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veronakirk 03-29-2009 10:01 PM

Wood sub-floor or concrete slab for home repair
I am a 21 y/o college student and my fiance and I have just purchased our first home. She works at a bank and we purchased the property through a foreclosure at her bank and got a really good deal. We don't plan on living in the house for another year or so. In the meantime, it really needs a lot of work. The home was built around the 1930's has the original wood foundation and subfloor. Needless to say, this all needs to be replaced. Me and my dad are planning on doing all the work ourselves since he can do about anything. The problem is, there is an underground water route the passes directly through the middle of the house and heads straight for a well next to the house. So there is always moisture under the house. The crawl-space is very small with no moisture barrier (maybe 2 feet from the floor and smaller in some places). So here is my question: Would we be better off taking the floors up and manually digging the dirt out from the top, increasing the crawl space an additional couple of feet, and placing plastic down to decrease moisture. In addition to placing a tile at the back of the house where the water runs. We would then scab on and reinforce the joists and put down advantec for the subfloor. Also, install more air vents in the foundation. Or, would be better off pouring concrete one room at a time for the subfloor and foundation to know we wouldn't have to worry about water. Any input would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks, Kirk

GBR 03-30-2009 12:47 PM

This is a unique situation, that needs professional help. I would get the city/county's records and visit a soil engineer or someone more qualified than us for your first step. Because it's your location, with soil, depth, neighbors have done successfully, to answer your question, for the first step. Perhaps others have more ideas? Be safe, GBR

glennjanie 03-30-2009 11:04 PM

Welcome Kirk:
The recommended clearance from the gound is 2'. If you have that much everywhere under the house you are OK. You may want to dig out the water route enough to put a tile in (or corrugated plastic pipe), fill over it with limestone rock and put a polyethylene ground cover over the entire area. Make sure you lap any joints about 12", extend up the walls 12" and seal joints and to the walls with a plastic roof cement. Proper ventilation is 1 square inch of ventilation for each square foot of floor space, or a minimum of 2 vents on each of 3 sides (leaving the front solid for looks).
You are only 25 miles from my house; strange to go world wide to get an answer so close to home, huh?
You will find a wood floor is much less expensive than concrete and the concrete would have problems with the water underneath also.

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