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Kathryn
crumbling and thin basement floor
Kathryn

We just purchased a c1910 home in Plainfield, NJ.  The concrete basement floor has some crumbling and heaving, so my husband took a jackhammer to some parts and discovered that the slab is only 1/2 to 1 inch thick with compacted dirt underneath. That would explain why there is dampness in the floor. Is this structurally sound?  I thought that concrete floors needed to be 4 inches thick. Is the floor okay to be left as it is? What would be the process of fixing it? Does anyone know approximate cost persquare foot?  Thanks so much for your help!

ordjen
Re: crumbling and thin basement floor
ordjen

You are thinking in terms of modern day standards. Back in 1910, it was a "cellar", not a basement. It was never intended that it be living space.

If the basement is otherwise dry, showing no signs of water, such a thin layer of concrete cold easily be removed, a vapor barrier layed down and new concrete poured over it. Obviously ths requires some expense, but you would be gaining dry, living/work/storage area. How much headroom do you have down there? Raising the floor 4 inches might make it tight. Of course,you could excavate somewhat, but that does drive the price up somewhat.

The concrete on the floor has very little to do with how structurally sound your foundation is. That is determined by the foundation walls and the footing under them.

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