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JackF99 11-18-2012 05:46 PM

Corner of Foundation
If this is not the place to ask detailed info on foundations, please direct me to another forum where I could ask such questions.
I have a 1300 sq ft house with a bedroom that is approx. 14x11.
The problem is that a 9 x 9 foot triangle of the corner is dropping down about 6 eights of an inch. The triangle is 9x9 and 14 at the base. Hope you can visualize that. The 14 foot base is leading further into the foundation.
I've had a guy come out to put piers in, but this corner is till down after about 3-4 years. Is there some reason not to put a pier right at the apex of the corner?
I have a crack in the dry wall seam and when I place my 9 foot level down it is about 6/8 inch down. I know some will say just water and it will rebound but I would like some sort of better insurance it will not drop again.
This is in Texas and I had the guy come out and the rest of the house is good.
Just this corner is the problem.
There is a 30 inch drop from the corner to the bottom of the next house level.
I know this is probably the problem cause everything wants to go down hill.
Any opinions are good.
Just want to get some opinions before I get some more bids on further work.

nealtw 11-18-2012 09:06 PM

Some photos would be helpfull

JackF99 11-20-2012 09:19 AM

The bedroom is at the far left corner of the house and here is the 30" drop down to the next house.

The level is 4 feet. The crack looks far worse than it was since I used a chisel to widen it in preparation of patching it with mapei.

Another shot..

The wall has a drywall joint rip from the window to the corner of about 1/8 inch or so.

nealtw 11-20-2012 09:45 AM

It looks to me like a slab on grade house, so I am confussed about where you installed a peir?
Is there any damage to the outside of the house, cracks in the brickwork, crack in foundation?

JackF99 11-20-2012 10:15 AM

Well, the guy dug out a rectangle shape under the slab edge and then used a auger to drill down two holes about 14" or so in diameter.
He then put rebar in and filled with concrete. A few days later he added steel spacers and jacked the house up.
This is what people call piers here I guess.

JackF99 11-20-2012 10:19 AM

Before he worked on the house there was a crack down from the bottom of the window through bricks and mortar and one horizontal mortar joint had a 3/8 inch space for about 8 feet.
This happened a couple years ago in the second hottest driest summer we have had in Dallas.
I'd also like opinions on... can a pier system hold up a corner like this even if the soil directly under the corner is dried out.
I'm thinking on renting this and I know renters will be too busy to water this corner as they should, no matter what they say.

JackF99 11-20-2012 10:24 AM

Not sure why the time is 5:19 on this post. My clock is ok and I'm on CDT and it is 11:23

JackF99 11-20-2012 10:30 AM

Another thing is that at the roof top the fascia boards had separated about 1 1/2 inch. The brick now looks good, no cracks, but the
caulking between the bricks and wood on the side had torn about 1/4 inch gap.
I want to put flooring down but want this problem fixed with some certainty. Only putting vinyl planks now but later may need something level straight and smooth for laminate whatever.

nealtw 11-20-2012 11:28 AM

So if the house was built like we build them it goes something like this.
Dig down to solid soil that can support the house and pour a footing, something like 18" wide and 8" deep, on top of that pour a foundation to height and backfill that with compacted sand and pour the floor level with the foundation.
You said this problem was about 9ft in each direction from the corner, my guess is that the foundation is broke in two places and tilted down to the corner. If your guy lifted the corner up he lifted that hole area off the ground including the floor.
So if each crack is 9 ft away from the corner he lifted 16ft of footing which is 192"x 18" =3456 sq inches all being supported in three places, maybe 1/4 of the weight is resting on the dirt right at the crack on each side. One half of the weight is resting on the pier, so he repalced 1700 sq inches of footing with 300 sq. inches of peir.
If the floor was also lifted at that time, it was also lifted off the fill and that weight was added to the problem.

If what he did worked at the time, the rest of the footing should have underpinned to actually solve the problem.
Under pinning would have been to dig under the footing and put larger chunks of poured concrete to spread the load over a larger area and fill the voids and the floor should have been lifted with a foam fill at the same time.

My fear is that the footing has settled at the cracks, if not you may be able to jack it up again and underpin the footings, if the footings have settled at the cracks, you have a much bigger problem.

I hope this helps you to understand what is going on and I think you should find at least 4 foundation pros in your area. If they all have different solutions, get an engineer to design the fix. This is not usually diy freindly.

JackF99 11-21-2012 11:45 AM

Thanks Neal for offering your help.
What I understand about the way people build neighborhoods like mine is...
Plan out the streets. Dig down for the sewers and streets to make them good and throw all the loose fluffy soil up on the sides to build the pads where the houses will rest. I made a mistake buying the house foundation wise as I can see now that I'm close to the end of a cross street, I'm 2 houses away. The intersection is the low point and after that the street goes up again. There are probably 14 houses where the grade goes down parallel with the street and houses.
I can't imagine that all these 2 story expensive houses herei Plano on a 15 foot grade to the street don't have some foundation problems.

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