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-   -   Excavating around foundation to repair, address moisture issues ... risky? (

strategery 01-19-2012 11:27 PM

Excavating around foundation to repair, address moisture issues ... risky?
My old clay block foundation walls have some issues - bowing in a little bit, crumbling mortar, some holes in the blocks. A complete foundation replacement would be a huge expense.

Is it possible to excavate around the outside of the foundation to repair the bowing walls and run some drain tiles along the outside (drain to daylight or a sump pump)?

My basement floor is a mess. It's thin and cracking. One basement contractor didn't even want to install a sump pump in my basement without first replacing the floor with a stronger, thicker slab. This of course would reduce the clearance making it about impossible to even walk down there (it's just over 6 feet now, and i'm 6'1).

Would my best bet be hiring an engineer to advise me on what I should do? I feel like if I spend the money repointing the foundation or straightening the walls with braces, it may not be the best long-term solution. What do you think?

nealtw 01-19-2012 11:54 PM

You have the answer. Have the engineer look it over ,if you do have work done, have him draw up a plan for what needs to be done. Then you can have contractors quote the same job, no b.s.. Sometimes the contractors want to talk to the engineer and change his proceedures, we do this all the time because we see things he didn't or we have an easier or more effective method. We are not finnished until he is happy.

joecaption 01-20-2012 02:40 PM

Hard to even suggest something without some pictures.
Not likly just patching is going to work.
If it's tiping then the footing has failed, if the block has failed and has holes (not just hole where an old pipe was) then it's shot and needs to go.

CalRehabber 01-20-2012 04:49 PM

I recently did about the same thing...

I just started excavating until I got down to the foundation and everything was clear..

I really didn't have a plane but once I started into it, what I needed to do became more obvious..

Ended up leaving the foundation, added some big blocks, lifted the house and straightened it out..

Took a few weeks but instead of paying a contractor 50k, I got it done with the help of some laborers for about 4k..

nealtw 01-20-2012 05:31 PM

Cal; A wall bowing in is a good indication of hydrolic pressure and suggesting that someone dig a trench up to five feet deep with out talking about shoring may be very dangerous. Keep in mind people ask because they don't know all things that can go wrong.
Did you have a bow in your wall and how did you fix that?

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