Pulled up old tile - now huge hole!

Old 03-06-02, 10:11 AM
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Question Pulled up old tile - now huge hole!


I was pulling up old tile (it is the hexagonal shape that is usually used for pavers outside) in my home that was built in 1973 in S. Florida. In the kitchen, some of these hexagonal pavers were (it appears at least) to be cemented in to cover holes. When I lifted up several in a 2 feet by 2 feet area, I noticed that the actual cement slab it cracking. This is not your usual hairline crack, but appears that if I lift the rest of the cement up which was used as an adhesive (the tiles are already gone), that I might find an even bigger hole.

Has anyone ever encountered this. what should I do? And what type of contractor do I call to fix this - if you don't think it is something I should fool with.

Some other important information: We use city sewer water, have gas lines - but they are not running in that direction. As I said before, there are other hair line fractures in the house, but none that appear this big - it actually looks almost like a small sink hole.

Thanks for any info.
Old 03-07-02, 12:35 AM
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As long as your foundation walls aren't cracking horizontally (or BADLY cracking vertically), don't be alarmed by a crack or even a hole in the slab. You can fix it yourself with a bag of concrete (or "Quickcrete" or one of the various concrete patch substances available) or hire a concrete contractor to do it. Concrete guys are usually very expensive, though, and often won't even take a small job like that. My guess is that if you can get anyone to even come out and give you a quote, they'll try to sell you on a whole slab replacement, which it doesn't sound like you need. For cracks, you can even buy a squeeze bottle of gray gluey stuff that fills in and seals concrete. I can't remeber the name of the product, but I've used it on my sidewalks and on a serious crack across my mother-in-law's basement floor. It works great.

I've got a 75 year old house and the basement floor had been patched in several places over the years (the largest of which was like 3' x 4'). Some of the patches were so thin and poorly done that water actually seeped up around the edges whenever we'd have heavy rain! To solve the problem, we just busted out the bad concrete and patched in new concrete. Interestingly enough, we discovered that the patched areas were basically hollow underneath--big pockets of air! It turned out that our house didn't originally have a slab in the basement; it had a dirt "floor" and had originally had a coal burning furnace. In the hollow areas below the patches, we discovered lots of coal. Apparently, when they concreted the basement floor, they went right over some piles of coal that then compressed over time and left hollow air pockets under the concrete.

If you do have any concerns about the structural integrity of your foundation, call a home inspection company and have them check things out for you. It might be best to call the the company that did the home inspection when you bought the house. That way they'd have info about your home on file and would probably not charge you much for a reinspection of a specific area of the house like that. That's what we did when we had structural concerns about a portion of our second floor, and they only charged us $100 for the partial reevaluation--not too expensive for some peace of mind.

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