Post # 1
I need to VENT! I am so frustrated (and sad) with our home right now I could scream. I know foundation issues are common in Texas, but I feel like our luck sucks and I wish we never bought a house.
We have had several foundation repair companies come out and are paying for a plumber to do tests and found that we also have a leak in an incoming water pipe. Unfortunately we don’t know if it is the leaky pipe that is causing the foundation issues, and nobody can answer our questions definitively.
Not to mention that we also are going to need to put piers in the middle of our home (or fixing the pipe through the floors) which means ripping up the wood floors in the living, dining, and hall that we JUST installed when we moved in 3 years ago, and all the tile in our second living room, sunroom, entryway.
Has anyone themselves, or had a friend/family member who has had experiences with serious foundation issues? Particularly those who had to put in internal piers? Or anyone have experience with a leaky pipe under the house?
Post # 3
I have some experience with foundation issues! But I am up in Ohio. So it is not sandy soil like it is in TX but most of our housing stock is old, with clay tile foundations! Those things LEAK.
The most frustrating part is that no one can give you an answer for sure. When we were getting estimates everyone kept saying “we don’t know what we’ll find once we tear it up.” And the things they could potentially find were zillion dollar problems.
So it was the difference between a $5,000 fix and a $50,000.00 fix. Luckily it turned out to be on the lower end of that… because I did not have $50,000…
Post # 4
There are a LOT of foundation issues in my area – we have people several blocks down who have literally had to get their house fully lifted off the ground to fix their foundation.
Most of the issues around here are from the ground settling though. I know it is a huge annoyance for people to deal with – we actually get our foundation checked every year to make sure nothing has happened. Hope your fix is as simple as it can be 🙁
Post # 5
@AnnieAAA: I’m up in OKC and just had a structural engineer come out to look at our foundation. We were thinking about selling and a realtor we met with said she thought we might need piers too. This wasn’t mentioned in the inspection report when we bought the place, but the house was built in the late 40s so I guess they’ve been around awhile.
I called an engineer istead of a foundation repair company because I thought I might get a more impartial opinion. Now, his firm works with contractors too, so I may be wrong. We don’t have a leaky pipe and I’m not sure what the soild is like down there, but here is what he told me:
- In our case, we don’t want the piers that push the house up because it wouldn’t help the situation since we have differential movement. He also didn’t like that type of pier for safety reasons (his personal preference, not industry standard).
- The house was built in the 1940s, so over time foundations are bound to undergo stress. We have clay soil though, so the way it contracts is especially hard on foundations. The stress may have been exasperated by the drought.
- Our yard slopes toward he house, which I find hilarious since it’s so flat here. I never noticed it, but apparently it’s enough to hold water against the foundation when it rains, causing the ground to contract/expand again.
He gave us 3 options:
Piers: We’d need them every 6 feet, so it probably wouldn’t be worth it financially. He estimated $20K (the house is about 700 sq ft). He did not feel it would be a good investment and said he wouldn’t choose this one as a first course of action himself.
Replace the foundation: This would truly fix the problem, but it probably wouldn’t be more financially viable than piers. Not sure how much this would cost.
Gutters/regrading: Regrade the yard and install gutters with downspouts to channel water away from the house. He said he would try this first to see if that stabilizes the foundation, if it does then piers unnecessary.
I know our situations are different, but I thought with your leaky pipe and our standing water some of the info might help. FWIW, the engineer thinks the cracks in the foundation/walls have been there for 30-40 years and aren’t due to anything recent (earthquakes, drought, etc.). Good luck!
Post # 6
We had a bunch of water coming in from our cinder block foundation and exterior french drains (excavating the homes perimeter 6 feet, adding rock, pipe and waterproofing menbranes) was NOT in our budget (about $15k) We opted for the cheaper option of interior french drains in the basment. They jackhammered the cement around the perimeter, dug down 3-4 feet and added drains and a sump pump pit. (about $5k).
I dont know if you have a basement, or its foundation issues on the first floor, but maybe thats sort of an option if it’s the basement? BUT if it’s a pipe then they should be able to excavate down to that pipe and check it! I’d hope they could!