Question about my utility room

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Answered
I've lived here for over 30 years but maybe 2 or 3 years ago realized that the concrete wall and cement floor don't touch. There's about a 1.5 inch space between them which is DIRT! A guy I used last fall for some handyman work who is very knowledgeable said he'd never seen this in any house. When I first realized it was this way, I sprayed yellow foam on part of it, but the washer and dryer are in front of that wall so I never pulled them out and completed the job. Then today, when I was taking these photos, I saw that it looks like part of the space IS filled with concrete, but it's dark and dirty in that area, so I'm not sure. Being bug-phobic, I want this sealed because I keep thinking now that bugs might crawl in. Should I have someone fill it with cement or whatever would work, or is this yellow foam adequate?
q question about my utility room i ve lived here for over 30 years but, home maintenance repairs, major home repair, Here you can see the space between the concrete floor L and the wall R
Here you can see the space between the concrete floor (L) and the wall (R).
q question about my utility room i ve lived here for over 30 years but, home maintenance repairs, major home repair, Here s a space where I sprayed the foam
Here's a space where I sprayed the foam.
q question about my utility room i ve lived here for over 30 years but, home maintenance repairs, major home repair, And under this very dusty pipe I should be embarrassed at this huh is where it seems the space between the floor and wall is filled in unless it s just dust My cats litter boxes are in this room create extra dust
And under this very dusty pipe (I should be embarrassed at this, huh?) is where it seems the space between the floor and wall is filled in -- unless it's just dust. :-( My cats' litter boxes are in this room & create extra dust.)
  12 answers
  • William William on Jul 09, 2016
    Looks like the concrete slab was poured quite some time after the walls were put up. Not the best job. The foam should be sufficient to fill the gap. Just make sure you clear all the debri in the gap. For a more permanent fix, you could use hydraulic cement. It is made to fill cracks and holes, basically in walls, to seal from water leaks. It expands as it hardens filling the crack and is harder than existing concrete.

  • Louise Louise on Jul 09, 2016
    I think I like the idea of hydraulic cement. I just Googled to learn about it. Seems like it's a perfect fix for me. The house was built in 1979 and I moved in the next year, so it would seem the floor was poured when the house was built. But nonetheless, I think you've given me the solution to the problem. Thanks!

  • Kim Humber Kim Humber on Jul 10, 2016
    Yes, I too would recommend hydraulic cement. However, if you are having other issues with settling in the house, such as doors not closing anymore, cracks across the ceiling etc. then at that point I would call in a building inspector.

  • CK CK on Jul 10, 2016
    Maybe it looks bad (and I suppose it sort of does) but let's face it bugs will get in anywhere, any how. Keep it clean, keep an eye out for any bugs you ordinarily see in your area, and do whatever is necessary to eradicate them at the time you see them. (We get ants from time to time. I keep borax/sugar out for them to eat....and die! LOL!)That open area along the wall was possibly meant for allowing for normal expansion. You could have covered it with baseboard and may still be able to do that. Ask a handyman about that ;-)

  • Diana Deiley Diana Deiley on Jul 10, 2016
    Interesting dilemma. Looks like some settling issues tied to the age of the house. My concern would be proper exterior drainage around the house and in time water leaking into the home. I'm one of those who asks every question and all the what ifs until I can sleep comfortably. Keep seeking an accurate explanation and the proper fix. Best of luck.

  • Jea7968143 Jea7968143 on Jul 10, 2016
    This "crack" looks to me like a French drain. Concrete block foundations leak a lot. Most often this is corrected by installation of a French Drain which gathers the water coming in, directs it to a sump pump and pumps it away. If that is the case, you definitely do not want to shut it off.

  • G G on Jul 10, 2016
    That sounds and looks like a french drain. You can seal it if you for instance have high Radon in the house . However you certainly would NOT want to seal it if the basement ever gets any water ! In either case, the gap between the wall and floor is of no structural concern. You have a french drain or just a floating slab. No problems Mommy. Peace

    • Tonia Tonia on Jul 11, 2016
      If there is a central floor drain it shouldn't be a problem to fill in the perimeter cracks. If there is not a central drain I would leave them open.

