would involve waterproofing the steps and this would be an additional $150 to do.  

My question is, I understand why one would waterproof concrete for a basement, but why would someone have to water proof concrete steps?  


It will seal the concrete and keep them looking good longer.  The waterproofing he is talking about is a clear sealant.   It is not necessary, but if you have the money go ahead and do it.  

Any coating going on a floor will need to be maintained based on the kind and type of coating and traffic on the surface. You also have the option for using an elastomeric coating to fill in the cracks or any number of solid coatings for the top. Before putting a clear coat on; a concrete stain is also an option. Before doing anything but the most basic floor projects I very strongly recommend consulting a professional. Ideally the professional is also on site to view the floor. On another note concrete less than a year old is particularly finicky with salt. Avoid using this if possible. I believe some "salt" options are less damaging to concrete but again should be avoided if this is less than a year old. Floor coats can be particularly troublesome and cause very expensive problems if done incorrectly. Vet your contractors on floor jobs and consult companies who supply the products to ensure it is appropriate and being applied correctly. Companies who supply the floor coatings are often great for recommending contractors to apply them. Decks are also not as simple as you would think so read labels and discuss with professionals.

The contractor is, most likely, using a sealant. The terms waterproofing and sealant are often interchanged with each other but there are differences, which do not need to be explain at this time. 

Any sealant will need to be re-applied every year are two depending on the severity of your winters. It also will, probably, not protect against effects snow salt (rock salt). I would find out exactly what product he suggests and do some research to determine maintenance requirements and how often it would need to be re-coated.

@Tom Brooks

@Scott C.

@Brian Threlfall

Thank you all so much for your replies.  I have obtained estimates from other contractors and a few have indicated that the waterproofing is not necessary and most likely an "Up-charge".  One contractor said that the sidewalks do not get waterproofing and my steps do not need it either.  That make sense.

Thanks again!!


Free eBook from BiggerPockets!

Ultimate Beginner's Guide Book Cover

Join BiggerPockets and get The Ultimate Beginner's Guide to Real Estate Investing for FREE - read by more than 100,000 people - AND get exclusive real estate investing tips, tricks and techniques delivered straight to your inbox twice weekly!

  • Actionable advice for getting started,
  • Discover the 10 Most Lucrative Real Estate Niches,
  • Learn how to get started with or without money,
  • Explore Real-Life Strategies for Building Wealth,
  • And a LOT more.

Lock We hate spam just as much as you

Create Lasting Wealth Through Real Estate

Join the millions of people achieving financial freedom through the power of real estate investing

Start here