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Any Foundation Pros Here?

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Old 12-13-2012, 06:42 PM   #1
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Any Foundation Pros Here?

this is a partial underground property....trying to figure how i would go about fixing the foundation because sort of odd ball issues

in attached, there is one visible crack in foundation and some sympathetic external cracks. inside this underground house, its all concrete and looks like minimal water has gotten in that corner, but i assume it could have been cosmetically hidden too.
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any foundation pros here?-problem1a.jpg   any foundation pros here?-problem1b.jpg   any foundation pros here?-problem1c.jpg  

Last edited by mikemane; 12-13-2012 at 07:06 PM.
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Old 12-13-2012, 06:44 PM   #2
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Re: Any Foundation Pros Here?

other pics

plus can see more here:
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any foundation pros here?-problem1d.jpg   any foundation pros here?-problem1e.jpg  


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Old 12-13-2012, 07:29 PM   #3
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Re: Any Foundation Pros Here?

Based on what I can see in your pictures, the "crack in the foundation wall" looks more like "crack in the tie beam", considering the construction of the home. Your footer is going to be waaaaaay further down below than what you're seeing if your roof is resting on it.

BTW, folks here prefer new members to do an inagural post in the introductions section of the forums. Tell us a little about yourself before you start hitting us up with questions!

(Mods, I will play devil's advocate here...)

There's not enough detail to see if that's actually a real structural failure occurring or simply a garbage job when the tie beam was poured. Many homes down here built from the 50's to 70's (and later even) have low-quality pours on their tie beams. It's not uncommon to find voids, cracks, etc., that look a heck of a lot like your picture. It's not pretty or of the best quality, but it's not necessarily a structural failure.

Again, based on your pictures only, it looks like water has gotten behind the facade and underneath the flat section of concrete between the corner and the nearby stem wall. The flat section looks like is separated from the brick facade perhaps due to improper or no tie-in between the stem wall and the white stem/retaining wall.

As to whether or not there are real foundation problems here, you can only address that with further inverstigation. Consider a test excavation against the stem wall in that corner, maybe pull a core on that flat section of concrete. Until you get more information, you can't properly identify the failure that might be occurring. Coming up with a solution without that kind of investigation is only speculation at this point.

Consider these points-
- Do you know how the walls, tie beams, footers, slabs, etc., were actually built? Check the original plans.
- What's your soil type? Was the footer designed and built for that type of soil and bearing pressure? Is this in an area with freeze/thaw issues?
- Are there large cracks in the stem wall in the area in question? Not 1/32" hairlines in 40 year-old stucco, but 1/4" size or better?
- Is the exposed concrete in these cracks (if any) fresh, or has it been weathered for 30 years?
- If the foundation is failing, is the wall separating from the roof structure? Is the roof structure buckling or sagging? Window and door openings out of plumb and not operating correctly any more?

The best people to help you find a solution to your problem are either a) a local foundation contractor and b) a structural engineer. I think it's obvious that the facade delaminated due to water intrusion, but as to the foundation, there's not much to speculate about based on your pictures and description alone.

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Last edited by olligator; 12-13-2012 at 07:30 PM. Reason: verb tense
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Old 12-13-2012, 07:49 PM   #4
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Re: Any Foundation Pros Here?

Looks like the concrete cap behind the back is adding water to the corner.
Thats alot of soil pressure. I think the veneer buckled from the extra hydrostatic pressure or an old tree root. Even the lower adjacent wall is buckled but there is some water relief there.
I would start with some excavation to expose the more. Bury some drain pipe in gravel then either pull the veneer in with plates and rod or deconstruct the area and redo.
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Old 12-13-2012, 10:58 PM   #5
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Re: Any Foundation Pros Here?

great feedback, i do mostly flat work so that's why Im not up to snuff on something with this many variables.

you kind of answered the question by saying excavation is likely needed to diagnose. which to me means it might not be worth the trouble.

"- Are there large cracks in the stem wall in the area in question? Not 1/32" hairlines in 40 year-old stucco, but 1/4" size or better?"

photo 13 shows some sort of crack on back wall and some patching was done (brown square in top right on image) but being there today only quickly i will have to look closer.
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