My wife and I bought our first home last Winter and are thoroughly focused on fixing it up. It is a 1880's ranch home with many additions made to it. That's an old house for California (but not for you East Coasters)! There is a room which is connected to the house on one side. It is sort of like an indoor patio. We are in the process of making it into the living room where I will set up a large 280 gallon aquarium. The floor had been carpet which we have torn up. As we tore it up we noticed that it was glued to what looks like vinyl tiles perhaps like ceramic tile backing. It has a black paper layer on the bottom which contacts the cement slab which it is glued to and then on top is a light unfinished looking brown. It breaks easily and is pliable but not very.
As we pulled the carpet up the tile came along with it through the middle of the room. Under it we found a big crack in the slab running the length of the room which is 35'x15'. The crack continues into the foundation blocks on the outside of the house where I can see it. I haven't yet crawled into the crawlspace to check the other side. The crack is about 1/4" tall at maximum in terms of vertical shift and is only about 1/4" wide for hte most part with areas where chips came out and left 3/4" gaps.
I am on fairly flat ground (comparatively for the area which is very hilly) and am close to a creek bed and only a few feet above it. I don't know for sure if it is structurally unsound but cannot afford to fix it. I just bought 500 square feet of Trafficmaster Allure Vinyl Plank at the Home Depot Black Friday sale (got lucky and they had it on sale and still had it when I came in late in the morning and had already decided on that brand and color!) and was all set to put it in on top of the vinyl tile which was a fairly flat surface as far as I thought. I have done a lot of reading and know that concrete cracks. Its common. I am reaching out to flooring contractors to see if anyone can look at it and tell me what I need to do but before I ask a contractor to tell me if I should give them work I am hoping you guys can give me some unbiased opinions! I did find some raised spots in the concrete as well
My main questions are:
1) Should I be very concerned?
2) If I am only spending $500 on the flooring do I really care much about the crack? Can I just put some sealant and sand in it and then do a layer of self leveling cement?
Thanks all for your time and knowledge!
As you say, your risk is $500 of flooring plus your labor to install it. You can easily spend much more that this to get an undetermined answer as if the crack will cause a problem.
You may need to do some leveling cement around the crack to keep your Allure flooring level.
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