Repairing Basement Floor – Tips and Tricks

(Last Updated On: February 23, 2017)

Basement is that part of the home which is most cluttered and it takes way too much effort to deal with the basement issues. Basement faces the problem of dampness, moisture, mildew, mold, leaks, cracks, drains and many such others. Getting rid of these issues is very much important and once you are done with solving the issues of mildew and moisture, the important part of the basement to be taken care of, is basement floor. You must check your basement floor to hunt out for any signs of cracks, leaks or any other such issues. If you spot any such issues, it becomes very important to repair basement floor on priority. There can be many things which can be included in repairing the basement floor. Let us start with concrete basement floor repairing. If you are having a concrete basement floor then here are some of guidelines for repairing it.

How to repair basement floor (made of concrete)

Concrete basement floor
Expert repairing concrete basement floor

You will see a lot of action in the lifespan of your basement floor. Water will be flooding your basement at some point of time or heat will be creating the issues of humidity and all these factors will reach to a point where you will need to repair concrete basement floor. With the passage of time your basement floor will become dull and unattractive and repairing basement floor will help you to make it look appealing again. The need of repairing basement floor will arise when the ground shifts or the temperature rises too much. This will cause the concrete to either break or crack. The basement floor, then, will need to be repaired in such circumstances. Repairing basement floor with concrete isn’t easy and plenty of things have to be considered while repairing your basement.

Here are some of the easy tips and tricks to repair basement floor made of concrete

  • Preparing the area

The first thing to do while repairing basement floor is to prepare the area. You will not find any such thing like a clean concrete break. Patching concrete floor holes is a nice option but by doing so the holes will only be filled by the chunks of concrete while small bits of concrete will end up crumbling in the sides. Repairing crumbling basement floor is very tricky and difficult. While repairing basement floor, the best option is to start with a clean area. To begin with, take a wire brush and start brushing the sides of the crack. Make sure you are doing it gently or else instead of repairing the basement floor, you will end up damaging the concrete floor even more. Take a vacuum and suck out all the chunks of concrete out. If any of the pieces are left inside, it’s not a matter of issue as it will not be hindering the process of addition of more concrete. This step, while repairing basement floor, is totally optional and it depends upon the hole or the crack in the basement floor. Adding some sand while repairing basement floor is advisable as it can help as a moisture barrier. If you are repairing basement floor crack which is very small then add an inch or two of sand inside it.

  • Pour the concrete

The second step of repairing basement floor is pouring the concrete. Repairing concrete basement floor or patching concrete floor holes cannot be done with any other material except concrete. Take measurement of the square footage of the area to be repaired. Take the length and width of the area and then multiply it with the square footage. Get a proper estimate and purchase enough concrete for that size. It’s very important to follow proper instructions while repairing basement floor. Read the instructions properly on the concrete bag, follow it and mix it in a wheel barrow by using a rake. Mix it up till it gets the consistency of oatmeal. Take a large plastic cup or a scoop and pour the concrete in the area which needs to be repaired till it starts flowing over the edge. While repairing basement floor, it’s very important to level it. Then use a trowel to push down the concrete to level it. Let the concrete dry overnight and let it cure for at least two days.

  • Finishing

Third step of repairing basement floor is finishing. While repairing basement floor with concrete, you need to make sure that it is even, flat and in-level. When you are patching the concrete floor, you will always have some small mounds of concrete left around. While repairing basement floor, when you see that the concrete has fully cured, you should start to sand it even. Take a power sander with high grit sandpaper and level it till you have an even surface. Vacuum all the dust and then paint the concrete, so that it is all in one color and looks proper.

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By following these guidelines you can repair basement floor cracks and holes by yourself. If you are not comfortable doing it yourself, you can hire a professional for it and get the basement floor cracks and holes fixed by him. If your basement floor is very excessively damaged then instead of repairing basement floor, you should think of basement floor replacement. Well, apart from this, another thing which your basement floor might be facing and would need to be tackled is repairing the basement floor leaks. Leaks in basement are one of the most common issues in every home. Despite of the fact whether the basement is finished or not, basement floor leaks can be a serious issue and it can cause serious damage which can lead to a big distortion in your home improvement budget. Repairing basement floor leaks becomes extremely important once it has been discovered. If proper attention is’nt paid towards repairing basement floor leaks, then these leaks can result moisture around the home which can ruin wall boards and carpets. Along with that it can also promote growth of mold and fungus under the carpet as well as inside the walls. Here are some of the easy steps which are helpful in repairing basement floor leaks.

How to repair basement floor leaks (normal basement)

  • Locating the leak
Dealing with basement floor leak
Man repairing basement floor leak

The first step of repairing basement floor leak is to find the leak. Generally a leak in your basement floor will come from the crack in the floor or it can also be from the seam where the foundation and concrete floor meet. Before you start to repair basement floor leak, you need to first locate the source of the leak. Usually finding the basement floor leak is a challenging task but if your basement is in unfinished condition then locating and repairing basement floor leak would be less of a challenging job. A pool of water anywhere is an indication of the leak. Another indication for finding and repairing basement floor leak is a leaky foundation seam. If you have any difficulty in finding the leak then clear the basement floor area of all the things, clean the floor around and then watch the basement floor very closely. By watching it closely, you will be able to spot the source of the leak easily. If you are having a finished basement, you might need to pull your carpet up along with the pad in order to find the leak.

  • Prepare your surfaces

The second step for repairing basement floor leaks is to prepare your surface. Several types of patching compounds and sealers cannot be applied on painted surfaces. It’s better to check the label of the product for determining whether the wall or the basement floor which adjoins your floors is painted or not. After that, read the labels of patching materials and sealers to check whether they can be used on painted surfaces or not?

