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Old 10-08-2013, 07:42 PM   #1
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What to do with a hole in the crawlspace a la "The Gate"


While cleaning out the construction debris from my 1996 home, I've noticed I have a hole directly underneath a metal support column that appears to extend farther than light will travel, or at least 4 feet. It's about 1 foot wide, 2 feet long.

I'm assuming what happened is a tree root was here and rotted out from the condensation dripping from my newly upsized HVAC duct as I have not found any other literal money pits while cleaning.

Question: Call an engineering firm, foundation company, or just dig out the decay and fill with concrete and then encapsulate to deal with moisture in crawl space?

Appreciate any help anyone can offer.
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Old 10-08-2013, 08:02 PM   #2
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What to do with a hole in the crawlspace a la "The Gate"


If I understand you right, you're saying that column extends four feet below grade. No doubt it's bearing on a footer below the frost line. I would not worry about any erosion of the soil near grade. What's important is the stability of the soil underneath the footer. If that was unstable, you would be seeing a dip in whatever that column is holding up (beam, most likely). Use a level to check. No dip, no worries.

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Old 10-08-2013, 11:46 PM   #3
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What to do with a hole in the crawlspace a la "The Gate"


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If I understand you right, you're saying that column extends four feet below grade. No doubt it's bearing on a footer below the frost line. I would not worry about any erosion of the soil near grade. What's important is the stability of the soil underneath the footer. If that was unstable, you would be seeing a dip in whatever that column is holding up (beam, most likely). Use a level to check. No dip, no worries.
The metal column is a middle column of about five supporting a middle beam of the house, which rests on concrete block around the exterior of the crawl space. The crawl space itself is sunk down about 5 feet into the ground (it's more like a basement than a crawlspace) so this hole is technically about 10 feet below grade.

I'm worried because I don't know how extensive this cave is underneath the soil I can see. The ground in this hole is very soft, and I don't see a true footer under this column, so I'm betting the construction crew didn't pour a true one.

Can I just fill this hole with concrete or should I dig it all out and pour a true footer or call in the professionals? By professionals would you suggest an engineering firm or someone else?

Thank you much.
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Old 10-09-2013, 02:11 AM   #4
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What to do with a hole in the crawlspace a la "The Gate"


The question is this. The column is currently by pic sitting on dirt or whatever. Under this is there a cement footing? If no. Who to call. I say a General Contractor. You will need to support load of column then poor a proper footing. He shouldn't charge just to take a look.
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Old 10-09-2013, 07:00 AM   #5
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What to do with a hole in the crawlspace a la "The Gate"


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The metal column is a middle column of about five supporting a middle beam of the house, which rests on concrete block around the exterior of the crawl space. The crawl space itself is sunk down about 5 feet into the ground (it's more like a basement than a crawlspace) so this hole is technically about 10 feet below grade.

I'm worried because I don't know how extensive this cave is underneath the soil I can see. The ground in this hole is very soft, and I don't see a true footer under this column, so I'm betting the construction crew didn't pour a true one.

Can I just fill this hole with concrete or should I dig it all out and pour a true footer or call in the professionals? By professionals would you suggest an engineering firm or someone else?
It would have been incredibly irresponsible for the builder to have rested the metal column on soil. I would bet against it. If he did, that column (and others installed like it) likely would have sunk by now. You'd have a dip in the beam and consequently a dip in the floor it holds up. If you're not seeing that, chances are that the columns are on footers. But if you suspect otherwise, or that this is some sort of sink hole forming under your house, by all means get a professional.

I would definitely not fill the hole with concrete. If you do at some point need to excavate that area, you'll have a lot more work getting all that concrete out. I would fill it with 3/4" gravel once I was comfortable knowing the column is safe.

Last edited by cortell; 10-09-2013 at 07:03 AM.
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Old 10-09-2013, 06:51 PM   #6
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What to do with a hole in the crawlspace a la "The Gate"


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The question is this. The column is currently by pic sitting on dirt or whatever. Under this is there a cement footing? If no. Who to call. I say a General Contractor. You will need to support load of column then poor a proper footing. He shouldn't charge just to take a look.
Yes! Thank you for summarizing what I was trying to stumble into asking. I'll have to double-check when I get home, but I'm pretty sure the column is hanging in the air right now. I don't think it's a point load (is that correct), so it's not critical, but just concerned that if there's one hole like this, does it connect to the bat cave or something?
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Old 10-09-2013, 06:58 PM   #7
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What to do with a hole in the crawlspace a la "The Gate"


Columns create point loads. It might not be critical today but get it looked at soon. Engineer or architect should be able to help.
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Old 10-10-2013, 08:07 AM   #8
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What to do with a hole in the crawlspace a la "The Gate"


Obviously, it's because "you've been baaaad."

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Old 10-10-2013, 07:25 PM   #9
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What to do with a hole in the crawlspace a la "The Gate"


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Obviously, it's because "you've been baaaad."


Lol. Called an engineer (insurance suggested him). They're going to get me in touch with a GC who will determine if it's a sink hole or just a convenient hiding spot for the bodies. Appreciate everyone's help!

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