  • JOHNNY JOHNNY on Jul 10, 2016
    NOT REAL CLEAR PHOTO'S, WHAT I AM SEEING IS THIS GAP YOU REFER I TO IS AGAINST THE BLOCK WALL FOR THE BASEMENT. IF THAT ISA CORRECT ASUMPTION, I WILL SUMMERIZE HOW IT OCCURRED & CORRECTIVE ACTION. 1ST, THEY BUILT THE BLACK WALL'S 1ST, THEN POURED THE CONCREATE FLOOR'S & AROUND THE PERIMETER THERE WAS FORN LUMBER, 2X4'S THAT THEY SCREEDED THE CONCRETE TO, ONCE POURED AND AFTER COCRETE WAS ALMOST DRY, THEY REMOVED THE FORM LUMBER, THUS THE DIRT. WHAT WAS SUPPOSE TO HAPPEN THIS AREA SHOULD HAVE BEEN FILLED W/ CONCREAT AND FINISHED. PROBLEM APPEARS THEY DID A POOR JOB. PROBLEM, YOU COULD GET WATER/ BUG & EVEN RODENT'S THROUGH THIS AREA, WATER WHEN THE WATER LEVEL, RAISED DURING RAIN & POOR OR NO EXTERNAL DRAINAGE AWAY FROM THE FOUNDATION WALL. CORRECTION; REMOVE ALLL THE FOAM, USE A SMALL HAMMER DRILL OR SMALL HAMMER CHISEL / JACK HAMMER AND CLEAN ALL THIS OUT, THEN GET READY MIX CONCREAT AND FILL & LEVEL TO EXISTING FLOOR, APPLY CONCREAT GLUE PRIO TO POURING CONCREATE FOR BONDING. TIME CONSUMING, PRETTY EASY, NOT TO EXPENSIVE AS DIY'R, BUT DO IT, WILL SAVE YOU IN THE LONG RUN... HAVE FUN, BASED ON EXPLANATION & POOR PICTURES

  • Louise Louise on Jul 10, 2016
    I've never heard of concrete glue. Do I put that IN the concrete I'd use to fill the area? Would this be regular concrete or the hydraulic concrete that others have suggested? So, I used the chisel, hammer, etc., to remove the yellow foam?

  • Liz Liz on Jul 10, 2016
    Cheers! If you've lived there 30 years and as long as you don't have water seeping in, then it should be fine. Since there's no water coming in, the builders must have done a good job of waterproofing the foundation on the outside. For the bugs, we keep several of those flat, sticky things right up next to the basement wall. They catch any spiders, etc. that may wander in. You can get these 'bug traps' inexpensively at Walmart. Just be sure to put them where pets can't get to them, because they are really sticky. Then, RELAX and enjoy your home.

    • See 1 previous
    • RichandTammy Whiteside RichandTammy Whiteside on Jul 10, 2016
      We use a well-known pest control company. When the spiders "come inside" for the winter, they put those sticky things around but they're like hollow rectangles with the sticky stuff on the inside. My cats have never bothered with them so I wouldn't worry too much about it. If you've had as much rain as we've had in PA and your basement is dry, I don't think that I'd even worry about it. If it's the appearance that bothers you then I'd go with the concrete fill-in suggestion above. Also - if anybody ever points out the dust in the areas you've pictured, hand them a rag and tell them to have at it! lol

  • Marilyn Zaruba Marilyn Zaruba on Jul 10, 2016
    If you haven't had a problem with bugs or reptiles or rodents in 30 years, I don't think you have a problem. There must be a good reason for this so you probably should ask a drainage expert if this has a purpose. Good luck to you. I, too am bug phobic so I have stainless steel mesh stuffed into all the weep holes in the house brick.

  • Ron pohler Ron pohler on Oct 13, 2017
    is it worth putting a timer on a hot water heater to save money