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  • What the Heck is this??? Weird foundation

    Well I decided to dig a bit deeper. It first appeared that my bottom row of blocks was rotting just above the footer. Turns out that as I dug it out more there isnt really a footer. It appears that there are blocks angled at a 45 degree in and there was sand packed around them. Is this normal???



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  • #2
    Re: What the Heck is this??? Weird foundation

    Josh, are you saying that the first course of block is laid on its side with the cores horizontal?
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    • #3
      Re: What the Heck is this??? Weird foundation

      They are actually laid at a 45 degree angle facing down and out away from the house. It looks like the blocks are rotted away but it was really hard packed sand (or at least appears to be) then still very solid bricks turned at a 45 degree angle facing away from the house.

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      • #4
        Re: What the Heck is this??? Weird foundation

        Never seen that done and there are plenty of old homes
        around these parts going back into the late 1600's.
        ---------------
        Light is faster than sound. That's why some people seem really bright until you hear them speak.
        ---------------
        “If I had my life to live over again, I'd be a plumber.” - Albert Einstein
        ---------
        "Its a table saw.... Do you know where your fingers are?"
        ---------
        sigpic http://www.helmetstohardhats.com/

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        • #5
          Re: What the Heck is this??? Weird foundation

          or is it the edge of the slab, and they just did not dig it out square thinking they were saving some cement in the process?

          dig down and around it in sections a few feet long, and you could pour some cement in to help the support of the wall. (say in sections so one does not lose the wall into the fresh dug hole)

          I know of a few homes or houses where the wall had no footer under it, just built on the dirt,

          and it is possible that when they started to measure to build the wall,
          either it was "stretched" and just built on the slab of the basement floor, thus ending up on the very edge of the slab, with out any slab under the wall. or some one could have just done it that way from the start,

          I would not consider what was done as "NORMAL".
          Last edited by BHD; 08-14-2009, 05:48 PM.
          Push sticks/blocks Save Fingers
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          • #6
            Re: What the Heck is this??? Weird foundation

            I'm guessing you have 1/4" size cracks in you plaster walls upstairs.

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            • #7
              Re: What the Heck is this??? Weird foundation

              1/2 cracks in the basement walls.. no cracks upstairs.

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              • #8
                Re: What the Heck is this??? Weird foundation

                New to Me. I've been building 48 years. Not Good
                I can build anything You want , if you draw a picture of it , on the back of a big enough check .

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                • #9
                  Re: What the Heck is this??? Weird foundation

                  I've seen structures without footing. Actually, without a foundation to speak of.

                  Around late 1980's I worked on a long building subdivided into smaller stores. The inspector stopped all work and ordered the whole building to be brought up to code. He must have known about the practice in the area (a place in Long Island, NY) as he went straight for the kill. Long story short, there were 5 layers of 12" 90% cinder blocks with the first row sitting at about a foot below the grade. A one story structure was erected on top of this 5 foot tall wall. The structure was about 60 years old and there appeared to be no structural issues.

                  I was later told that if the soil is sandy (preferably pure sand) then the foundation was sometimes eliminated from the building plans. The thing is that structures erected on sand settle evenly. Clay soils vary in density density within relatively small areas so the settling is uneven and far more risky than it is on sand.
                  In order to understand recursion, one must first understand recursion.

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                  • #10
                    Re: What the Heck is this??? Weird foundation

                    I too have seen a few places around southwestern Ontario that have this, all in areas that are very old construction, and with sandy soil types.

                    All I can say is, no matter how weird and unsound it looks to us, if it's holding and working all these years, it can't be 100% bad. Now, obviously you have the issue with this cracking happening to your foundation wall. For where you are, Josh, with the weather that we have around the great lakes here, you've been going the right route so far, with patching things with the hydraulic cement. Since you have it all dug up mostly, I would expose all you can on that wall, and once you patch the cracks with cement, I would apply a coating of the spray-on elastomeric waterproofing - the "blue skin" type of stuff. Then, depending on how deep you've gone, it may be beneficial to re-do/do your seepage tiling, and backfill with gravel before the dirt.

                    I can't remember whether or not you had a lot of water penetration or not, which these cures will fix. If it's just a shifting issue that's caused the crack (ie - no water penetration repeatedly), then just patching and standard fixing will work good.

                    The objective is to fix the cause of the damage. If it's water, then you need to assure adequate drainage and protection. But if it's ground shifting over time that's caused a stress crack, then you're about as far as you can take it right now, IMO.

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                    • #11
                      Re: What the Heck is this??? Weird foundation

                      After digging up the whole wall it appears that there is a "footer" or at least was one. The footer or cement that is there is falling apart like sand. There are some semi solid pieces of it and I have gone to great lengths to make sure I keep whatever in tact I can.

                      I am having a mason friend come out and look at it. This is definitely where all the moisture is getting in. My goal is to get this one sured up and covered by the end of the week.

                      There still is an angled course under the whole thing. Seems like a moronic way to lay the foundation :-/





                      Originally posted by Josh View Post

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                      • #12
                        Re: What the Heck is this??? Weird foundation

                        got to give credit to josh for taking on this monster. nobody imagened the extent of the ditch josh dug out under his porch. he dug deep, long and not a very wide ditch.

                        josh if you ever give up your day job anyone of us would be thrilled to hire you for ditch digging skills

                        your computer and camera skills would just be a bonus

                        last time i posted pictures of a ditch, you guys went off on adam

                        this time i left out the digger

                        rick.



                        easily 7-8' deep and 25' long. maybe 18'' wide.

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                        Last edited by PLUMBER RICK; 09-21-2009, 10:27 AM.
                        phoebe it is

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                        • #13
                          Re: What the Heck is this??? Weird foundation

                          That would take me two bottles of medication and a day in my jacuzzi to accomplish that feat.
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                          • #14
                            Re: What the Heck is this??? Weird foundation

                            I need to post the most recent pictures of it completely cleaned out. I also went down and scrubbed the walls completely clean so I can apply some sealant eventually.

                            Meeting with the mason today at 3:30 (sneaking out of work for 30 minutes )

                            Can't wait to get this fixed up and covered up.

                            Josh

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                            • #15
                              Re: What the Heck is this??? Weird foundation

                              It would be a great time to tar that foundation wall. That would seal the wall permanently.

                              Dirty job but that's what they do on all new foundations.
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