Finished basement not level.

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NAWalton00

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Hi all,

I purchased a home last year and got a phenomenal deal, or so I hope. I recently started working on the basement as my wife and I have finished the upstairs. In one of the finished rooms we noticed a gradual slope from one end to the other of about 3.5". The exposed foundation on the house shows no signs of cracks and the upstairs is level. Also, the tiling/mortar is not cracked in the basement.

Why would the builders put a gradient in?

The house was built in the 1990s. There is no sump pump as there is adequate drainage away from the house.

Our goal is to level the basement room. So it can be used as a man cave.

Currently, we are looking at possibly pouring a concrete layer to bring up the slope.
 
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nealtw

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I would bet the foundation is much deeper under ground on one end or side of the house. The builder leveled it with sand or gravel or mud and didn't compact the fill and now it has settled. Look for hints like a chalk line on the foundation where the floor was pored. If that is the case there outfits than can bring it back up. They can pump concrete or foam under the slab. Placing concrete over it can be done, it has it's own problems and has to be done correctly. The other option would be to put in tapered 2x4s like floor joist and put in a plywood floor.
 

NAWalton00

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nealtw,

Since it is a finished basement would pumping gravel / mud under the slab cause any issue with destroying the walls? I am wondering if maybe using taperer 2x4s could avoid redoing the framing. Putting down cement was my original thought but was concerned that it would cause more problems.
 

nealtw

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Lifting the floor or pouring concrete would require the walls be removed. Before you cover it up take few munite and tap the floor with a small hammer if you have voids under it you will hear a hollow sound. If you find large areas of void I would call in the foam guys just to stabilize it before any real problems show up under a brand new wood floor.
 

JoeD

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Is it just the floor that slopes? All basement floors slope. They are not flat. 3.5" seems like a lot but it likely was done on purpose to slope towards the floor drain.
 

NAWalton00

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Yes, the slope seems gradually over the entire 30' length of the floor and the original builders finished the basement with this slope. It may be slightly less than 3.5", maybe 2.5" its a little difficult to tell with the equipment I have.
 

GBR

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Is there an interior drain?

Did you examine the wall/slab joint for settling signs?

Did you measure to the floor joists/slab?

Use a laser level, rent one for a 1/2 day... let us know the outcome.

Gary
 

kok328

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I would not recommend "mud jacking".
Is it done settling or will it drop some more?
You can get a pretty good idea just by measuring with any type of laser beam laid flat on the high side of the floor.
 

NAWalton00

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I'm not sure if I want to go down the mid jacking route if at all possible. Got a laser level, which is amazing, the actual slope of 30 feet is about 1.75". It appears the first 0.5" is over 15ft and then the other 1.25" for the rest.
 

nealtw

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You want to find where the stairs land in all of this. Each step should be the same height or with in 1/4" of each other, raising the floor may require new stair stringers.
 

NAWalton00

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The stairs are level as with all the walling in the basement. I feel like the builders just didn't poor level for some reason. I know the layout of the house changed during construction and wonder if they were going to run the furnace and water in there at first.

I guess I'll probably start on the other side of the basement. That shouldn't need much it's pretty level and just may need a little grinding / floor leveler to get it done.

I'm thinking DMX 1-step followed by engineered wood. I don't think I need to put down OSB between, so it should be pretty straight forward.
 

JoeD

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I feel like the builders just didn't poor level for some reason.
Exactly what happened. They poured it so the water would flow towards the drain. It is normal practice.
 

nealtw

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Most time you have a problem with water in the basement it isn't anywhere near a drain and you have to clean it up anyway. I wouldn't worry about it.
 

JoeD

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It would not be wrong to level it. Personally I would just work with it as is. Too much unnecessary(in my opinion) work and expense.
 

doechsli

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My basement floor slopes toward a floor drain. Th actual drain is in the unfinished portion of the basement. I did nothing to level the floor and it has caused me no issues. It is a carpeted and tiled space and works great for a living area. I don't think it's worth the effort to level. My brother in law built up his floor to level using shaved 2x4's. He had a sewer backup which then deposited "black water" under his floor. He ended up having to tear out the floor to clean up the mess.
 
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