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Old concrete barn floor.. What to do?  RSS feed

 
Pete Lundy
Posts: 23
Location: east central indiana
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I have an old concrete barn floor. The barn was taken down a few years ago (before it fell over.) It was poured in sections which are a bit uneven.
Looking for ideas to use it for something other than an of shaped, uneven basketball court. Overall it's an area is 40' x 20'
Zone 5 Indiana

Some possibilities... Mulch production area, a small kid play house on part, tear it up and grow stuff (greenhouse/garden beds),

What have other people done with an existing slab??
 
John Elliott
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How thick is it, Pete? Below frost depth must make it 2, even 3 feet maybe? I don't think you want to tear it up, that's too much work. Besides, if it is uneven and drains to one place, think of how you could turn it into the world's largest worm bin! If you ringed it with 3 courses of concrete block and filled it up with worm food, you would have enough worm tea coming off of it to start your own bottling plant.

 
Matu Collins
Posts: 1976
Location: Southern New England, seaside, avg yearly rainfall 41.91 in, zone 6b
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bee books chicken forest garden fungi trees
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My first thought was a great opportunity for tricycle riding. Like anything, it depends!

I wouldn't tear it down unless I had a really important great thing to put in its place. Tearing it up will give you a pile of concrete chunks to deal with!

Base for greenhouse?
Mulch storage?
Compost making area?
Animal housing?
Foundation for gazebo?
Brick pizza oven?
Fire pit hang out place?
Dance floor?


 
Andrew Parker
pollinator
Posts: 514
Location: Salt Lake Valley, Utah, hardiness zone 6b/7a
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Should you decide to tear it up, which I am not advocating, you can do it relatively cheaply and easily by using a hammer drill, some stone splitting wedges and a light sledge hammer. You should end up with some fairly uniform urbanite to use for various projects.

When I was a boy, I helped my, now ex, brother-in-law break up our driveway, about 12' x 35' x 4-6", in a few hours. He drilled a grid of holes, about 18" apart, and I and my brothers inserted the wedges and pounded them in. My father used some of it to build a shed, some of it he used as a heat sink in a greenhouse and the rest he threw away, one or two at a time, with the weekly trash pickup -- for years.

I do hope you find a good use for your floor, as is.
 
R Scott
Posts: 3358
Location: Kansas Zone 6a
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When I was a kid I had to help as andrew suggested so we could put up a new barn in the same area. We used it to make a walking path to the new barn, laid like flagstone.

I wish I had a slab like that right now, just to work on cars and machinery. The concrete floor can cost more than the barn above it these days.

 
Jay C. White Cloud
Posts: 2413
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Hi Pete, et al,

As most here know...I despise concrete...or more appropriately...the industry. With that said, I love limestone, and that is what you now have. A big chunk of relatively flat limestone....or urbanite. This is "after the fact" material of what could be there (should be there?) and/or used instead of OPC.

I am with the majority on this one...It would be best if you can find a use for...what is in all practical matter...a big flat stone (though softer than most.)

As is uses:

support for new architecture...

nice pad for cleaning equipment...

greenhouse pad with known substrate as you create it...

controlled garden area as all medium will drain and be organized as you choose...

Several different "livestock" enclosures with channeled and controlled "washout"

Aquaponic zone...



Now if you do choose (there is an argument for this also) to tear it up, and there is no interstitial heavy rebar...the fastest and most uniform method for removal of old agricultural poured slabs (which often are not "reinforced") that I have employed is as follows:

1. Clean and isolate slab by washing down and cutting back grade from perimeter.

2. Plan and organize the use for the removed fragments. Typically 0.5m x 1m x "slab depth" (~20"x36") is a common and manually moveable unit size that can be reduced at a latter time if required.

3. Rent or purchase a 350mm minimum diamond blade gas powered hand held cut off saw.

4. Purchase 8" and 12" "rock wedges" that are still made in the traditional formats by Trow and Holden of Barre, Vermont. (Ask for Randy Potter, reference this article.) Stone was not split originally with "feather and plug," they used simple wedges. You should have 10 of each size for a good working set. I use 8 in each of the following sizese 4", 6", 8", and 12" range for most of my stone work...seldom do I ever used the "feathered plugs" unless emulating a certain finish on the stone.

5. Grid out your slab with "ink line" (not chalk) to the chosen dimensions.

6. Kerf these layout lines to full cut depth of blad. Keep straight and vertical with your cut. Pull the saw...don't push!

7. Working from the outer edge, start "wedging off" blocks.


If you do go this route...feel free to drop me an email or phone call...

Regards,

j


 
Pete Lundy
Posts: 23
Location: east central indiana
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These are all good ideas.
I knew the permies group would come up with good uses.

I'll have to think about this for a while. I believe it would take a lot of work to break it up. My brother in-law said he could use some of it to help protect a drainage ditch from erosion on his farm.

I'm leaning towards a greenhouse or child's play house on part of it.

Thank you everyone who replied.
 
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