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Poured a driveway up against a home foundation without an isolation joint - standard practice in WA state - Home owner had the driveway tore out and now wants me to pay for it. Thoughts? :furious:
 

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A little more info, what happened to it, why did they tear it out, did they try and resolve this with you before the tear out, etc., etc.

And it is not wise here to ask a question your first post, everyone will assume you are not a contractor.

But at least you did put your company name in your profile, so it was easy to check you out.

So guys he is a real contractor located in Seattle. Been licensed for about 2 1/2 years.
Contractor License number, KNUCKDC927D5
UBI number, 602809571
And associated with 2 other licenses.


Was this customers name Ann XXXXX?
 

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Count your blessings. Soon you'll be paying to have another drive installed by someone else. Why no expansion joint? Any other standard practices there which one should be aware of? Do you slope the concrete so it drains towards the house and into the garage? That would be a cool trick to play.
 

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Curmudgeon
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From now on, adopt "best practices"
and in a workman like manner
as your SOP.

Standard practice?
Lowest common denominator?
Whatever we can get away with?
0oops!

Nothing that isn't on a foundation
should be tied to anything that is.
 

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Twisted Cameron
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314 Posts
Did the entire driveway fail? If not, the problem should have been as simple as cutting a strip out and repour with expansion in it. or worst case the squared attatched to the joint. If they tore out any more than that i would tell em to get bent. Also, expansion is nice when the concrete is locked in place, such as a driveway. From the garage slab to the street, but it is unessasary if it is just a patio or stoop, anything not locked in on both sides. Also the comment about nothing that isn't on a foundation should be tied to it, that is a guy who probably will have stoops falling off his homes. If it is a controlled elavation, such as an entry to a home, or the drive to the garage slab, I would definately pin it. you can't prep the base good enough to not have settlement issues with the stoop, I say that because most stoops are heavy, and poured right on top of the backfilled trench next to the foundation. Over time the do settle! Sorry to hear about your luck, and remember if its locked on both sides it needs a way to flex if it moves up and down. Btw was this pinned? I worked on a pool deck this spring, the guy used an expansion joint on it, but the pool deck heaved, pushed up on the brick building it was next to, and actually lifted the building. Sometimes expansion and not pinning can be your enemy!! It depends on the situation so use common sense, and you should be fine. I pin things to foundations all the time! It has a purpose, and anyone who disagrees doesn't understand the purpose of why so many concrete guys do this!
 

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Did the entire driveway fail? If not, the problem should have been as simple as cutting a strip out and repour with expansion in it. or worst case the squared attatched to the joint. If they tore out any more than that i would tell em to get bent. Also, expansion is nice when the concrete is locked in place, such as a driveway. From the garage slab to the street, but it is unessasary if it is just a patio or stoop, anything not locked in on both sides. Also the comment about nothing that isn't on a foundation should be tied to it, that is a guy who probably will have stoops falling off his homes. If it is a controlled elavation, such as an entry to a home, or the drive to the garage slab, I would definately pin it. you can't prep the base good enough to not have settlement issues with the stoop, I say that because most stoops are heavy, and poured right on top of the backfilled trench next to the foundation. Over time the do settle! Sorry to hear about your luck, and remember if its locked on both sides it needs a way to flex if it moves up and down. Btw was this pinned? I worked on a pool deck this spring, the guy used an expansion joint on it, but the pool deck heaved, pushed up on the brick building it was next to, and actually lifted the building. Sometimes expansion and not pinning can be your enemy!! It depends on the situation so use common sense, and you should be fine. I pin things to foundations all the time! It has a purpose, and anyone who disagrees doesn't understand the purpose of why so many concrete guys do this!
I understand your concept behind doweling into existing, adjouning foundations, but would agree with Neo, as I would NEVER tie them together. Ocaissionally I will drill some dowels UNDER the the concrete so, if settling occurs, they have a little additional support, but the slab is free to raise with frost heave.

I am a firm believer that you cant beat "Mother Nature" when it comes to frost heave. I've seen plenty of block foundations, garage floors, etc... damage thru the years due to pinning.

I would also warn that some poured wall cos. warranties specifically state that any pinning into the foundation to exterior concrete voids all warranty. Your really not doing your customer a great service by eliminating their warranty for them.

I will say that on ocaission, I have pinned a few things together that were questionable, but it was for the better IMO. I just don't feel you can put a blanket statement out that "pinning is the right thing to do", because where there's frost, frost will win.
 

