One half of the area under a small house is not quite tall enough for a 5'4" person to stand up in. This main cellar has a wafer-thin rat slab with no gravel underneath. The other half is a crawl space with a dirt floor. There is a soil cliff transition.

The rat slab doesn't seem to be serving any useful function in terms of critter control, given the extensive connected unpaved section. Also, it's not remotely keeping the cellar dry.

Although overall it has some slope down towards the sump pail (and pump), it's uneven in its slope, and bumpy in some places. As a result the water that trickles in pools up in some parts.

I have seen other houses in this area (upstate New York) with dirt floors. I wonder if this cellar would be better off without the rat slab?


I would leave the slab in since there is water down there and moving. This kind of slab in Oregon is to reduce moisture or make a storage space not rodents and I would believe this would be the case since it only partly covered. If you remove the slab all the wet earth will be exposed and the home humidity levels may drasticly increase and possible musty smell, if the slab is removed a new vapor barrier should be put down.

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  • Currently, there is no moisture barrier; there is a large expanse of uncovered, damp soil. I'm not sure things could be any worse than they are now.... – aparente001 Jan 1 '19 at 5:12
  • Removing the slab you might find why it was installed in the first place. It could open all kinds of problems. – Ed Beal Jan 1 '19 at 20:11

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