Basement Floor - Semi temporary solution?

Discussion in 'Building' started by Blokky27, 23 Apr 2021.

  1. Blokky27

    Blokky27

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    170A404D-C0A3-4BE6-BF6C-B702F8B930AF.jpeg Hi all

    I have just bought an old house with a large basement. It’s not been made habitable and is still very much in its “raw” state. Whilst it’s not completely dry, it’s not exactly damp either although I expect there is some dampness in places.

    The floor is bricked in part but other bits are just very crumbly something (v old concrete or similar?) and hence pretty uneven.

    Long term plan would be to get the whole area sorted for proper habitational use but that’s going to be upwards of £50k which I don’t have and won’t for a few years at least.

    In the meantime I would like to use the area a little as a workout area / bike turbo trainer room. My thoughts are to try and prepare the floor a little so it’s more even and practical. Having other priorities financially I don’t want to spend too much nor make the future conversion any harder.

    My current thoughts are to bring in some dry sand to level off the area (hopefully there is a type which will retain an amount of levelness and go a little hard and not be like a beach?) and then put down some plastic sheeting, some plywood or similar and cheap carpet on top.

    Any thoughts as to why this might or might not work, or even be a disaster?
     
  2. Scarlet Pimpernel

    Scarlet Pimpernel

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    It could work, except, there's nothing to prevent the boards lifting at the edges, I assume you'd pack them in tightly to the walls to stop them drifting apart.
    To avoid either problem I'd use two layers of 9mm ply, the second layer laid perpendicular to the first layer, i.e. across the joins, and fixed to the lower layer with 15 screws.
     
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  4. JohnD

    JohnD

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    the walls, and especially the floor, will be damp. To keep the basement tolerably dry (unless you have money to burn on dehumidifiers) ventilate it on two or more sides so there is a flow of air to take the water vapour away (without encouraging it to rise into the house).

    Covering surfaces will prevent evaporation so they become wetter.
     
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  5. Blokky27

    Blokky27

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    Thanks John. I guess my biggest concern is that by changing anything down there I could make a small problem into a big one...

    When you say ventilate it on two sides, what do you mean exactly... As it’s all below ground I don’t know quite how I would do that?

    I was thinking about getting a couple of cheapish dehumidifiers to run down there if the running costs are reasonable and if it would help, but if the damp is being trapped under the now covered floor possibly it won’t?
     
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  7. JohnD

    JohnD

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    subfloor voids are usually ventilated by airbricks on (at least) the front and back of the house, so that whenever there is the slightest breeze, their will be airflow to blow water vapour out.

    Cellars usually have bigger ventilators, windows, doors, grilles etc.

    You may perhaps have one or more fireplaces with a working chimney flue.
     
  8. DIYnot Local

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