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Covering dirt in half basement

Posted by don46 (My Page) on
Sun, Jul 5, 09 at 18:14

Our 1920s house has a half basement, that is a concrete floor with banks of dirt up to the foundation walls around the perimter. I'd like to clean and neaten up the basement and want to begin by covering the dirt with 6 mill black plastic sheeting. I was thinking of just using bricks to hold it in place around the perimeter and where it meets the concrete floor. In places there are wood partitions separating the floored area and the dirt crawl space. Is this a good idea? What suggestions do you have for installation? Many thanks for any advice you can offer.


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RE: Covering dirt in half basement

Several years ago I had my circa 1870 rock cellar walls sprayed with gunite concrete on the inside. The contracter also put down a layer (4-6") of gunite on a small remaining section of dirt floor. The difference in the cellar moisture level after covering such a small space was hard to believe.

Anything you can do to prevent moisture migration from the dirt to the cellar will help. Six mil plastic would work but would have to be lapped up onto the foundation walls and sealed with roofing cement or something similar. A similar lapping and sealing would be needed against the wooden walls, but here a product like Ice and Water Shield lapped down over the plastic would probably be better. I think I'd also want to check the wood walls carefully for rot in this kind of environment before doing anything with them.


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