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Old 10-29-2013, 09:26 AM   #1
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Filling in 6" sunken room w/ concrete ASAP - What the best method / concrete to use?


I have a sunken floor in my house that goes into 3 different rooms ( under cabinets ) CRAZY I know. I want to bring all to one level. Its on an external wall and measures 12' x 15' x 6" deep I need to pour concrete OVER an existing concrete slab. I don't want plywood I have it and I just don't like it.

I have a few quotes and a few differences in opinions on how to get it done.

Contractor 1 ( Has no insurance ): Wants to lay down Styrofoam blocks and pour in lightweight concrete. No rebar - no wire mesh.

Contractor 2 ( Fully Insured ): Wants to only pour in fiberglass mesh concrete only. No rebar - no wire mesh. $1000 more than the other guy.

Any advice? I am laying tile down over in a few weeks after it is poured. I want it done right I don't want cracks and I don't know where to find info on the correct way to do this. Thanks in advance.


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Old 10-29-2013, 09:31 AM   #2
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Filling in 6" sunken room w/ concrete ASAP - What the best method / concrete to use?


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Old 10-29-2013, 06:32 PM   #3
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Filling in 6" sunken room w/ concrete ASAP - What the best method / concrete to use?


don't need rebar IF the surface upon which it will be placed is solid & well compacted,,, wire mesh ONLY adds strength DURING the curing process,,, after the conc's cured, it holds the crack'd pieces together & makes removal a LARGE pita

licensed AND insured is better,,, i'd pick no f/g & a properly installed jnt pattern

Last edited by stadry; 10-29-2013 at 06:42 PM.
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Old 10-30-2013, 10:42 AM   #4
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Filling in 6" sunken room w/ concrete ASAP - What the best method / concrete to use?


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Originally Posted by itsreallyconc View Post
don't need rebar IF the surface upon which it will be placed is solid & well compacted,,, wire mesh ONLY adds strength DURING the curing process,,, after the conc's cured, it holds the crack'd pieces together & makes removal a LARGE pita

licensed AND insured is better,,, i'd pick no f/g & a properly installed jnt pattern

I live below sea level. My house did not flood for Katrina but I am in that area. Someone told me last night I should have rebar in case my house floods so the slab doesn't float up... I'm not sure if they were joking or not but the sight of that would be scary. Any truth to that?
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Old 10-30-2013, 12:03 PM   #5
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Filling in 6" sunken room w/ concrete ASAP - What the best method / concrete to use?


you're kidding, right ? ? ? IF your house floods, floating conc will be the least of your worries
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Old 10-30-2013, 01:29 PM   #6
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Filling in 6" sunken room w/ concrete ASAP - What the best method / concrete to use?


Actually I am not kidding. If we have a minor flood I will repair ( there have been a few over the past few decades in my city ). If we have another Katrina and a levee breaks and floods my parish like orleans parish I am definitely outta here.

I just like things done right I hate halfassed jobs. Trying to get all the advice I can get since I can't seem to find out much info on the proper way to do this.
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Old 10-30-2013, 01:40 PM   #7
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Filling in 6" sunken room w/ concrete ASAP - What the best method / concrete to use?


Rebar will not keep your slab from floating up. What it will do it keep your slab in more or less one piece if it attempts to move.
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Old 10-30-2013, 04:16 PM   #8
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Filling in 6" sunken room w/ concrete ASAP - What the best method / concrete to use?


that conc's got as much chance of floating away as you do finding jimmy hoffa under your very fine home,,, rebar doesn't add compressive strength however it does add flexural strength ( most bdge decks are 2 mats [at least] of steel ),,, IF you wish to be sure the conc won't move, horizontal tie bars could help resolve that worry however i wouldn't if it were our home's conc gravity a wonderful thing !
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Old 11-02-2013, 05:08 AM   #9
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Filling in 6" sunken room w/ concrete ASAP - What the best method / concrete to use?


' floating ' concrete found here ( http://www.asce.org/concretecanoe/ba...id=23622326483 ) sorry, couldn't resist
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Old 11-02-2013, 09:20 AM   #10
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Filling in 6" sunken room w/ concrete ASAP - What the best method / concrete to use?


I spent 8 months after Katrina and Rita doing investigations of damaged houses. Many of the houses I examined did in fact float away, however the concrete foundations were usually in place. The problem was that the walls were typically not adequately attached to the foundation by anchor bolts, so when the house flooded, the walls (and the rest of the house) simply detached from the foundation. It can take as little as 6 inches of water to float a house that is not properly anchored to the foundation.

In Louisiana, may houses are built on piers, and are simply friction fit (gravity only holds them in place). These houses are subject to floating away from just a few inches of water.

In your case, you are going to end up with a relatively thick slab. The slab is not going to float away, unless you build it with styrofoam and a small amount of concrete, in which case it could float. As has been pointed out, the rebar does little to strengthen the concrete, however it is essential that the walls of the house be properly anchored to the foundation. This requires embedded J bolts or similar that penetrate the sill, and the sill needs to be nutted to the J bolts. I saw a lot of houses in LA damaged beyond repair that had J bolts, but no nuts on them. Critical detail. Since you are doing a retrofit, talk to your contractor about how they plan to anchor the sills to the slab. That will tell you a lot about how much they understand about flood resistance in a house.

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