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Old 09-23-2013, 09:56 AM   #1
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Patio Pillar - HELP


I will try and make this short and to the point. We had a house for and had our home rebuilt. They added a covered patio in the back for us and we were very excited. A year later the patio started to sink where the pillars were due to the weight. I dug and jacked it back up and it was looking good. A year went by and we had a very hot summer here in TX and the clay ground shifted even with us watering. Now the force of the covered patio and the dry ground is pushing away the 4 inch thick cement pad ( which was never anchored to the house). I have a 2 inch space between the house and the patio cement. I was going to put pavers on top so that's not the issue. The pillar is being pushed out away from the house. How do I fix this? My thoughts were to add temp supports and remove the pillar, then cement cut a 1ftx1ft square where the pillar sits and dig 2-3 ft down, fill with cement and put the pillar back. This would keep the patio free of any direct pressure.
Thoughts, ideas? Attached are some pics.
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Old 09-24-2013, 07:52 AM   #2
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Patio Pillar - HELP


Anyone?

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Old 09-24-2013, 10:34 AM   #3
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I'd think actual footers for the posts would be in order. Support the roof first with a temporary setup. Remove the posts, then cut the corners out and dig down for proper footers. Pour those and reinstall the posts.

If you support the roof properly you might even be able to push the slab back toward the house with a Bobcat.
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Old 09-24-2013, 10:36 AM   #4
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Patio Pillar - HELP


I would like to help, however in almost 40 years of practice I've never had to deal with clay soil.

My only suggestion would be to involve a soils or structural engineer from you area that are familiar with situation.

Good luck!
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Old 09-24-2013, 11:29 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wkearney99 View Post
I'd think actual footers for the posts would be in order. Support the roof first with a temporary setup. Remove the posts, then cut the corners out and dig down for proper footers. Pour those and reinstall the posts.

If you support the roof properly you might even be able to push the slab back toward the house with a Bobcat.
How deep would you dig? Everything I am reading says 2-3 ft and about 18inch square.

Last edited by pwgsx; 09-24-2013 at 12:40 PM.
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Old 09-24-2013, 11:57 AM   #6
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I'm with GBrackins on this one. An engineer is going to cost some money, but this requires an expert and I'm sure you don't want to keep revisiting this problem. If this was just a matter of the slab dropping, you might be able to get away with just pouring some oversized footers. However, the slab is moving away from the house. This horizontal movement is something you need to nip in the butt, and I don't think you'll find a reliable solution to that on the internet.
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Old 09-24-2013, 12:45 PM   #7
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Would the patio cement movement not just be due to the fact that's its just a 4 inch thick cement pad floating on clay soil that now has the weight of the covering on the corners with no support under it? I really can care less about the cement floor right now, I just want the pillars supported- kinda tight on cash.
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Old 09-24-2013, 02:24 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pwgsx View Post
Would the patio cement movement not just be due to the fact that's its just a 4 inch thick cement pad floating on clay soil that now has the weight of the covering on the corners with no support under it? I really can care less about the cement floor right now, I just want the pillars supported- kinda tight on cash.
I would not expect point loads on the outer corners of a slab to produce a horizontal shift of the slab. Then again, I'm no soil expert. What I do know is that if it has shifted already, there's good reason to worry it may continue shifting. You may not care about the slab itself, but continued slab shifting may compromise any column-support solution you come up with. $300-$500 to get an engineer's advice is money well spent, if you ask me. But if you don't mind potentially wasting a lot of time, go ahead and crack open the slab around the column bases, pour some new footings, re-set the posts, and cross your fingers. Just make sure you shore things up properly first.
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Old 09-24-2013, 05:47 PM   #9
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Quote:
there's good reason to worry it may continue shifting.
I would say so. My house, driveway and other concrete are over 45 years old, and they are still shifting on the clay. Once a year when it gets wet, and another time when the clay dries out. Most of it is back and forth, but sometimes you get some unexpected travel.

I would like to know how those posts are fastened to the slab, or if they are not. It looks to me like the bottom of the post has moved in relationship to the slab.

For a immediate cheap fix, I would reset the posts plumb and use simpson post bases attached to the slab. Then watch what happens. IF your movement settles down to a liveable level, you won't need to do anything else. IF not, you can go for the more expensive fix next time.

I can't see any reinforcing ties at the top of the post. If they are not there, I would add those as well.
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Old 09-25-2013, 09:52 AM   #10
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I removed the bottom trim and its sitting on a metal base with 2 blue screws into the cement and 4 screws up top.
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Old 09-25-2013, 10:58 AM   #11
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Its my opinion that if you were to support your deck, demo that corner say 2'x2' section, excavate down past the clay and pour a steel reinforced footer that not only would you adequately support the deck but you would create resistance in both x and y direction and keep your slab from moving any further.

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