Our house is almost 100 and has a fruit cellar crumbling below our front porch. We had it repaired 3 times but given it is made of a stone/concrete mix the foundation repairs continue to crumble & leak. The floor is very porous and eventually drains but with heavy rains it leaks into our basement.

Is there a proven way to block it off, seal it up and fill it in for good?

We also have a cistern in the back of the house that hasn't been used for over 30 years but it still collects water as the top stone mix is porous and the walls leak if water build up. I have to drain it during heavy rains.

We want to do the same with it.

Would limestone work as a fill or once it's blocked and sealed, would dirt fill do the trick?

Thank you for providing such a service. Your site is the closest thing I've found that deals with our particular situation.

Looking forward to finally finding a permanent solution.


  • Standard method of filling abandoned below-ground structures (to prevent collapse and people getting into them and expiring) is to fill with crushed rock. In your case I guess you'd then need to address waterproofing the top. – Ecnerwal Mar 23 at 14:39
  • Dealing with surface water whether from rain, a high water table or? can be tough. The water that's filling the cistern is coming from someplace and wants a place to go. Block off the cistern and the water will go someplace else, maybe someplace worse! Is there a way you could install a drain...do you have any slope available? It's better to direct the water someplace rather than just try to stop it up....that seldom ends well. – George Anderson Mar 23 at 16:27
  • If the cellar is adjacent to, or right besides, the basement, you'll need to have a structural, or geotechnical engineer to look into it, as the fill material will exert lateral pressure on the basement wall, which may not had been designed for the extra pressure, or has structural defects due to aging. You need to provide more information on the cistern, as implied by George Anderson's response. – r13 Mar 23 at 19:17

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