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Old 03-02-2007, 07:46 PM   #16
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bowing walls - repair?


Just make sure you get the design/construction approved and get a permit. This will insure it is built to the local standards and reflect local codes and soil conditions.

The main reason for the wall failure/problems was probably due to the high soil pressure from saturated soil pushing against the wall. Having working drain tile and good, well draining backfill will drastically reduce the soil pressures.

After construction is completed, make sure you have good drainage and downspout extensions to carry water away from the house. - You don't want to try to fill up your new excavation and overwork your drain tile.

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Old 03-02-2007, 08:50 PM   #17
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bowing walls - repair?


Depending on your local code the 8" blocks should be ok as long as they are filled with cement after the wall is constructed, there should be reo bars down every forth cavity to help tie the whole wall together. over engineering is safer in the long run even at a slightly greater expence than to have the problem reoccur

Last edited by Wolfman51; 03-02-2007 at 08:50 PM. Reason: spelling
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Old 03-02-2007, 08:50 PM   #18
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bowing walls - repair?


So it's not a good idea to tie the downspouts into the drain tile?

It looks like a sump pump/well was installed in the past, perhaps it was from the waterproofing band-aid fix they did. Do you think I can eliminate this?

The power has been off at the house for months and the well is bone dry, surprisingly
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Old 03-02-2007, 09:52 PM   #19
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bowing walls - repair?


Wolfman - Reinforcing cores and filling them at 32" on center is excessive and arbitrary without any information on the wall loadings and soil conditions. Also, you do not fill the cores with cement, you use grout, which is a mixture of cement, sand, fine rock and water. In 30 years of designing, codes and construction of basements the arbitrary designs may be strong enough, but can be detrimental in many other ways.

In the U.S., the construction of a basement is possibly different than New Zealand. Look at the photos closely to determine the construction sequence and details. In the U.S., the practice is to have the block sitting on the footing and not tied to the floor for good reason. After the wall is constructed, the slab is poured on the footing, inside and against the wall. The drain tile is then placed at or slighly below the footing bottom, which will draw down moisture to well below the slab level.

Element - The downspouts should NEVER be connected to the drain tile. This may have been the reason for the problems since it directed excessive moisture to the backfill area. The drain tile should be drained to "daylight" (the exterior by gravity) or to a sump with a sump pump to remove the water to a controlled locarion.
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Old 03-02-2007, 10:11 PM   #20
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gotcha. It's not connected currently. I was refering to seeing the spouts disappear into pvc shafts that go under ground, so these aren't tied to the drain tile, just a seperate system?

The only fear I have of sumping the spouts is if the power goes out (which will most likely happen during a storm/rain) it will flood my basement.
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Old 03-02-2007, 10:47 PM   #21
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The codes here require that the footings and the basment walls all be tied together with reo bars. Thae greater the weight the the closer the reo bars. What you are calling grout here is refered to as cement, a mixture of cement , sand and mixed grade shingle. sorry about miss understanding in terms
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Old 03-03-2007, 04:57 AM   #22
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8" block will be fine. Have him drill holes in the footing and insert rebar, about every 5', that will extend up into the cells of the CMU. Once the mortar is set up, he will fill in the wall with grout. The embeds that Concretemasonry speaks of may be difficult to set since they will lay the block up to your house's sill. Strong-Tie makes a connector that can be used in this application. It can be anchored to the joist system and pulled down into the mud sill when they cap off the wall.

Concretemasonry, I have over 20 years experience in construction, much of it building high rise structures. I don't claim to know everything, but I would rather do to much than not enough.
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Old 03-03-2007, 10:39 AM   #23
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bowing walls - repair?


Good thoughts on the details of construction.

Was this home acquired for a resale or "flip"? Just protect yourself with a permit and inspection as a MINIMUM. This is a minimal step, but will provide some protection for your investment. Make sure you get proper documentation on the adequacy of the repairs beyond a contractor's word or guanantee, which is really meaningless when you go to sell.

After blowing up and looking at the photos in detail, it appears you have more problems than just the walls bowing. There were some amateur attempts to carry some of the loads and the placement of steel tube columns at strange places and probably not on a proper footing. I could not see any definite signs of footing failure, but it could have been masked or minimized by the other wall movement.

There were numerous temporary patch jobs through the years and the home may have been unoccupied over a winter.

In addition to getting a permit, I would first suggest getting an engineer's opinion on the status of the foundation and a suggested method of replacement. You can only get good opinions from someone that has actually seen the home and had an opportunity to go in detail in what is happening. His opinion will be valuable in guiding the contractor and proving the adequacy of the repairs to future owners. Considering the cost of rebuilding the foundation, this is a very minor cost for the insurance of a quality project.

Good luck!!
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Old 03-04-2007, 10:18 AM   #24
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Yikes! scary pictures. only sheeter has even mentioned the footings. Based on the poor wall with what I would agree is just wet stacked, and the poor steel reinforcements, I would certainly inspect the footings once the backfill is dug out! If you need to overpour an existing footing or (gulp) add footings then would be the time.
Everyone has great suggestions. Have the contractor type up a detailed estimate regarding the structural elements and have the CEO go over it when you get your permit. Make sure you have the CEO come out during the work as well.
btw if you do want to get rid of the downspouts its just going to be the cost of extra pvc, I would run them seperate from the perimeter drain though. There's nothing wrong with a sump hole. If this can be tied to the perimeter drain with the drain being lower than the entrance to the sump hole it's good insurance. If the perimeter drain ever fails or cant keep up it will back into the sump hole and you pump it out... that's better than it sitting against the foundation walls and increasing water content of the soild and thus hydro pressure.
best of luck
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Old 03-05-2007, 07:44 PM   #25
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bowing walls - repair?


I believe the footers may be fine, as the blocks are perfectly level at the base of the wall, no parts are sinking. The contactor seems to think they will be ok, but we will see...

He also said we wont need to fill the blocks or rebar them since we will be backfilling with engineered fill (fancy name for rocks at twice the cost i guess ). Is it a given that the blocks will be rebarred into the footers?
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Old 03-04-2009, 02:48 PM   #26
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bowing walls - repair?


Don't let thecontractor tell you what you need or don't need. All soil exerts pressure on a wall and the more dirt the more pressure its simple. So any engineer will agree that to fill one cell with grout and a #5 rebar of steel going vertical about every 4' will be a good idea. The other concrete block cells do not need to be filled with grout. Also, add horizontal ladder style reinforcing every other course. You only want to do this one time. Then after the new wall is up treat the dirt side with bituthane or some other moisture barrier. Then Eng. fill and compact in 12" lifts...The top course must be a bond beam filled with grout and 1#7 bar.
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Old 03-04-2009, 03:07 PM   #27
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hi and welcome to the forum!
considering this thread is dated 03-05-2007, i'm thinking he's already fixed it? or blew up the place?
good advise though, keep it up!

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