Slippery basement floor

alisandeJune 22, 2003

The floor of my is made up of dirt and slab rocks. With the incessant rain we've had lately, the dirt has turned to mud and the rocks are coated with something black and slippery. I'm thinking it must be a growth of some kind, although it's not at all thick. The rocks just look wet.

I'm concerned because I live alone and don't want to fall. I have to go to the basement often to get to the freezer and laundry machines. Should I buy some sand to sprinkle around? Any other suggestions?



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Is it something you can paint? (I'm not getting a very good picture, sorry!) if so, get some textured paint for the floor. I think they may even make textured spray paint now. it might help with traction. I've never tried this myself, so I can't say for sure, but it seems like that would help.

If not, can you buy a cheap plastic floor covering? (I'm thinking of those plastic mats that people put under office chairs)

    Bookmark   June 23, 2003 at 3:35PM
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do you have oil heat? if this is a new substance on the floor you really need to get it inspected.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2003 at 1:50AM
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I do have oil heat. Good point, but it doesn't appear to be oil. No smell, and no oily consistency. Brand new oil burner last fall.

No, it's not really paintable. This is a dirt floor with some rocks. If you have trouble envisioning it, that means you've never had a dungeonÂand you're lucky! :-)


    Bookmark   June 24, 2003 at 11:03PM
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Susan -
For now, lay out a pathway of planks or 3/4 plywood over something (bricks?) to keep the planks off the floor.

Later, when the dirt has dried out, look into getting "french drains" installed leading into a sump with a pump. I've never seen them done in a basement, but it's just a gravel-filled trench with perforated pipe leading to a pit full of rocks. When water reaches a certain level the pump kicks in.

Here is a link that might be useful: French drains outdoors

    Bookmark   June 25, 2003 at 8:42AM
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Thanks, LG. I've been walking past planks in the basement for weeks without realizing it would be a good idea to lay them out over the slippery rocks. I'll do that.

We do have a French drain, although I didn't know that's what it was called. It fills up and the sump pump takes the water out. But sometimes the pump doesn't kick in until the level gets really high--I don't know why. Plus this time we had sooo much rain that everything remained saturated over a long period.


    Bookmark   June 25, 2003 at 8:57AM
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stunning old place, huh?

the black growth is an algae, most likely. since it's a basement, not the pavers in the garden, 1/2 and 1/2 baking soda and salt sprinkled liberally over the pavers will kill it (if you've got the energy, scrub them with one of the cheap push brooms they sell at Home Depot) which should leave the stones with a much better grip. Painting the stones with a 'sandy' paint is an alternative when things dry out- but the idea of painting stone makes me want to cry.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2003 at 9:55AM
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If it's an algae, could I use an algaecide? I have several bottles of the product we used in the pool.


    Bookmark   July 15, 2003 at 2:52PM
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