Renovation with Green, Efficiency and budget in mind
Random header image... Refresh for more!

Basement concrete patching

After taking out the chimney and old furnace room we found the floor, bashed up a bit, with holes as well as not-so-flat. The original furnace must have been put in before the concrete floor, as there was a pad that had clearly been wet when the furnace was dropped in and the floor sloped away from this in all directions. Me, being a fanatic about level floors and straight lines, could not possible just cover this up. So, we went at it. like last time, I rented an electric mixer, which is a god-send. Don’t do it without one! This time I also rented an electric hammer (jackhammer), to see if I could make the job easy enough on the body that I might be able to avoid feeling like one of those guys from Cool Hand Luke. I got together two of my friends (who have helped so many times) and my ever-trusty girlfriend (who does as much work as we do and manages to always look good doing it) and we hammered away.

Before I turned on the jack, my friend stood back. We thought all hell would break loose as the jack hammered the old floor into rubble. We thought the very foundation would shake and we would have trouble staying upright. Well, it turns out to be quite a bit mellower then that. It may have been the fact that the concrete floor was 4-5″ thick, it may have been that there was more Portland cement in the original mix then a sane man would specify. Whatever the reason, the floor barely budged. After a few hours of trial and error, I started to get the hang of it, with the last hour cruising by. Needless to say, it was not a walk in the park, but it was better then just using an 8LB hammer like the first time (I felt like I was going to die from strain.) After 6 hours we had a 12′ diameter hole. That was enough for one day.

The next day my girlfriend and I laid down some foam (for a little insulation) and 17 bags of sand mix cement. That’s over 1,200lbs of concrete. It took us 6.5 hours. And man is laying concrete hard (especially when you care about how flat it is. One thing I learned was that sand mix can be easily smoothed out when dry, so about 1.5 hours of back-breaking work perfecting the skimming was wasted time. Live and learn.