  • Repair floor cracks and joints

Third step of repairing basement floor leaks is to repair floor cracks and joints. For repairing basement floor cracks which are larger than 2.5 inches, you need to clean the dirt and debris from the crack before you apply the concrete patch on the crack. After that, remove all the loose debris of concrete by using a brush or an air hose. For repairing the basement floor crack where water exists, you need to first stop the leak and then apply the patch. For repairing leaky floor walls joints, you need to remove dirt and debris from the joint and then add sealant there.

  • Apply waterproofing

You need to apply waterproofing for repairing basement floor leaks. After you have applied the patching compound and it has properly settled, it’s time to add waterproof mix. If the leaking wall floor or the crack is still moist then you have to use water soluble formula to make it dry. If this soluble formula is not used then waterproofing will not adhere properly to the edges of the leaky joint or crack. Before applying it, refer to the instruction to know the compound and water ratio.

  • Apply sealant

The last step of repairing basement floor leaks is to apply a sealant. To apply sealant, start with brushing the sealant on the wall with stiff bristle brush which allows you to get a sealer into any pores or crack. Make sure that the sealant that you spread is only applied on the repaired concrete. Make sure to not to apply it more than 2 inches from the leaking area. After that allow the sealant to dry properly and then soak it with water. Keep it in the same manner overnight and once it gets hard enough, add a second coat on it.

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How to repair basement floor drains

Repairing basement floor drain
Plumber repairing Basement floor drain

Many homes have floor drains in their laundry room, garages, patios and basement, so that excess water is kept away and also there is no damage caused to the home. Basements are the most bottom part of the house and floor drains are very common in them as rain and sewer water can easily flow downwards and it can flood your basement. Basement floor drains must be kept equipped with the traps kept underneath. These traps should be full of water for preventing sewer gases and even odors from escaping into the room. The general issue with basement floor drains is that they get clogged up very easily because of the dirt and debris. Whenever you discover this clogged up drain, take immediate steps to repair basement floor drain as quickly as possible. Not repairing basement floor drains is like an invitation to flood your basement. Here’s a step wise method to repair basement floor drains:

  • The first step in repairing basement floor drains is to remove the screw which holds the drain cover in its place. Keep the screws safe while removing them as there are chances of losing them while opening. Put rubber gloves on and then lift up the cover. After that wipe the underside of the drain.
  • The second step of repairing basement floor drains is to reach out into the drains and then scoop out the entire gunk with your hands. Keep a container ready with you while doing so and dispose of the entire gunk into the container.
  • If the gunk is very stubborn then use a toothbrush and scrub with it to get rid of stuck on dirt or any sediment while repairing basement floor drain.
  • After that, pour a bowl of boiling water into the opening of the drain and then leave it to soak for 10 minutes.
  • After that, sprinkle the box of baking soda into the basement floor drain and try to distribute it evenly.
  • Followed by baking soda, put a 32 ounce bottle of vinegar. The combination of baking soda and white vinegar is a powerful cleaning solution and it will be great for repairing basement floor drains.
  • Let the solution sit for 10 minutes and then flush it with a bowl of boiling water.
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It’s not only the basement floor drain to check. Keeping it maintained along with the sump pump also plays an important role in maintaining and repairing your basement floor. Sump pumps are another draining system which are found in basement. Sump pump keeps the ground water from flooding the basement by diverting the water into the ponds, wells or storm drains. If you find your sump pump is not working properly then it’s very important to repair your sump pump, in priority, in order to keep flooding away from your basement. You can try repairing your basement floor sump pump yourself but if you can’t do it yourself then you can call professionals and get it fixed  by them. But what if it suddenly breaks down and you don’t have enough time for calling a professional? In such cases you need some handy tips to repair your basement floor sump pump to get rid of the water damage.

Tips for repairing the sump pump

  • Check valve

Many of a times it does happen that your sump pump isn’t working properly due to reason that the check valve is not properly fitted. Check valve of the sump pump gets jammed due to debris and it stops working properly. If the valve isn’t working properly, water gets back into the basin and it creates extra stress on the sump pump. For repairing basement floor sump pump, you need to clean the valve if it is clogged up with debris. Make sure that the valve is not pointing towards the pump and that it is pointing away from it. You can also consider adding the check valve to the line if it is not there. Buy a new valve of proper size and then install it in the missing section.

  • Float

You need to check the float as well in order to repair basement floor sump pump, fully. The functioning of a sump pump is very much dependent on the float. Float has a structure like a ball and it rises with the rise in the water level in your basement. When the float rises to a particular level, the pump automatically turns on and starts performing its pumping duties. One of the main reasons related with the failure of sump pump is float. Either due to debris or corrosion in its holding handles and screws or any other reason, the float stops rising with the rise in level of water in basement resulting in the sump pump not getting activated. To solve this problem, check the float and the sump pump on regular basis.

  • Power supply

After you have checked the float and the valve and still your sump pump isn’t working then there are chances that the problem could be that of power supply. For repairing basement floor sump pump, you must also have a check on the fuse, or wiring or any break in the circuit. There could be a possibility of glitch in the wiring or the there could be a wire-break somewhere. Check out for these things very carefully and still if your sump pump isn’t repaired then you should get the services of a professional.

Repairing basement floor is difficult and involves many things but by following the right approach, you can repair the basement floor by yourself without involving help of any expert or professional. Give it a try and if you still think it’s not your cup of tea then you always have the option of calling the professional to get your basement floor fixed.

For more detailed information on sump pump, you can read here.


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