Submitted by teknowledgist t3_11s21kd in DIY

My concrete basement floor has multiple, sizeable areas of crumbling. It has clearly been patched multiple times, but those are mostly failing too because the underlying concrete just keeps failing. Based on my neighbors' basements built about the same time (during WWII) it seems a lot of the concrete in that period was bad. (My walls are block and OK.) There is a french drain around the outside, and although we rarely get standing water on the floor, the basement is humid and often has water in the sump pit. It will never be a finished basement.

There is no good external access to the basement (just a couple small windows in the back), so any new pours will have to be manually hauled and mixed down there. Also, the headroom is minimal, so I would really like to avoid raising the floor height.

It would be a Herculean effort to re-pour a even quarter of it all at once, so I figure any work I do will have to be piecemeal and over a number of years.

Given that, I've been considering removing sections and replacing it with paverstones or brick. I could take them down over time and lay them when I have enough to cover the next section I need to remove. There is no risk of frost heaving or roots, so they should stay in place once set. When ever it comes time to replace the cast iron drain(s) that crosses the entire basement (and which ironically seems to be in the "good" cement), the pavers would be easy to pull and replace.

Is that ridiculous? Is there a structural problem or a code violation with doing it?




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1feralengineer t1_jcbdbel wrote

The walls are block, but I assume they were laid on concrete footings. The first thing I would do is have the footings inspected; then make a decision about the floor.

My thoughts on the floor would be dependent on a long term radon test. If you have radon, then sealing the floor becomes a much higher priority than the amount of effort required.


teknowledgist OP t1_jcbkblw wrote

No radon. With the french drain, we'd be swimming in it already if there were.


Fearless_Beyond_3924 t1_jcbfgy1 wrote

Pavers are not structurally sound, your exterior wall would start moving. Better off tearing out old concrete in sections and pouring new floor. Check out YouTube you will find how to’s video. Also you put in drain tile on the interior of the foundation with a pit and sump pump. Good luck


teknowledgist OP t1_jcbkjqr wrote

Is the current floor with the 1-2" french drain all the way round holding the walls? How?


very_humble t1_jcbmgh2 wrote

Have you asked any local concrete places? A lot of them can pump in concrete


Pinstrip3 t1_jcbt8vu wrote

I've been in a similar situation with my basement. Cracking thin layer of concrete straight on the soil. I removed all the concrete, dug out the soil to fit proper, insulated floor and gain some height and poured the concrete. Basement only had small windows but, since I was doing the whole house, I turned one of them into external door with stairs. A lot of work but best decision ever.

To answer the question. The main issue with lack of external door is getting rid of old concrete and soil underneath and it looks like you have to do it because of limited height. When this is done pouring concrete is a breeze as it gets mixed outside and pumped inside with a pipe (through a window). It's one of those jobs that are better/cheaper done by a pro instead of diying. Putting pavers after removing old concrete would be pointless imo.


egus t1_jccqsnu wrote

Pavers are the absolute wrong choice here. Do you have a crawlspace and not a basement?