Go Back   DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum > Home Improvement > Concrete, Stone & Masonry

CLICK HERE AND JOIN OUR COMMUNITY TODAY...IT'S FREE!

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 09-28-2013, 11:49 PM   #1
Member
 
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 59
Rewards Points: 75
Default

Foundation issues post-flood? help please


I don't know, maybe I'm being paranoid, but it seems like our basement floor has sunk about an inch or two in some places after the floods (writing from Colorado flood zone). Our basement was completely flooded both from (I think) drain back up AND just from water table rising and seepage from every direction. I have seen no obvious drywall (what's left - took out much due to flooding) or joint cracks, have observed no changes in doorways/windows, etc.

THat being said, I don't know much about how it was before because we just bought this house and moved in. I THINK that cracks between the vertical walls and the floor (which I know were there prior to flooding) seem bigger (and widening?). Open framing structure no longer touches the floor in places (did it before?). The most obvious indicator appears to be the radon system - the seal around the pipe connecting it to the underground collection pit has almost completely separated (pipe seems to be moving up in relation to the floor) and the system is merely pulling in air from around that pipe.

What does this all mean? Can anyone give me any direction here? What do we do???

Thanks.

Missy Bloom is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-29-2013, 05:29 AM   #2
DIY staff
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Kane county,Illinois
Posts: 21,914
Rewards Points: 2,476
Default

Foundation issues post-flood? help please


I'm going to move this to concrete and masonry for you.

Many parts of Colorado have 'expansive clay' so the slab often moves up and down ---special framing is used in basements that accommodate this movement.

Let's see what someone familiar with your area has to say----Do you know if you are in an area with expansive clay?

__________________
New members: Adding your location to your profile helps in many ways.--M--
oh'mike is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 09-29-2013, 06:02 AM   #3
Civil Engineer
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Boston
Posts: 4,254
Rewards Points: 2,086
Default

Foundation issues post-flood? help please


It is certainly possible that flooding could create, or worsen, foundation problems. As Mike indicated, expansive clay is pretty common in Colorado, however there is no magic map that will indicate if you are located on it. Your local building inspector would be a good place to start, their records of your house construction may indicate the design of the foundation.

If there are no records at the building department, you may be able to contact the builder. If no luck there, you can hire a foundation contractor or a structural engineer to investigate. A thorough investigation can be expensive, since it is necessary to dig test pits or soil borings, and perform tests on the foundation soil.

You have no doubt already contacted your insurance company, and if you are covered, they may pay for testing. Unfortunately there is no way anyone on an internet chat forum can assess your situation. An accurate assessment requires a site visit, probably test pits, and may require installation of strain gages (these measure movement) on your house.

I recommend that you DO NOT undertake any repairs to the foundation until you have gotten a comprehensive, unbiases assessment by a professional. There are likely to be a lot of "foundation companies" that appear in Colorado looking to make a quick buck "repairing" foundations. I have seen them in person when I did insurance work on the Gulf Coast after hurricanes Katrina and Rita. It is difficult to distinguish legitimate foundation companies from snake oil salesman, the best way to protect yourself is to get your own professional who is NOT in the repair business to assess your situation.
Daniel Holzman is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Daniel Holzman For This Useful Post:
747 (09-30-2013), oh'mike (09-29-2013)
Old 09-30-2013, 12:06 AM   #4
Member
 
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 59
Rewards Points: 75
Default

Foundation issues post-flood? help please


Thanks for moving this to a more appropriate place, Mike, and no, I have no idea if we sit in expansive clay. The house was built in 1968 and I don't know by whom or if they still exist, or if we'd have a prayer of getting any accurate info from them even if they did. Is it worth even trying for a home this old?

I'm not sure where to turn for information. The structural engineer is a good suggestion. Perhaps they can come out and do an assessment that can tell us if we really need to go all out for a "full" (i.e. read "expensive") investigation.

Since moving in my husband and I have had plenty of expenses already. We certainly want to be safe and secure, but we need to not spend money that we don't have to spend. The caution about who to hire is a good one - thanks - though we have already learned that plenty of hacks are in the area taking advantage (!!!!) of flood victims. Makes me sick, but we're aware of that. Partly why I am turning to any sources info or direction that I can - including you all- so thank you for any info, direction, suggestions.

