Making ants cry uncle in an underground home


Q. We dwell in an underground home and want your suggestion. We bought this home six years in the previous and bravely undertook a gut renovation, out to the concrete partitions and all the way in which all the way down to the sand. We had been too ignorant (and romantic) to imagine we couldn’t pull this renovation off, so we did. We are very happy with the outcomes, other than one problem: sound administration. When the bottom was laid, we put in radiant heat after which poured a polished-concrete flooring. The good room is 28 by 28 ft, capped by a concrete dome with an enormous central oculus skylight. We have drywall over the concrete partitions. We assume the concrete flooring beneath the dome are behind the noise downside. The sound of our grandchildren participating in or people talking fills the home. We might add new flooring, nevertheless we fully want to guard the radiant heat. Would bamboo flooring be a good choice? Or cork? Ants have found their method into the home the place the expansion joints in the bottom have failed. How impermeable do we’ve to make the underfloor sooner than together with new flooring? Is there a selected sort of educated who provides with these provides?

A.S. & C.N.

A. This looks as if a extremely attention-grabbing home with very distinctive challenges. First, I’d be concerned with the ants. Once they’ve established a foothold beneath the slab, it is likely to be an problem eliminating them. I’d use a urethane caulk made for development joints to seal points up, after which title an exterminator. An excellent program is also to have the perimeter of the home sprayed yearly.

Regarding noise administration, one thing to absorb the sound generated instead of it reverberating once more will help. Rugs in select areas that cowl adequate of the bottom would do larger than any type of wood floors. If you do resolve to cowl the bottom totally to mitigate sound, cork or vinyl-plank flooring are larger than steady picket, which is thicker and might forestall the heat from radiating by means of. You should be conscious to take care of the bottom spherical 80 ranges, nevertheless no larger. Radiant heat isn’t set that prime, so it should not be an problem.


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Mark Philben is the enterprise development supervisor at Charlie Allen Renovations in Cambridge. Send your inquiries to [email protected]. Questions are subject to modifying. Subscribe to the Globe’s free precise property publication — our weekly digest on looking for, selling, and design — at Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter @globehomes.