Filling a Basement Hole
LESLIE: Trudy in Colorado has discovered a secret pit in the basement. How mysterious. Welcome, Trudy.TRUDY: I have – my house is about 110 years old …TOM: OK.TRUDY: … and in my basement – if you can imagine a shoebox-shaped hole that is made out of brick and it’s lined – it’s completely lined with brick masonry; you know, because they’re cemented in.TOM: OK. Like a 100-year-old sump.LESLIE: Or a fireproof box for documents. (chuckles)TRUDY: I don’t think so.TOM: In the basement? Who knows? Well, check for the treasure chest.TRUDY: (overlapping voices) Well anyway, it’s about 16 inches deep, about two feet wide and maybe – maybe three feet wide and maybe five feet long.TOM: OK.LESLIE: Hmm.TRUDY: But then it’s covered – but like the roof of the shoebox would be my basement floor and there’s a hole in the roof of the shoebox about the size of my hand; the cement there is about an inch thick. So if you shine a light down in that hole you can see the dimensions and that it’s made out of brick.TOM: Huh.TRUDY: And nobody seems to know what it was or how to fix it and the two options I was considering was maybe taking a sledge hammer and breaking the top out and then trying to backfill it with some rock and four or five inches of cement or just maybe coming in with some 2x4s and plywood and putting a second false floor on top of it; just so no one will catch their toe in there and break an ankle or something.TOM: Yeah, I’m going to go with answer A because … (chuckles)TRUDY: Yeah, breaking out the top?TOM: Yeah, because first of all, you know framing it – putting wood against the floor is always a bad ideas when it comes to …LESLIE: It’s just a mold situation.TOM: And insects; termites and so on. But if you have some real thin concrete there, I would definitely break that out so you get down to a solid surface; then you can fill it in with stone and finish it up from there, Trudy.TRUDY: Well, thank you so much.TOM: You’re welcome. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.