Insurance wrote us a check and was done with our claim for good. It won't be enough, but it's more than we expected, frankly. No more help from them.

Any other thoughts welcome, though I do realize that no one can really diagnose anything from a bunch of words typed into a forum.

M.
Missy Bloom is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-30-2013, 12:20 AM   #5
Retired from the grind
 
gregzoll's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Midwest - Central Illinois
Posts: 14,319
Rewards Points: 2,300
Default

Foundation issues post-flood? help please


If you have a floating slab, and it has sunk in locations, that means that it was undermined from the floods. All you can do is have a company come in and do some bore tests in those areas, and stick a camera in, to see how compromised the underlying dirt is.

That will determine if they need to rip up all the slab, and then also may have to redo the Main Waste, if it shifted, along with being able to check the footings for any shifting caused by the flooding.

What has your Insurance adjustor stated? I know most companies will end up giving you the short end, due to they will not cover you for flooding, and FEMA unless it shows on the USGS flood maps, that there is a possibility, you may have to pay for all this work yourself.

That would mean probably that you will have to just get some numbers and hope your insurance company works with you, not against. Worse case scenario, if the foundation and footings are compromised, you may have to either lift the home up to rebuild those sections, or move it over to good earth, and place either on a slab or crawlspace, thus loosing the basement.
__________________
Ren: Now listen, Cadet. I've got a job for you. See this button? Ren: Don't touch it! It's the History Eraser button, you fool! Stimpy: So what'll happen? Ren: That's just it. We don't know. Maybe something bad, maybe something good. I guess we'll never know, 'cause you're going to guard it. You won't touch it, will you?
gregzoll is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-30-2013, 01:48 AM   #6
Member
 
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 59
Rewards Points: 75
Default

Foundation issues post-flood? help please


Yikes. I really hope all that is NOT the case.

Went and actually did some measurements to track if it's continuing to move. I overestimated the vertical movement - the worst place was about 12mm (about .5 inch) of downward movement/separation evident. Can someone please tell me (if possible???) if this is enough to have to be really concerned about???

There also APPEARS to be lateral movement that is perhaps greater than 12 mm, but it's hard to judge based mostly on studs that could have warped with the water.

There are two places where the drywall is separating at the juncture between the ceiling and the walls. The filler used in one of the molded-in "cracks" in the basement concrete floor is also cracked (hairline) along its length for a ways - didn't measure that.

Sigh. I just want this house to be safe and solid and dry. This is all exhausting. One thing after another after another. I know, that's home ownership, in general, but I think this is "home ownership" on steroids.

M.
Missy Bloom is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-30-2013, 02:09 AM   #7
Retired from the grind
 
gregzoll's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Midwest - Central Illinois
Posts: 14,319
Rewards Points: 2,300
Default

Foundation issues post-flood? help please


What I would do, is mark from the floor up in 1/4" increments, then use a L shaped board with a nail on it, that is at a low point and high point, that you can mark off say hourly or even twice a day, to see how much it is moving at first.

Then after a couple of days, record once a day on say a Google Spreadsheet how much it has moved. Do this at the four corners, and in the middle of the longest walls. It is a poor man's way of judging what is going on, but works.

Even one of these http://www.toolexperts.com/laser-mea...ols-ldm60.html would work. You would have to find a even point across the wall at the same height, using a laser level, so you can record at six or eight points around the basement, any changes in floor height.

Really I would not see it changing much in a day or so. Maybe once a week.
__________________
Ren: Now listen, Cadet. I've got a job for you. See this button? Ren: Don't touch it! It's the History Eraser button, you fool! Stimpy: So what'll happen? Ren: That's just it. We don't know. Maybe something bad, maybe something good. I guess we'll never know, 'cause you're going to guard it. You won't touch it, will you?
gregzoll is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-30-2013, 06:36 AM   #8
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: atl & hilton head
Posts: 3,316
Rewards Points: 2,214
Default