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Curmudgeon
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Did the entire driveway fail? If not, the problem should have been as simple as cutting a strip out and repour with expansion in it. or worst case the squared attatched to the joint. If they tore out any more than that i would tell em to get bent. Also, expansion is nice when the concrete is locked in place, such as a driveway. From the garage slab to the street, but it is unessasary if it is just a patio or stoop, anything not locked in on both sides. Also the comment about nothing that isn't on a foundation should be tied to it, that is a guy who probably will have stoops falling off his homes. If it is a controlled elavation, such as an entry to a home, or the drive to the garage slab, I would definately pin it. you can't prep the base good enough to not have settlement issues with the stoop, I say that because most stoops are heavy, and poured right on top of the backfilled trench next to the foundation. Over time the do settle! Sorry to hear about your luck, and remember if its locked on both sides it needs a way to flex if it moves up and down. Btw was this pinned? I worked on a pool deck this spring, the guy used an expansion joint on it, but the pool deck heaved, pushed up on the brick building it was next to, and actually lifted the building. Sometimes expansion and not pinning can be your enemy!! It depends on the situation so use common sense, and you should be fine. I pin things to foundations all the time! It has a purpose, and anyone who disagrees doesn't understand the purpose of why so many concrete guys do this!
Yes, the purpose is employment
for the guy who follows to fix the damage.
I've been watching what happens
to concrete poured against houses
for 40 years, and in this climate, it heaves.
The side farthest from the house
heaves the most.
The problems you are trying to solve
are a result of sitting on uncompacted
back fill.
There is a way around that.
 

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Curmudgeon
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11,706 Posts
I understand your concept behind doweling into existing, adjouning foundations, but would agree with Neo, as I would NEVER tie them together. Ocaissionally I will drill some dowels UNDER the the concrete so, if settling occurs, they have a little additional support, but the slab is free to raise with frost heave.

I am a firm believer that you cant beat "Mother Nature" when it comes to frost heave. I've seen plenty of block foundations, garage floors, etc... damage thru the years due to pinning.

I would also warn that some poured wall cos. warranties specifically state that any pinning into the foundation to exterior concrete voids all warranty. Your really not doing your customer a great service by eliminating their warranty for them.

I will say that on ocaission, I have pinned a few things together that were questionable, but it was for the better IMO. I just don't feel you can put a blanket statement out that "pinning is the right thing to do", because where there's frost, frost will win.

:thumbsup:
 

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Twisted Cameron
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314 Posts
I am not saying you would always pin something to the foundation, but If you want to control the elavation of the concrete it can be a great way to do so. There isn't much for new homes around the Chicago area, and i always warranty my work. I have had no problems with this, and this is a practice that I have learned from my father, who is a civil engineer with 35 years experience, 26 of which was cast in place concrete. There are times its a no no, I will admit that. But there are also times where it serves a purpose and is very bennificial! Thats what i meant by some people not understanding what i was talking about.
 

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Twisted Cameron
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314 Posts
Yes, the purpose is employment
for the guy who follows to fix the damage.
I've been watching what happens
to concrete poured against houses
for 40 years, and in this climate, it heaves.
The side farthest from the house
heaves the most.
The problems you are trying to solve
are a result of sitting on uncompacted
back fill.
There is a way around that.
You are right, but a lot of homes the trench next to the foundation wasn't properly backfilled. If it wasn't compacted in lifts it will keep settleing over time. I have seen homes that were only a few years old, with caved in stoops. We always use proper compaction, but sometimes you can't control the persons budget, or the person that did the work before you. and if the base is prepped right, and you keep water out of the base, you shouldn't have a large heave problem.
 

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Apparently, the OP never responded back or provided additional information or found what he did was no acceptable in that part of WA.

There are many different climates and necessary precautions to take to eliminate problems.

If you have frost, the garage is probably below frost on an lea susceptible soil. Possibly because of better soil perperation and water control. the problems cused bu frost are from water lenses that form in the soil.

Driveways are usually just dumped with a bare minimum of preparation and not choice but to accept the current drainage dictated by the landscaping. If you have a slab on grade that can heave upward, it should not be connected. If it is connected, something will eventually have to fail and give (often on the bottom where it is not seen and the effects are hidden for years.

There is a big difference between eastern WA, the mountains and the coastal areas and Mother Nature does not repect state boundaries.

There is a good reason to isolate different sections if the can be subjected to different conditions. Hanging one thing off a more stable part is not an excuse for tying them together.
 

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Twisted Cameron
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I dont think that dowling should be used as a frost prevention. there has to be proper base preperation and water control. Those are the only things that can do so. I am simply saying that dowling can be a good tool to prevent critical elavations from being compromised.
Be it a curb tied to an approach, or in any other circumstances. maybe i sounded like i was making a blanket statement. thats not where i meant to go with that.
 
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