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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
First I would like to say, this would be my first time coming and asking for help. Never thought this day would happen. But I am kinda in a pinch.:censored:

So times are a lil slow, and I get this phone call from a referral. So called highly recommended. They ask for this basketball court, 25x30 concrete pad located in the back yard. Not one of my fortes but do able . I figured in taking the topsoil off and laying 6-8" fill dirt to get the grade right. Well I get the job, started today actually. Walking on the soil feels nice, as soon as the bobcat sit foot in the area it sunk. I attempted to make about 6-7 passes with no progress and I stop. I look at the area and all this white/grey mud was oozing from the ground. Looked like thin set, consistent like thin set/mortar. Well the whole area about 28-32" deep is nothing but that soft mudd. :censored::censored::censored::censored:

So this is where I come for help.

What are my options here ?
1) remove all the white soil from the area until I hit clay. That would mean I need a back hoe and a dump truck + dump fees. And about 120 yards of fill dirt?

2) kinda out of ideas. :censored::censored::censored:

What is the best option for refilling the hole ? Fill dirt is the cheapest.

Should a soil test be done ?

I asked the home owner is there was a septic tank, drain field, ect and all I got was No, No , No.

Also how do you tell the customer that "this is gonna cost a butt load more to give you a basketball court for your kids." :censored::censored: " I really dont need that answer"

I have never dealt with type of mudd. But I always heard that you cant build on white dirt. Never even seen it until today.

Thanks in advance,
1 stressed mofo.
 

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How long has the homeowner had the property?

Could there have been a pool that was filled some unknown material?

If you get bogged down, the site is not what you expected.

Without someone paying for an analysis and a hand core or two, I would walk away. Someone knows more than they admit to.
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
How long has the homeowner had the property?

Could there have been a pool that was filled some unknown material?

If you get bogged down, the site is not what you expected.

Without someone paying for an analysis and a hand core or two, I would walk away. Someone knows more than they admit to.
House was built less than 2 years ago, they had the home built. So a pool is out of the picture.

I dont understand what you mean with "If you get bogged down, the site is not what you expected."
 

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it would appear to me you have surface water perched in a sandy lens sitting on top of an impervious clay material....i'm no soils engineer, nor profess to have your answer...my "gut" feeling tells me you need to remove that layer of "owl shirt" down to the good solid bearing layer....place some geotextile fabric, cover with a crushed aggregate for drainage....and do whatever you need to do on top of that.

how do you ask the owner for more $$$$$? just say, there was no soils report associated with this project that you were aware of, and what was discovered without one puts this job out of the scope of what was originally anticipated,/bid, and to re mediate this to the point you will warrant your workmanship, will take that kind of expertise. your name's on the paper, you're the one who is sued should something fail.
 

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The above have pretty much nailed it.

It's no different than any other unforseen condition, you can not build on the mud...so it must go and be replaced with suitable material.

The problem you have is the HO is going to want to know how much more to make it good. I don't know how to tell you to figure that out. My answer would be....I don't know with out test borings.
 

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Vagitarian
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Explain to the HO the situation and explain the proper procedure for remediating the proplem. Get the changes in writing and if they do not want to do it, then walk away.
 

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how about some lime/ fly ash to stabilize the area. it is just a ball court so the bearing won't be a huge issue. give it a little drainage and call it a night.
 

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I agree with the others, you don't want to put your finish work on a base that won't support it and the H/O doesn't want to either. The cost of replacing that pad at your expense will out way any money you make on the work for it if it fails.

The cost of replacing that pad to the H/O will out way any money he saved by not doing the prep work correct. The pad is only as good as what's under it. The pad can crack with out any load on it at all, just the unsupported weight of the concrete is enough. Think sidewalks.
 

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how about pouring a 6" monolithic slab w/ fiber in the mix? The edges would give it strength which is lacking from the pour soil conditions.
 

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From the sound of it, even a workaround like a monolithic slab isn't going to work if you can't even get equipment in to do the work. Even if you can get the site prepaired, how are you going to get the truck in to poor the mud? If you can't drive across the yard in a skid steer, how do you expect a concrete truck to drive across it? Are you going to pay for a pump truck instead?
 

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how about some lime/ fly ash to stabilize the area. it is just a ball court so the bearing won't be a huge issue. give it a little drainage and call it a night.
it's just a ball court until the HO decides that the cracking slab prevented his kid from becoming the next michael jordan. unless the HO is willing to take the proper measures to do it right...i'd drop this deal like a bad habit.
 

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That white mud sounds like what we call gumbo here. Sometimes see cat-tails nearby. When doing perc test, this is a sign of poorly percing soil because the soil is holding water.
 

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Midnight
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This is a new house in a new development? I would tell him that test holes were in order before you estimate any quantities for him. Sounds like somebody mined up an area and burried some Shirt. Who knows how deep? all of the other advice is spot on. Good Luck to you and remember it's not your land and it's not your fault when you get to negotiations. Unforeseen is unforeseen.
 

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you might offer to dig the guy a hole at center court about 6' across and 4 feet deep, stand a perforated "sump pipe" in the hole and backfill it with gravel. then see if you can't dry up the mess by keeping it pumped down for some period of time. maybe lease the H/O a 3" mud-hog and have him pump it down daily. if the water is perched and the soil sufficiently sandy you might dry it up. If the soil's too silty/clayey it's probably a lost cause.
 
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