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Old 02-21-2011, 12:07 PM   #1
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Foundation - is this place trying to go into the river?


What do you all think... looking at buying this place... maybe if this is either not a big problem or there is a stable fix to initiate.

I have an inspector comming in so we can speculate then get the answer...

The basic description of the issue:
The area has artesian wells about, what I’m worried about is that the foundation may not be stable and in need for repair.

Designed as a walk out there are two vertical cracks along the long side of the foundation on either side of the house, one looks to have opened up much more than the other. There are cracks in the area in the drywall on the interior, the basement interior is not visible due to it being finished. Notice on the exterior walls that there has been enough movement to buckle the vinyl siding.

The side that was attempted to be patched is the one moving the most… the smaller crack is on the other basement wall approximately the same distance from the corner 2/3 or so the total length to the free/walkout wall.
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Old 02-21-2011, 12:14 PM   #2
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Foundation - is this place trying to go into the river?


Ayuh,... Just from your discription,... I'd look for a Different place...

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Old 02-21-2011, 12:22 PM   #3
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Foundation - is this place trying to go into the river?


Gonna cost you more to fix than it's worth is my two cents.
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Old 02-21-2011, 12:28 PM   #4
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Foundation - is this place trying to go into the river?


From the description and those pictures -especially the one where the whole house has moved enough to buckle the siding- I'd be wary of that house.
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Old 02-21-2011, 02:04 PM   #5
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Foundation - is this place trying to go into the river?


And you are considering purchasing this house because? Without a detailed, costly structural investigation, you are not going to know exactly what the problem is, but in the immortal words of the casino owner in Ocean's 11.... "run and hide. That is all I ask. Run and hide."
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Old 02-21-2011, 03:54 PM   #6
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Foundation - is this place trying to go into the river?


Your inspector should identify that as a vertical crack in the foundation; not a "V"-crack as it does appear to be consistent in width the length of the wall we can see...but he'll do a closer inspection to establish that.

Vertical cracks mean one part of the house is separating from the other usually as a result of different shear forces, for example settling of the soil beneath the footing, or soil compacting. This results in an upward -and downward force applied to different part of the house. Sometimes they appear when additions are added to a house, so perhaps a faulty engineering study...If that is a solid concrete foundation, it may also be because of weak concrete...but more likely, it's "settling".

The inspector may come to the conclusion that this may be serious and may be fixable. Cost may be a concern. He'll also want to monitor it to see if its moving but either way, it is a major concern.

Whether you run from this house or not is up to you; but I think some serious engineering work should be done - a study at least - by competent people and I bet the inspector would agree too.
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Old 02-23-2011, 05:57 PM   #7
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Foundation - is this place trying to go into the river?


If this house is truly a bargin, you may want to investigate more into it. Like talk to nearby neighbors about the house, ask the owner of the house forsale if he'll let you take some siding off to take a look . Its possible the poured concrete wall has no rebar in it. Do a test dig to see if it even has a footer under the wall. If the owner really wants to sell, he'll agree . Good luck.
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Old 02-24-2011, 06:43 PM   #8
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Foundation - is this place trying to go into the river?


Well folks.... Hired a Structural Engineer PE and had him dig cores all around the place. Waiting for the final report but, all indications is that this house is.....

wait for it....


Stable on it's footings, sitting on a combination soil of gravel and sand that should be good. The foundation has settled and cracked as we all predicted but, is likely due to the loading of heavier than surrounding native soil back fill on the deep side of the wall out basement. Waiting for the full report but, my father observed the testing for me and said the engineer was really throurough in his investigation and hand a ton of holes to fill in as he was all over around the house checking the soil.
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Old 02-25-2011, 06:50 AM   #9
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Foundation - is this place trying to go into the river?


Is that snow on the ground? Where do you live? and where is the frost line i.e. how deep?

I think you may be in for an under-pinning job at the two corners - essentially shoring up the footings from underneath, and replacing the faulty soil. As I said, it's fixable, but you'll have to take a long-term view on it with all those artesian wells around and being close to a river.

Keep us posted.

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