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I can think of several ways of improving a cellar floor surface. Before I outline them, here's a description of the situation:

The house was built in approximately 1900. When I looked at it in May, the cellar was dry. There was a sump pump in a sump pit. I was told that the area is full of natural springs and every house has a sump pump.

In September, we had a record-setting amount of rain. The sump pump (which, as it turns out, wasn't designed for heavy use) failed and we replaced it with the right sort.

I am in the process of installing perforated pipe to carry upper neighbor's run-off away from the house. This will not be a perfect solution because the houses are too close together to be able to install drainage at the ideal level (somewhere around the level of the basement floor).

Here's what's below the house: there is a crawlspace under the large bedroom, which was converted and expanded from the original porch. Below the main portion of the house, there is a basement tall enough for a 4'10" person to stand upright. The transition from crawlspace to basement is a cliff of packed soil. The 4'10" tall area has a thin, irregular paved surface (about half an inch thick), which doesn't have gravel underneath.

Water comes in in various places. I am working on improving the drainage away from the house and am hoping this will reduce the amount of water that comes in.

Water trickles across some portions of the floor on its way to the sump pump. There are some places where the water fans out and sheets (slowly) across the floor. Water does not bead up on the floor surface.

I have no interest in trying to finish the basement or use it for storage. It has a hot water heater but the furnace is located in the attic.

Here are some ideas for how to improve the current situation:

  1. Install a drainage system around the interior perimeter of the 4'10" tall (main) section, including just below the cliff of soil. Note, the crawlspace would not receive any benefit (directly).

  2. Patch the hole in the floor material.

  3. Buy rubber mats for the path to the hot water hearing. I'm thinking of the kind with round holes -- half an inch in thickness.

  4. Hope that the outdoor water diversion work will help. Because there is very little grade in this property, the outdoor perforated pipe will be above ground for much of the length of the house, and then just barely buried by the time it reaches the sidewalk. (There is a small outflow opening in the curb. It looks like an old-fashioned mouse hole cartoon.)

  5. Paint the floor with something.

  6. Put something more substantial on the existing floor to make the surface shed water better, and to eliminate the little terrace areas where water can collect on its way down to the sump pump.

What considerations would allow me to narrow things down at least?

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