We live in 90 year old house with an unfinished basement.

I've been working on removing a lot of the crap that the previous owner did, and removing a lot of concrete debris.

Then I ran into this hole. http://imgur.com/a/XIWGQ enter image description here enter image description here enter image description here

It's sort of located between the chimney and the boiler, but not directly between. Once I started vacuuming out the concrete, the hole just kept getting bigger and bigger. Eventually I stuck my hand in and pulled out what looked like soaking wet fireplace remnants. The hole is wet and it seems like I may be touching the clay beneath the foundation.

Any idea what can I do about this?

  • You missed the link to the picture – Steven Jan 31 '15 at 21:56

Well, lacking a picture for now (try it again, please, and don't delete the link text it puts in on the bottom - that won't show up in your post, but it will let us see the picture) If you have a concrete floor now, you can break out bad concrete until you get to good concrete, put in some crushed rock for a sub-base and pour new concrete. Depending what's going on, you may want to break out some more floor and install drain pipes and a sump pit before you backfill and concrete over it. Avoid getting too close to walls, chimneys or columns/posts when breaking things out, or call in an engineer if it seems like you need to.

OK - the lower bit of concrete with the tidy corner is presumably a footing - so don't mess with that. The floor, you can basically do as described above - cut back to a sound edge and fill in with fresh concrete, or fiddle with drainage as seems appropriate. Many older homes were built with dirt -floored basements, and a concrete floor was an afterthought, often poorly done on the cheap by some later homeowner. If you just want to plug the hole, see above. If you have higher aspirations for your basement, describe them and we'll give it a thought.

  • I believe I fixed it. Apologies. – Joshua Farina Feb 1 '15 at 0:10
  • It's unclear what the original basement looked like. There were definitely concrete footings, which you pointed out. There is a perimeter drain (french drain?), but it's clogged with dirt. There is some leaking along one wall, and it looks like they cemented over the perimeter drain in that area. The walls themselves appear pretty solid. I don't see any cracking or spalling that would indicate a shifting foundation. There are a few damp spots on the floor, and one part of the wall seems to allow water through. – Joshua Farina Feb 3 '15 at 19:26

I can't see the pictures as clearly as the others but based on what you said there could be a small stream running under your basement. I had a couple of friends that had this problem and to solve it they both used different solutions. The one friend had a side that he could direct the water outside so he made a trench with the pipe they use in french drains and gravel to direct the water outside and then he laid some type of plastic down before he cemented the floor back up. The other friend didn't have that option so he made a place in the corner with like a pit with round cement pipes and used a sump pump to pump the water out.

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