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LeahWood 07-27-2007 04:04 AM

Foundation Problems
New to this site. Can anyone please help.

Our house is 30 years old. The basement leaks on the left side wall. The wall that leaks is all brick inside. It is cemented right to the out side wall. So you have foundation wall/then brick wall. There is not insulations or wooden framing inbetween. The wall seeps/weaps from about 3-4 feet from the floor. Also water seeps in and pools on the floor where the wall meets the floor.

We tryed addressing this problem last year. We found a horizontal crack about 4 feet long and less than a quarter inch wide. More like fine line running down the left side wall. It start above ground and made its way2 feet below ground level. We used hydrolic cement to fix it. But it kept leeking. So we think the crack we fix was not the biggest problem.

So after digging up the whole wall we found our old fix holding. But there is no freaking weeping tile. There is gravel not much. I want to install weeping tile but not sure how. Cant find a contrator to do it. We know that is the reason its leaking where the floor meets the wall. Can't fiqure out why it would seep from about 4 feet from the floor (cause on the out side wall there is not cracks there). We think there maybe a crack on back connecting wall. The water must enter the crack there and filter between the two walls on the left side of house and weep in there. We think its not very deep down under a hugh cement pad.

I was wondering could we rent a cement cutting tool and just cut away a big chunk away from house and then have new cement repoured to fix what we cut off. I really do not want to rip up the whole cement pad and cement stair. We have a tight budge.

Any help would be awesome.

Ron6519 07-27-2007 06:22 AM

This can be fixed two ways. If you want to stop the water from coming in the most effective way to fix the leak would be from the outside. This job is not generally a do it yourself operation. It requires digging down to the footing along the wall. Building supports so the hole doesn't collapse and bury you. Fixing the crack and then putting up a system to keep the water from getting to the repair.
The interior fix would be to install french drains around the basement peremiter with a sump pit.
Contractors who do this work are in the phone book under, Waterproofing.

SecretSquirrel 07-27-2007 12:20 PM

In addition to Ron's advice here's a link to the Foundation Forum at the HGTV-Pro Website where there have been hundreds of posts from homeowners with complaints similar to yours. Perhaps you could find some useful information there also.

I am not affiliated with HGTV or its sponsers.

redline 07-27-2007 12:41 PM

Do your downspouts divert the rain water as far away from the house as possible?

Is the house located in a low area that has flood problems?

concretemasonry 07-27-2007 01:47 PM

Foundation Problems
If you have water entering at the joint between the wall and the floor slab, it is water that is from around the footings and under the slab. The floor slab is poured on top of the wall footing. This is a very common problem since the floor slab shrinks and pulls awar from the wall slightly.

The commom repair for that problem is to open the joint slightly, clean it out and force in hydraulic cement. The cement will expand slightly as it cures, sealing the crack.

You definitely have water around your foundation. I would be concerned about the 1/4" crack. This could be the result of hydrostatic pressure on the walls. Horizontal cracks should always be a concern. Only an engineer can give you a good answer on that problem.

HiFi 07-28-2007 12:16 PM

U will have to open it and clean it

LeahWood 07-28-2007 09:56 PM

Like I stated I cant hire any contractors. One I live in northern alberta were there is a big oil boom going on. All contrators all tied up and will not even return your calls or laugh. So they name drop and tell you to call the next guy. The nearest city is 2 hours away. And Iam not going to pay 150hour travel and 200hour for any body. Also there is no waterproofing contractors in our area.
So my husband and I dug it up our self. We found out there is no crack on the left wall. There is how ever a major crack on the connecting back wall. We had to dig up cement work and expose the crack. We purchased wall membrain to peel and stick to the left wall and we are going to have to crack fill and do the same on the back wall. We did how ever find weeping tile. It was off to the side of the footing. What do different cracks in your foundation indicate? Is it worse to have a horizotal v.s vertical?
Thanks for all your help.

