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Foundation - possible water issue

Posted by MSSC (My Page) on
Thu, Aug 21, 14 at 12:52

Before our house was built, I researched this website to get plenty of insights. Fast forward approx. three years and we're having issues with what might be a possible foundation issue where water might be the culprit. I'm hoping some of the industry experts on this site can chime in to assist.

We live in north Texas area, more specifically, Dallas / Ft. Worth region. Homes in this area are known to have foundation issues due to the soil. With that said...

According to the builder, the northwest corner of the house had risen 3.8" higher than the other sides. Soils report shows a PVR of 3".

There is approx. a two inch gap from the ground to the foundation on the entire west side of the house. Visually, you can't tell if the west side is higher than the east besides the obvious clues, ex. you can see the rough foundation bottoms (what I mean is where the smooth facade of the foundation transitions to the rough facade which should be underground), the driveway is an inch or so lower than the foundation on the west side. What's strange is that the east side of the southeast side looks the same, i.e. separation of ground and foundation, you can see the rough bottom portion of the foundation.

According to the city, my house is situated on the street where it is virtually flat. After raining, there is a pooling of standing water where the street meets the driveway. At one time, I recall the neighbor's house on the west side of my house had water drainage issue b/c we noticed standing water in their backyard. I also remember the neighbor digging up a simple canal of some sort to alleviate their issue. The city had also installed a French drain in the back easement / alley in the past b/c other home owners in the area complained about excess water after it rains.

The builder sent out a plumber recently and checked the sewer and water supply. The plumber indicated no issues. The irrigation folks are scheduled to come out next week to check on the sprinkler system so we can completely rule that out as well.

The builder had indicated after talking to an engineering company that they are suggesting "that a probable action list would be a resistivity test which will likely locate and at least give us a graphic sense of where the water bubble is and possibly a direction of the source. Based on that graphing, they would want to locate, strategically, some "posometers" (if I am spelling or calling it the correct thing) to see what amounts/depths they can find. Then they would test the water to find the source (the presence of chlorine would indicate a source like your neighbor's sewer or water supply) or maybe an underground water source."

I understand without actually being on site and doing some testing, it would be almost impossible to provide feedback but if any of you have come across a similar situation, please let me know which direction I should take. The so called resistivity test will cost approx. $1,000 and the posometer at $3,000-$5,000. Then of course there's the mitigation after the cause of the issue is identified.

Yeah, I'm a bit bummed after building our first home... Thanks!!!

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Foundation - possible water issue

I am familar with the soil but more important your story has a familar ring to it. All these things the city,builder and builders agents are telling you is what they should have told you BEFORE YOU BUILT. Farthermore,any issues with the lot which city and/or builder knows about is supposed to be corrected BEFORE granting a permit and/or building on it. I don't intend to rub salt in the wound but instead just tell you that unless builder is footing the bill for all this that he should have done and rolled into his homes,he's the last person I want advising me on who to hire and what to have them do. We have a saying in Tx that imo may be true in your case "they saw you coming" and are milking you. It sounds obivous they knew your house was being built in a pond. Another thing that sends up the red flag is the importance being attached to "where the smooth facade of the foundation transitions to the rough facade which should be underground), ". That is simply improper backfill around the foundation that can be taken care of with a truck load of top soil and some sweat. Wherther the foundation has shifted is concluded by one engineer graphing the intire home. Takes 15 minutes and is free from most foundation companies in your area.

Tarrant and Dallas counties have more foundation repair companies per capita than fast food stops. Have one give you a free inspection then decide wherther to get a secound opinion,fix it or leave well enough alone.

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