Foundation issues post-flood? help please


rip up the whole slab ???????????? YIKES, INDEED ! ! ! you might be able to restore integrity by installing acme anchors helical piers installed - they're not comparatively expensive,,, IF it were me, i'd be calling contractors w/pe's on staff





http://commercial.foundationsupportw...ush-piers.html

no financial interest altho we've used all,,, certainly worth a call,,, w/all the water combined w/your soils, they'll be busy/overloaded w/work,,, when that happens, out-of-state folks'll be attracted to the area like bees to honey,,, watch your wallet & be certain your guys are (your state) licensed, bonded, insured

best wishes !!!!!!!!!!!!!
stadry is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-30-2013, 06:53 AM   #9
DIY staff
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Kane county,Illinois
Posts: 21,914
Rewards Points: 2,476
Default

Foundation issues post-flood? help please


I'm getting confused by all of the responses---if your foundation is not moving---and only the slab---I don't see a huge problem---

Let things stabilize---dry out and return to it's normal equilibrium---then figure out if you have a problem that needs fixing.

If the foundation itself is moving---that is a different situation---and needs to be checked out soon.
__________________
New members: Adding your location to your profile helps in many ways.--M--
oh'mike is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 10-01-2013, 02:57 AM   #10
Member
 
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 59
Rewards Points: 75
Default

Foundation issues post-flood? help please


I am honestly not sure what all is moving. The floor slab is for sure. Whether or not the walls (i.e. foundation implications?) are, I am not sure. But as the structure appears to be built to allow the slab to "float" and the studs are not anchored into the floor (I am just beginning to understand remedial foundations 101), don't cracks in the drywall joints imply some sort of movement in the WALLS - which is more problematic than the floor - yes? Anyone feel like explaining how basement foundations work to me? I'm woefully ignorant here. Thanks.
M.
Missy Bloom is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-01-2013, 03:00 AM   #11
Member
 
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 59
Rewards Points: 75
Default

Foundation issues post-flood? help please


P.S. I DO have an appointment for a structural engineer to check all this out on Thursday, but I am told that we may have to leave the basement unfinished for a lengthy period of time to figure out if and how it continues to move or if it stabilizes. Half our house basically gone for the count. This is so frustrating. Instead of having a bit more room with a house, turns out we are downsizing for the time being.

M.
Missy Bloom is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-01-2013, 07:22 AM   #12
DIY staff
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Kane county,Illinois
Posts: 21,914
Rewards Points: 2,476
Default

Foundation issues post-flood? help please


Keep us tuned in after the structural inspection----

Yes, drywall cracking can be sign of movement---but is the movement from the foundation or is it just 2x4 studs moving because of the high humidity?
__________________
New members: Adding your location to your profile helps in many ways.--M--
oh'mike is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 10-07-2013, 01:25 AM   #13
Member
 
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 59
Rewards Points: 75
Default

Foundation issues post-flood? help please


Short summary for anyone who may be interested: structural engineer came and saw no obvious issues with the foundation, but saw definite signs of movement of the slab, and of studs at the very least. Said we'd have to wait 2-3 months for things to REALLY dry out, and to watch like a hawk for movement in the foundation walls (any suggestions for how to easily measure angle changes and whatnot - laser level? Something else?) but hoped that it would all settle without further issue. Currently, have to shim beneath structural wall that is no longer touching the floor, improve drainage on the outside of house, and possibly install sump pumps in window wells. Keep an eye on cracks and other signs of shifting. Measure regularly. Yadda yadda.

Crossing fingers.

Any thoughts?
Missy Bloom is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-07-2013, 01:28 AM   #14
Member
 
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 59
Rewards Points: 75
Default

Foundation issues post-flood? help please


P.S. AFTER he went away noticed cracking and separation in the tile surround around the basement shower, which is on an outside (foundation) wall. Hmm. Not sure if this is studs or evidence of wall movement. Window well (nearby) also APPEARS to be changing a bit - the seal caulking is bunching and it appears to be near to breaking the seal... should I give this guy a call back?

thanks.

Missy Bloom is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Foundation Issues mikeyp78 Building & Construction 6 05-31-2013 08:24 PM
Post Cast Iron Stack Issues dpolug Plumbing 8 01-20-2013 02:25 PM
Round metal lamp post DJM1955 General DIY Discussions 11 08-27-2012 02:32 PM
Foundation vents in flood plain marriedmanw Building & Construction 10 07-04-2012 02:26 AM
Insulate Post and Beam Foundation rohman Building & Construction 7 12-19-2009 12:51 AM




Top of Page | View New Posts

Copyright © 2003-2014 Escalate Media. All Rights Reserved.