Bowing wall

Originally Posted By: mike garcia
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Hi


I am a fairly new inspector and would like your thoughts on a 1963


raised foundation , stucco home that on one side of the house and only


one side , had a slight bow to it near the bottom of the house by exterio


vents . no cracks just a slight bulge along the side of the house. the bottom


of the house was connected to cement sidewalk all around the house…I don;t


have a picture but aren’t these caused by moisture / water in that


area . How does that happen ? I could not reach that partof the house in the crawlspace. your thoughts…


Mike


Originally Posted By: lwilliams
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the term is “hydrostatic pressure” which is the buildup of pressure due to the weight of water pushing soil against the foundation. The only relief is to direct the water source away from the foundation (if possible) and provide weep holes at the base of the wall. Without relief the wall will succumb to the pressure eventually.


Originally Posted By: mike garcia
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Thanks Lisa


Originally Posted By: tvargas
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Hi Mike


I agree with Lisa. If you have a concrete block or brick foundation wall, the damage is almost always caused by the soil expanding due to hydrostatic pressure from the moisture in the soil. This can be due to downspouts emptying next to the foundation, improper grading of the yard or high water tables. As the soil expands, it is easier for it to push a wall (especially long walls) than it is to move tons of virgin soil. The first sign of this happening is usually hairline cracks in the mortar joints between the blocks and most commonly in the center of longer walls, although the cracks can appear anywhere in the walls. If have missed something Lisa , do tell


Tony


Originally Posted By: lwilliams
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I am not sure where your confusion is Tony. Hydrostatic pressure is the interaction of water and soil. The buildup of water/moisture pushing soil. Cracks are not always the first sign of hydrostatic pressure in a concrete wall. If you do not agree what would you suspect if you came across a bulging concrete wall?


Originally Posted By: jane molina
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I think your both right


Originally Posted By: jpope
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pressure. The accumulation of water and the subsequent pressure it develops as the quantity increases.


Cracks are not usually the first indicator of hydrostatic pressure although they are indicators of some type of pressure. Efflorescence is one early indicator of pressure by water/moisture (hydro). Bulging may or may not be due to water.


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Jeff Pope
JPI Home Inspection Service
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