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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
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    United States
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    Default Have you ever seen anything like this?

    100 year old house. This is the old storm cellar entrance. An addition was added 30-40 years ago and built with CMU. There are 2 piles of sand that have spilled out from the old limestone wall, one on each side of the cellar door jamb. No evidence of ants or any other WDO. Did foundations have sand filled inside the wall cavity in the old days? Thanks,
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  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Missouri
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    1

    Default Re: Have you ever seen anything like this?

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott L Seaton View Post
    100 year old house. This is the old storm cellar entrance. An addition was added 30-40 years ago and built with CMU. There are 2 piles of sand that have spilled out from the old limestone wall, one on each side of the cellar door jamb. No evidence of ants or any other WDO. Did foundations have sand filled inside the wall cavity in the old days? Thanks,
    6 16 13 015.jpg
    I have heard of walls being filled with sand, especially out in Kansas. I wonder how thick the wall is.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
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    United States
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    Default Re: Have you ever seen anything like this?

    Quote Originally Posted by Randall View Post
    I have heard of walls being filled with sand, especially out in Kansas. I wonder how thick the wall is.
    at least 12-16 inches thick.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Connecticut
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    1,828

    Default Re: Have you ever seen anything like this?

    do you have any wide angle shots? sanding mortar or ants. can't tell with close up.


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
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    United States
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    Default Re: Have you ever seen anything like this?

    Quote Originally Posted by wayne soper View Post
    do you have any wide angle shots? sanding mortar or ants. can't tell with close up.
    Wayne, Had to cut the picture down to fit on the thread. I dug thru the pile after the picture was taken and it was very smooth and flowing. No evidence of any ant activity at all.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by wayne soper View Post
    do you have any wide angle shots? sanding mortar or ants. can't tell with close up.
    Wayne, Had to cut the picture down to fit on the thread. I dug thru the pile after the picture was taken and it was very smooth and flowing. No evidence of any ant activity at all.


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Southern Vancouver Island
    Posts
    4,546

    Default Re: Have you ever seen anything like this?

    Maybe it's dust from 1933.

    I'm not kidding, it could be, but something has happened recently to make it flow into the room. My guess is some wood is rotten, both sides of the stairs. It doesn't matter much if it's ants, termites, fungus or all three.

    John Kogel, RHI, BC HI Lic #47455
    www.allsafehome.ca

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Summerville, South Carolina
    Posts
    110

    Default Re: Have you ever seen anything like this?

    Sand is used in hollow block construction sometimes for soundproofing. Like a band room for a high school for instance.


  8. #8

    Default Re: Have you ever seen anything like this?

    The way the sand is piled in around wood, my guess is that someone has spilled that sand. It doesn't dust the masonry and it is piled in several places, as though it were dumped out of a bucket or bag.


  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Dayton,Tn
    Posts
    16

    Default Re: Have you ever seen anything like this?

    Yes - a house I owned - I had records on the house from the 1880's and many I saw. Had limestone foundation. It seems they used a mortar mix that doesn't last forever. It slowly dissolves. I never had piles like in this photo - previous owner had put a 4' cement wall on the inside of most of the basement and kept it cleaned up. But the piles were pure sand. My in ground swimming pool (with vinyl liner) has similar issues - Some of the cement underlay has returned to sand. So - me thinks - poor, cheaply, or wrongly mixed grout/concrete, or wrong use of that kind of concrete is the cause - although ma nature(ie..rain patterns) +/or mankind(pollution,construction-changing water tables,downspouts) could be involved. Life is too short. The mix doesn't survive the differing hydrostatic pressures of/and/or the groudwater passing through. Again life is too short. So regrout it. It too - will eventually return to sand and dust. Good luck in all your endeavors...


  10. #10

    Default Re: Have you ever seen anything like this?

    Quote Originally Posted by Randall View Post
    I have heard of walls being filled with sand, especially out in Kansas. I wonder how thick the wall is.
    I have seen old basement walls breakdown overtime causing fine sand to line the walls. I have also seen ants pile fine sand along a basement wall.

    Without closer investigation, I would have to suggest you explore these possible causes.


  11. #11

    Default Re: Have you ever seen anything like this?

    I have seen 4" sand piles appear around the inside of a block basement foundation. I guessed that ant had made their way into the foundation and went to work. I'm not sure what they were trying to accomplish, but I respected their determination.
    I attempted to seal any cracks and used a household ant control liquid. No signs of more activity and I plan to lay carpet and keep the poison on hand. Their is plenty of work in the yard. They don't have to move in with me.


  12. #12
    Jason Evenson's Avatar
    Jason Evenson Guest

    Default Re: Have you ever seen anything like this?

    Dbl stacked stone/brick spaced a few inches apart. Typically filled with whatever was at hand. Have seen it in MN in many older (100+ years) homes. Usually ends up being 12"-18" deep, pain in ass to put in egress windows, as impossible to cut. The mortar/stacking method wasn't great on interior, and sand from the middle fill often spills in.

    -


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