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basement floor

Posted by bc on September 13th, 2000 10:07 PM
In reply to How do I pour concrete in a basement? by Boyd on September 12th, 2000 03:43 PM [Go to top of thread]

Start with a 3.5" or better yet a 4" concrete floor. Dig it down to your present wall footing or so you end up with 8' interior walls. Put the concrete on a 4" to 6" or so rock or sand base. Screed all of this level. Use remesh on top of a 6 mil plastic vapor barrier. Have all of your floor drains, plumbing, sewage pump basin, sump pump basin, and french drain lines all hooked up and wrapped as needed. Don't forget to pour footings for any load bearing walls and support posts. Use rebar as required by code. Talk to your concrete company but get a 3000# to 4000# concrete. Ask them about the slump factor, how much cement and other additives and water and air percentages they recommend for your area for a basement.

You will need the standard concrete tools such as mag floats, trowels, bull float, power screed (or manual screed board), straight screed pipes to do it in 8' to 10' sections at a time, a transit, line level, or laser level to set level lines, and a power trowel to get it smooth. Allow a tiny, little slope so when, I repeat when, the basement floods, it will hopefully run towards the drain/sump pump. Run a trough through a window and use wheel barrows or get a pump truck to pump it in. Have plenty of experienced helpers when doing the pour. Run a chalk line around the basement wall. Also be prepared to hand float any sloping areas such as around drains and against walls. As your mother always told you, don't forget to wear your rubbers (when walking around in wet concrete).

This is not an easy job even for an experienced diyer with concrete experience such as drives and patios. If you've never poured concrete before, then there are too many things that can and will go wrong and it is all compounded by the cramped quarters and problems working against walls that you will not be able to handle even if you own or can borrow or rent the aforementioned tools. Mess it up and then think about all the jackhammering and remesh cutting and carrying chunks of concrete and wire remesh up the stairs so you can start over again.

I strongly recommend an experienced concrete crew with guys who know how to hand mag float next to walls, work the power screed, and move over and do the next section. Once the grade work and remesh, etc. is down, they can do the pour in a 2 or 3 hours and be back power troweling later in the afternoon.

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