Advice on foundation

nitlsuJuly 31, 2014

Yesterday purchased a house as a short sale that had been vacant for almost 8 months. Needless to say they had turned off the sprinklers/irrigation system.

Now at some places around the house I see the soil has shifted away from the foundation (see picture).

I know that I need to put down some soaker hoses to ensure there's sufficient moisture but I was wondering if there's a better way? Or is there anything else I can do?

They are at least 6-8 inches deep. The house was inspected and there are no foundation issues but just trying to be proactive.

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If you had not inspected it 8 months ago, what is your point of knowledge for this assumption.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2014 at 9:58PM
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It appears the parimeter was never properly backfilled and graded so that needs to happen before anything else. One of the worst things that could happen now is for water to flood those voids. I would fill the voids with coushion sand then use native soil from the lot ( or exactly same type soil ) to raise grade 3" or more above lower form imprint. The proper amount to raise grade is as follows. Grade should slightly slope away for 5 feet from foundation. Absolutly no water should pond within 5 feet of foundation,preferably,no ponding within 10 feet but that's sometimes impossible without blocking lot drainage. Either sod newly placed soil , overseed with small grain,establish ground cover plantings or cover with erosion net. Now you can lay out soaker hoses starting 3 feet from foundation and going out 5 feet plus irigating intire lot if it's overly dry. Don't over do the soaker hose,just make sure there is moisture 12" plus below surface then maintain it.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2014 at 10:29PM
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Hi klem1 - Thank you! Excellent advice and I intend to follow every word of it.

I think the problem with the grade was due to soil erosion possibly due to depleted grass cover. In that area of the plot...the ground seems to slope away and down much more steeply than other areas. (See attached pic).

If you look near that fountain...I am really wondering if this is partially also caused by soil erosion?

    Bookmark   August 1, 2014 at 11:02AM
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After seeing how the lot slopes,I agree erosion due to lack of vegitation was the cause rather than I opined origionaly regarding back fill. The steep slope saved voids being flooded which would have caused foundation failure. I don't know how to post links so I will refer you to search "ATRAZINE REMEDIATION IN THE LAKE LAVON "⦠start on page 20 to see examples of a toewall in case your arn't familar with the term. That might be one way of handling erosion near fountain. You actually have far less severe problem than I first thought. It's mostly just getting a healthy lawn in place. Do you plan to flip the place or settling down there?

    Bookmark   August 1, 2014 at 4:08PM
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Hi Klem1,

Sorry for the delay in replying...moving is crazy and I wish nobody should have to do it!

To answer your last question - we do plan to stay in this place - hopefully for a long time. The problem with getting lawn in there is lack of sunlight due to the greenbelt behind. Bermuda dies quickly and I suspect that's why they got into this problem.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2014 at 4:16PM
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The relavence of wherter you are flipping or staying determines deferent approces to establishing a lawn. 40 lashes across Klem's back for not doing it right simply because he plans to flip but so it is in the game. You will save $ over the long haul and have a far nicer lawn if you start off A. Have soil tested and amend as required B. Make needed grade changes C. Choose grass as reccommended for local conditions. Correcting any of the 3 down the road is a real pain if not next to impossible without starting from scratch. Lack of funds is the common excuse for skimping so I usually suggest starting against the foundation and doing as much as funds alow. Each time money is available,one can till,amend and lay another section. Make certain you plant shrubs and trees in a fashion that is at perminate grade level,even if it requires creating a temporary depression or building a temporary raised bed.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2014 at 5:00PM
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