Solutions for dirt floor basement?

roughdraftMarch 2, 2007

Hey, all,

Finalizing plans to purchase a house next week that meets all of my criteria in terms of location, layout, etc.

Only big problem is, it has a dirt floor basement. I have allergies and am very concerned about any moisture coming up, and mold being blown around through the furnace. I'm having a mold test done to confirm it's nothing deadly, but I'd like to seal the floor off so it's not circulating at all. (There seems to be some dampness in the dirt now, and some yellow growth, along with a bad mildew smell.)

I know pouring a concrete floor is going to be really expensive, and I'd like to avoid it. What about using some kind of rubber membrane like BlueMax? Could that be used directly over the dirt? Could I lay something down (like a vapor barrier) and then paint the rubber over that?

Anyone with any low-cost solutions? Would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

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I read a NYTimes article about people actually having "earthen floors" (= mud) installed into their homes. Crazy (in my opinion) but anyway, it mentioned that they are finished & sealed with some sort of wax.

Here's one result from googling:

    Bookmark   March 8, 2007 at 4:07PM
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It appears linseed oil may be the solution. Read on:

    Bookmark   March 8, 2007 at 4:11PM
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I have the same situation: perfect trees, great house, perfect place, dirt basement. My reno guy says the thing to do is lay down heavy plastic vapour barrier, in overlapping rows. There's a special tape called, I think, 'tuc tape' - NOT duct tape, I promise - that you then use to seal the joins in the plastic strips. My basement has concrete walls rising up from this dirt floor, so he's also told me about a special product used to seal the plastic/concrete join. Can't remembr what it's called, can find out if you want more info.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2007 at 1:06AM
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I don't know what your idea of expensive is. I don't think you should base a remodeling choice on a lack of information. All you need to do is call a few contractors and get a few estimates. I would recommend putting plastic and foam insulation down before the pour.
Concrete also keeps rats from coming in through the dirt. There's another post in this section with a dirt floor in a crawl space. They have and issue with water and rats.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2007 at 9:08AM
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If youÂre still interested, there is a product we use for parks and for side yards, access paths. called Polypavement. It is a soil stabilizer. Mix with water, non-toxic (smells like ElmerÂs glue), spray onto dirt floor let dry. One application can last for decades in a low traffic, low impact area.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2007 at 6:56PM
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