Ron6519 07-29-2007 12:42 PM

Vertical , or arching cracks are fairly common. I have never seen a horizontal crack in a foundation. The vertical cracks are from settling. The cracks that come off the bottom of the basement windows can curve down to the floor. If you have a metal "I" beam in a pocket in the foundation, you can get a crack there.
There are foundation systems you can install. Membranes, water direction webbing, etc.I used a rubberized membrane on the foundation I put in for the kitchen addition. This was only a 48" deep crawl space foundation. I primed the concrete with the asphalt based primer and peeled off the backing on the membrane and stuck it down the foundation wall and over the footing. Then installed a 1" foamboard to protect it from back filling and to give it added insulation from the cold.

concretemasonry 07-29-2007 01:28 PM

Foundation Problems
Vertical cracks in poured walls are quite common and are a result of the concrete shrinking (contractors that do not know how to build concrete walls properly). they are usually near the midpoints of a wall and then near quarterpoints. Occasionally they will start at a window corner and go downward, but not always totally vertical. - They are not structural cracks.

Horizontal cracks are a definite thing to investigate. They usually are structural concerns and may be serious. They are caused by poor construction practices (cold joints) and by excessive soil pressures (usually from moisture and poor water removal).

The false economy of not installing drain tile causes the soil to be sturated, which increases the pressure on the wall, which leads to cracks. Any waterproofing material is just a "band-aid" to cover a poor installation or a failure of something more important.

Diagonal cracks are often a sign of settlement and can be serious if they remain active.

Any crack that seems to increase in length or width or has a displacement of the adjoining surfaces should be investigated.

LeahWood 07-29-2007 04:24 PM

Thanks for all the input. Where would one look for a engineer in the phone book.

Miller 07-31-2007 10:04 PM

contracters or cons
they want 2,000.00 to come out and give me a estimate for foundation repairs, how does anyone get three estimates? who has that kind of money?
4-6 thousand dollars for a geotech. its like they are trying to run business off.
when I had a business I begged for customers.Miller

concretemasonry 07-31-2007 10:37 PM

Foundation Problems
Miller -

You have not provided any information on your problem when you jumped in.

Where go you live and how far are you from a decent sized town.?

What is yout problem and structure like?

Few geotechnical engineers work for constractors. If you hire a professional engineer, he works for you cannot release the information to anyone without your permission. Depending on your problem, you might be better off with a structural engineer to look at the structure and problems. He may have an adequate soild background or be may need borings and a geotechnical engineer.

Very few registered professional structural or geotech engineers work for basement repair companies. They usually work for an engineering firm or have their own office and do not get involved in repair prices, but can determine what should be done. After that, it is up to you who you have to do the work.

If you got an price of $2000 for an estimate, you called the wrong company, must have scared the engineer or live several days away by horseback. No professional will spend time driving without getting paid for the time, since he can do better sitting n the office. Expect $150 - $200/hour (portal to portal) plus any extra costs like mileage, augering, photos and report preparation(sometimes).

Just look for an engineer and not a basement repair company, since many do not have have good reputations.

Miller 08-01-2007 07:29 AM

I live in a LA, I read on here That I should get a geoengineer, I am on a landfill and House is cracked walls on one side but both side have cracked foundation. I dont know who to get first. I know I need the soil boring, what do I do? how can i pick a contracter . Ultimo wants 2 thousand dollors to come out for a estimate. Contracter, geo, structeral eng. I will be broke before I start. Help, I just don't know and My husband is not doing anything.
I am seventy , I know I am going to be taken advantage of . Miller
P.S ALL these people could be here in twenty minutes.I AM SORRY , I DID NOT REALIZW I WAS BUTTING IN, I THOUGHT IT WAS MY POST TO START

concretemasonry 08-01-2007 01:12 PM

Foundation Problems
Do not pay for an estinate.

Hire an engineer/geotech that will be looking out for you and not trying to get you to pay of doing the reconstruction.

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