Help! 50 yr old coop w/ cement floor under 6 inches of water

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by elieugene6, Feb 19, 2011.

  1. elieugene6

    elieugene6 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I need an idea. I have a very old, around 50 yrs maybe more. It has a cement floor surrounded by cinder blocks that go up about 1ft then the top is made from wood. This is around 30ft by 15ft. Well when it was built it was raised up but now it has slowly sunk down and apparently is in a low spot. We had very warm weather for 2 days and all the snow melted at once. The coop now has 6 inches of water on the floor along with the bedding. I need to figure out how to permanently remedy this or it is going to happen at least each spring. If not more often. It is the first time it has happened and I have been here since last june. It is my grandmothers house and thats when I moved in my dad told me today its been happening for the past couple years. It never used to happen when I was growing up. I cannot afford to refill and cover with more concrete and even if I could it would have to wait until summer. Does anyone have any ideas for how to fix it? Is it possible to create a sump pump area in there like you would in a basement? Right now I have a bunch of pallets inside for them to walk on. Of course the geese are loving it they were swimming around when it was at the highest.

    I need to come up with a permanent fix for this. Any help is very welcome.
     
  2. inohio

    inohio Out Of The Brooder

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    Trench around the outside to divert the water away before it enters the coop. Once the ground is thawed, you can dig down to 2 feet below the grade of the coop, back fill with river gravel (round stuff, not the sharp crushed limestone), ideally cover with drain cloth, then fill back the top 8 inches with dirt to seed grass, or just fill the top with decroative stone like a walkway... this will make a place for the water to go AROUND the coop and on down the hill. If the down hill side is also higher than the coop, trench a pipe under ground to a lower area in the yard and give it an outlet there.
     
  3. txliss

    txliss Out Of The Brooder

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    How 'bout you capitalize on the problem. Make part of the flooded portion a permanent swimming hole for the geese. Raise the other side by putting an 18in partition and fill with stone/sand/rocks on the current foundation, then put your bedding or whatever on top of that. I'm a girl and am probably not being very descriptive, but in my head it's perfect... [​IMG]
     
  4. inohio

    inohio Out Of The Brooder

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    Txliss.. I understand what you're saying, only raise one part of the floor to keep it dry... but I would be concerned about so much moisture in the coop bringing mold. Obviously, its up to the original poster (sorry, forgot name)...
     
  5. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    It depends how it's flooding. If it is only from meltwater AND there is some fairly obvious way that meltwater can be diverted/released by digging some ditches, then that could work. Perhaps ditching plus a sump pump -- you would get a jackhammer or pavement saw and cut a hole, dig down far enough to insert a sump liner (really, shell out the $50 or whatever it is for a premade sump liner, it really DOES make a big difference vs homemade) then put in a sump pump AND MAKE REAL SURE IT NEVER FREEZES WITH THE SUMP FULL OF WATER (a serious hazard of having a sump in an unheated barn... if you thnk you might do this, I can tell you how I take care of it in my own unheated barn-which-otherwise-floods, which in fact has *two* sumps in it [​IMG])

    However, if it is right smack dab in the middle of an unavoidable meltwater channel in the landscape (i.e. you aren't going to be able to divert all of it) or if the local geography is such that the water just DOES pond up around there and no realistic amount of ditching is going to allow it to go elsewhere fast enough to do any good, a sump pump would not be enough. with the surrounding area actually being inundated by water. The pump just won't be able to keep up; even if it was big enough to keep the water level "down" in the building, there would still be easily-enough moisture to make the bedding all sodden and that's not cool at all.

    So if ditching, or ditching+sump, are not going to be enough given your site configuration, then your only hope would be to raise the floor. The cheapest thing would probably be to buy a dumpload of roadbase and wheelbarrow that into the coop to a depth of at least 6-8", then get it real flat and well-packed and COVER IT WITH BIG CONCRETE PAVERS. (Or horse stall mats; but pavers are usually cheaper). For a 30x15' area filled with 9" of roadbase (that's to allow some settling), you would need about 12.5 cubic yards of aggregate, plus the cost of the pavers or mats, which may or may not be in your budget.

    Sorry, but I truly think those are your only options,

    Pat
     
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2011
  6. elieugene6

    elieugene6 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    So after speaking with my fiance we are probably going to have to try to try pats idea of raising the floor. That was my original idea but it is costly. Of course trenching and such would be just about as costly and not likely to work. We are in an extremely flat area and often have pooling water all over the property in springtime. We have a creek running along the back of the property.
     
  7. geebs

    geebs Lovin' the Lowriders!

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    I am a visual person... got some pix so we can get a better idea... inside and outside please... I am very good with these things.
     
  8. elieugene6

    elieugene6 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Will try but due to our odd new york weather. It went from flooded to snowy outside to flooded and melting again and now we have 4inches of snow again... Trying to make the chickies sleep in the other barn due to the issues but they don't want to and keep going back even though theres almost no bedding now. So in other words excuse the disgusting mess when I do get pics and be forewarned it is an ugly coop fixed up with recycled materials. lol.
     
  9. austinhart123

    austinhart123 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    i would put a drain in some how and put drains or make a mote around the outside like somebody else suggested
     
  10. perchie.girl

    perchie.girl Desert Dweller Premium Member

    Quote:I read the whole thread up to tonight. and here are my couple of ideas....

    You can get the water out for now with a sump pump and this may be your easiest permanent solution. Pump it now to clear the water for your chickens. Later when its dry you can cut a hole in the concrete and then line that hole with concrete then put a sump pump in the hole. Sump pumps are pretty cool they have a float on them so that when water rises they turn on. Youd have to keep it clear of debris put a cage around it or a box. If there is a low point in the room you can put the sump pit there. BTW you can rent a concrete saw and score the floor in a square before you knock out the concrete with a jack hammer. Since you have a concrete saw you can score the concrete in a few places to give the water a channel to follow to the pump. Thats if there are other low places in the concrete.

    Also is the water getting in under the door? or over the top of the cinder block wall. if its the door then how about building a burm around the door with sandbags Do the same for any holes in the wall. Cinderblock is very pourous and will allow water to seep through rather quickly. So youd probably have to sandbag the whole parimeter of the coop. Then when the water is gone you can dig downbelow grade and water proof the outside of the block wall and concrete. While you have it dug out you might do the back fill with gravel to make a french drain.

    Also pay attention to the soil around the coop. It may be that the swayle got filled in over time or never existed. A swayle is the graded area around your house. I had a house where the swayle got filled in and then it continued on up the stucco about six inches. That wall was damaged by water because of this. The idea is to slope the soil away about six or eight feet by about six inches. So all runoff from the house goes away from the foundation. If your area is really flat you might have to get creative with it. You might also chat up a general contractor about your particular area. He might offer some suggestions that will only involve sweat on your part....

    keep us posted [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2011

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