What would you report??

Just wanted to see what others would report in this situation.

The home was over 100 years and like many others the basement was dug out. Most of the foundation had little to no knee wall dirt. Some areas were better than others.

There was also no signs of structural issues.

What would you report in this situation?

The vapor barrier should be installed correctly with tape to the walls to prevent further moisture vapor and moisture coming up through the floor assembly. These dirt floors usually smelled musty and created dry rot on some of the structural members in the basement.

Digging out a basement, one should be careful not to undermine the bearing components that hold up the structure.
Usually, if kept outside of the triangle of compression, it should not be a problem.


I wonder if footings even really exist in these homes? Many dont have them or have minimal footings. FYI, water entry was an issue with this one.

They don’t, the walls were usually tapered. They went from 12" at the top to about 2’ at the bottom. The inside kept plumb.
some times the top 2’ portion was brick or granite.
The one in your picture appears to be all brick and most likely setting on stone for a footing. :slight_smile:

In that case i would say it is a pillar with fill in brick

Could be different in your neighborhood though.
Wish I could find a picture.

I know what your talking about i had a granite foundation up home thatt sucker was more than 2 feet at the bottom. These down here seem to be Pillar with a row a fill in brick Marcel .Some you could likely put your fist through it .

Recommend two inches of sand on top of plastic all around the perimeter to help seal floor dampness from entering the home .
Tape shut any holes in the plastic also .
Also add a Dehumidifer with a drain to help keep humidity below 50% .
Its been here for 100~ years and with continuing maintenance it should last many mote years .
We have done many of these old homes and they are great . Two we have done sold for over a million Dollars dirt floor and all.

Attached is a pic regarding lowering basement floors.

As Marcel C commented, the angle of repose should be maintained for proper support.

Hope this helps,

What is the purpose of digging it out? I know some people dig them out to create an actual basement. That does not appear to be the case here so why was it dug out?

What the hell is a basement? :slight_smile:

Most are dug out for more room. Many are half crawl and half dug out basement.
Many also had a huge coal furnace in the basement as well.

It’s a swimming pool with no water in it with a structure built above it.
You use it to store all the crap you buy over a span of 20 - 50 years.
Then you spend $90 a ton to dispose of it. :mrgreen:

lol…i just moved. Holy crap I had canned food that expired in 2008 in there! Not to mention the vitamins that I always meant to take that expired in 2009. Glad I dont have a basement, but I do have a shop for the work vehicles…and that is a little collection area of its own.

Sounds like the voice of experience.

Nice grafphic, Marcel. I went back and grabbed this one like they used to do it after digging 'em out.


Hmm thanks Sean.

It is the built in 20’ x 40’ Freezer for us up North.:frowning:

Now that is the truth

Not that I disagree, but many has a combo of poor exterior drainage along with the brick itself which is a sponge.

By the time I get to it, the foundations look like this along the bottom and need repair. There is really no way to stop all the water coming in.