there's a hole in my basement floor!!! *pics*

our_first_homeFebruary 22, 2008

I recently posted about an unknown source of water in my basement. Today, my husband got home from work, and we decided to pull back the carpet to see if we could find the source.

We peeled the carpet back, and low and behold, there's a hole in my floor!

It's does not look like a drain hole. It's only about 1.5 inches in diameter. It has rough edges, and the edges have been painted basement floor grey, along with the rest of the basement floor.

When we shine a flashlight in there, we see foundation ants and sand. The sand is wet. There is a dark stain

The hole scares the crap out of me, because there is no fathomable reason for it to be there. It's close to an inside wall, and it's in a high point of the floor. I'm wondering if this is the source of my water problem that I experienced this past weekend.

Any ideas what this hole might be, and what it might be for?

Here are some pictures. I apologize if they are overly large, I just didn't want to loose any detail.

There is a quarter in some of them, for size reference.

The hole, and it's location against an inside wall. Do you think the discoloration on the floor is an indication of water coming up from the hole previously, and running alongside the bar?

The hole again. Notice on the underlay off to the side, how there is the brown stain? That is sand. I'm guessing that's a good indication that water has come up through that hole before?

The creepy inhabitants of the mysterious hole.

This tile is beside and behind the bar you saw in the first picture. Notice how the concrete is notched where the carpet trim is attached to the floor. The tiles are deformed in a sort of ridged pattern, lining up with those notches. Also, you can see the efflorescence on the tiles. The mystery for me here is, did the water really come up from the hole, and work it's way across the floor, under the tile, evaporate, leaving efflorescence?

Please...tell me your thoughts on this mystery! Any idea why there would be a hole like this placed randomly in the floor? Do you think this is where the water originated from??

Thanks everyone,

Kim

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our_first_home

I realized that the first picture I posted is really hard to tell where the hole is. I've arrow added to make it easier to see the hole.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2008 at 7:06PM
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worthy

Patch the hole and cross your fingers.

A concrete basement floor should be poured on a minimum of 4"-6" of crushed compacted gravel for drainage, not sand. And two inches of concrete is not an adequate floor. And for all you know, there may even be a layer of poly below the sand, so the water that gets into the sand has nowhere to go but up into your floor, as liquid or vapour.

Here is a link that might be useful: Sand Layers Should Not Be Placed Between Polyethylene Vapor Barriers and Concrete Floor Slabs

    Bookmark   February 23, 2008 at 8:53PM
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our_first_home

Thank you Worthy,

We have actually filled the hole now with hydrolic cement. My husband opened the hole a bit more, so that it was shaped like this /\, wider on the bottom than the top, and then added the cement.
After he opened the hole a bit more, he was able to see what appears to be a broken clay drainage tile in the hole. We're wondering if at some point someone used this hole as a way to fill the tile with sand.
The house was built in 1950, so who knows when this hole was made, the reasoning behind it. I really wish I could find out though!
I'm keeping my fingers crossed that filling it was the right thing to do, and that was our one and only experience with water coming up into our basement!

Kim

    Bookmark   February 24, 2008 at 6:59PM
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worthy

broken clay drainage tile

Cross your fingers it wasn't part of an active drainage system. At least it wasn't sewage. You would have known!

    Bookmark   February 25, 2008 at 8:42PM
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our_first_home

The entire situation baffles. I have no idea when that hole was put in the floor, or for how many years it has been covered up.
But, I'm really hoping that if it was an active drain that there would have been evidence of previous water damage.
There is no mold, and the underlay was not stained in any way other than where the sand had been pushed up into it this time around.
I really wish I could figure out WHY the hole was left open. I can not come up with any reasonable reason why it would be. Especially when someone covered it over with carpet.

Even if it was some sort of makeshift floor drain, it's in a high area of the floor.
I just don't get it.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2008 at 9:06AM
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bungeeii

Could the room be an old laundry area? I lived on a sandy lot before and we had our laundry drain tied into the basement floor drain. It all weeped out into an 80' stone tile. The entire drainage system worked well until the weep field became plugged/collapsed.

I wonder if the sand you see is washing ~into~ the tile from another area.

Is it possible that some area around the house is not draining properly away at the surface? Are there puddles of surface water that are seeping their way down into the floor drain?

There is a reason the tile is there. It's to provide drainage. There must also be a point that it exits to drain. I'm guessing the hole was added at some point in your homes 50 year history for some type of drainage point for something like laundry.

If you have water backing up, that's a problem with;
A. Drainage out
or
B. Water in
or
C. Both of the above

Anyhow, that's how I look at it. I could be 100% wrong.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2008 at 10:17AM
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