DIY Home Improvement, Remodeling & Repair Forum

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gan_nair 08-30-2008 04:17 PM

Need Help.
I dont know what is going on in the back corner of my house, but it really looks like the whole corner is sinking. There are long cracks throughout the mortar in between the brick, but its separated from the bricks completely. And where my Moms window is, it looks like the area around the windo is being pulled away. I took pics with my cell phone, emailed them to my accound, but I dont know how to post pics here. If anyone can tell me how to post pics, I would greatly appreciate it. Thanks.

Square Eye 08-30-2008 10:21 PM

Click Go Advanced, then click the paper clip

Attach your photo directly from your computer's files :)

gan_nair 08-31-2008 02:35 PM

3 Attachment(s)
Hopefully these show up, what I think happened was the house finally finished settling. I remember posting about small cracks in my foundation and in between some bricks a while back, but the cracks in between the bricks have gotten a bit bigger. Also as you see the area around the window has been pulled away from the frame. There are no other signs though, no cracks in the ceiling, no cracks on the interior at all.

What I was wanting to do was since it looks like it has finished sinking, if thats even what was going on to begin with, then I would like to finally put in the French Drain system around my the entire back part of the house. It seems like the back yard slopes into the house, while the front yard slopes to the street. I was also thinking about putting in foundation insulation, I heard about it somewhere, I hear that it helps out with moisture getting into the foundation, in cold weather and in hot weather. Figure if I was going to put a French Drain System in, might as well go ahead and do the foundation insulation too.

What do you guys think about the pics? And what are your ideas about if I should go the route of a French Drain and foundation insulation. Also, any links to where I can get detailed info on how to do both would be greatly appreciated too. Thanks guys, I really appreciate any help.

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glennjanie 08-31-2008 08:16 PM

Hello Gan Nair:
It is the nature of masonry (concrete, concrete blocks and brick) to crack at the weakest point. Usually around a window or door and almost always at a corner. It would help you if you knew your home's site before construction. Is there a large fill area at the corner in question? Many contractors level the lot and then build the house; part on undisturbed earth and part on up to 4' of fill, is not unusual at all.
In our part of the country the old coal mines under houses eventually begin to cave in and houses start breaking up. One home was so badly cracked we stripped off the brick and sided it with vinyl for flexibility. She sold out within a year or so but the house is still standing after almost 20 years.

triple D 08-31-2008 11:59 PM

more pics.....
Can we see what the brick wall is sitting on? Like is it on a footing, or is it on an iron attached to foundation? In either case the quicker the better, or you might end up with a pile of bricks....

gan_nair 09-01-2008 04:20 PM

The pics are of the back of the house, the whole backyard just dishes in from all sides straight to the house. The front yard isnt like that, and at the area that I took the pics its easy to tell that the dirt has been washed away about 4 inches. And here lately we have been getting hit with alot of rain off and on. What I thought and I may be wrong, is that with the off and on heavy rain cycles, and the way the back yard slopes into the house, its just slowy washing away the dirt under the foundation.

Which is why I thought about just putting in a french drain system, to catch the water before it even reaches the house, and take it else where underground. Also with all the dirt I would dig up, I could probably use that to help fill in the side of the house that has the damage. But thats just my thought, could be wrong.

lynch 09-02-2008 03:13 AM

I see you're from Texas so is the house built on a concrete slab or is there a block foundation? Odds are, it's a slab that has unsettled ground that was weakened by rain. The weight of the house is pushing down on the foundation, causing the cracks you see. There are companies in Texas that fix these slab failures. They pump foam underneath the slab to bring it back up to level.
It seems to be a pretty common thing out there.

gan_nair 09-02-2008 03:22 PM

It is a concrete slab. So you mean that by doing what I was thinking of doing, it wont help prevent further damage. I was also going to chisel out all the broken area, and put new mason in it. Then, since the mason is so old throughout the house and seems to be brittle, I figured I would also just put new mason over the old mason in the rest of the house. And anywhere there was a hole or a cracked area, I would chisel the whole thing out and put new in. Thats what I was thinking, I mean having someone come and do that sounds real expensive.

Anyways, so would the french drain, replacing the damaged mason, and adding new mason on top of the old everywhere else (except where damaged in which I would properly replace it), would these things help me out any? There seems to be no damage to the inside of the house, thanks for the help and info so far, any more would be greatly appreciated. I wanna try to start on this, if what I have planned will actually work, on Thursday. Thanks again.

inspectorD 09-03-2008 04:17 PM

With out help
All the things you have said, seem to be OK solutions for your problems. However without someone actually seeing and giving you a professional opinion, you could end up just spinning your wheels.
There could be more than one thing creating the problems, like Glenn said, contractors and homeowners do strange things, and mother earth kicks in a little trouble of her own from time to time.
At the least get a contractor out to give you some advice about your issues, and how much it would cost a professional to fix it. Then decide if you can DIY, and save some $$$$:)

gan_nair 09-03-2008 04:23 PM

I really appreciate everyones advice, I know a guy who is a contractor, and is fairly well with home repair, and if anything he'll definatly know someone who can come out and take a look, give some advice and tell me how much it'll cost. He just isnt around, wont be for another week, so I'll talk to him when I see him. Thanks again for all your help guys. When it gets fixed and I do the french drain and everything, I'll take some pics of the before and after for yawl, since I know how to post em now. Thanks again.

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