Help me to renovate the stall floors in the old barn.
My DH and I have a difference of opinion about the best way to build up the stalls in our old barn before putting down mats. Starting from scratch in the new barn was easy compared to this. Of course the old stalls have holes on the middle and uneven places too. We need to fill in probably 8-10 inches. I want to till up what is there before mixing it with a sand and gravel mix. DH wants to just fill in with the mix to get it even letting the sand settle in to the gravel and tamp it all in. (This is the same base they use before putting down asphalt, so it packs well) We can then put the finer stone dust and then the mats.
What's your vote? Till it up to even it out, or just build it up?
I've only ever filled in the holes -- And at barns where I've boarded, that's all I've ever seen done -- It works fine as long ans you tamp it down before installing the mats -- I don't think the extra work will give you a better finished product --
"I never mind if an adult uses use safety stirrups." GM
I took great pride in doing this job well at my farm. Chips and dust in the stalls and bring the floor up to the point where it almost meets the highest spot at the door. Tamp it down, water, let dry, repeat. Makes for fabulous footing and then top with rubber mats. I would only need to do this again in 3-4 years and I reallly had great stalls.
I have done this in two of my barns. In some cases it entailed removing wood floors and filling in quite a bit. For the stalls that needed a great deal of material to bring them up to level I used pea gravel, then a layer of stone dust with a layer of clay tamped down well. Mats on top of the whole thing. For stalls that only needed a few inches, I use stone dust topped with a layer of clay, with mats on top.
I "second" the limestone screenings - stone dust ~ wet and tapped and leveled layer by layer then clay put in wet/ tapped to level ~ layer by layer then wall to wall interlocking mats ands it is DIVINE !
Okay, so it sounds like I am maybe overdoing it by wanting to till the high parts first. I was worried that even with a lot of tamping, it might shift because the floors are so uneven. We've got several pile of everything we need....gravel, stone dust, sand and clay. I guess all I need now is MUSCLE!
As long as what you have it compacted and stable I would leave it. But if you are going to at 8 to 10 inches you should be compacting with a vibrating compactor not just letting it settle on its on or your mats will end up being wavy. You can usually rent a compactor at your local lumber yard. You would compact in lifts of 4".