Foundation Issue

I have an agent that asked if I’d come look at his house. I thought I’d check here to get your thoughts before hand.

House was built 1997, poured concrete. The basement
flooring is cracking and pushing the beam up so that the hard wood floor in the kitchen is spliting. Flooring joist is on foundation. This is happening in only one place between kitchen & hearth room. Pictures wouldn’t help as it
wouldn’t show much.

Sounds so extreme that they need to hire a professional engineer. Not a home inspector.
Read this 4 page pdf file. It will answer ur question exactly on pg 4 , 1st paragraph I tried copying few sentences to post it here for everyone but cant do it on my phone

I tried this link but it didn’t work. Can you try and send it again?


[FONT=Times New Roman][size=2] A heaving slab will always
lift steel columns and fireplaces and thereby distort the
wood framing above. It is not unusual for a floor slab to
be lifted as much as 3 inches and for the support
columns and fireplace to be lifted slightly less. Since the
wood floor of the living area is lifted an identical
amount, slopes in the floors and ceilings become very
noticeable. The amount of differential settlement of a
foundation that would be enough to create this same
amount of visual evidence would be enough to wreck
the foundation walls. Heaving soil will, howe ve r, leave
the foundation walls untouched except at any point
where the floor slab is bound against the wall. A single
vertical crack will develop at that particular point only

ok I jumped on the real computer this time hope it helps

Just in case if viewing from your phone - it wont take the URL since its written differently. Look at it from computer and the URL works fine

Awesome Christopher, very good info on that link.

Thank you!

What do you plan to do besides tell them the slab is heaving? Why waste their money and your time telling them what they already know? I say again you should pass and refer it to a PE.

I already did that Joe. I was looking for more info for my own personal reading. I’m pretty positive if I go over to his house he’s going to have grade issues. The P.E. is going to tell him he needs bracing or he’s having an issue with a footing. Foundation repair experts are most likely going to have to be called in.

This is one of a few cases where a good floor level survey could prove or disprove the basement floor heaving as a possible cause. If the basement floor and the main floor both closely match at the support locations, where the heaving would likely show up, you might have a case. Keep in mind wood floors will buckle up if they get wet or with excessive indoor humidity. I have seen several wood floors buckle, especially in in kitchens, where the sink, dishwasher or ice maker supply line leaked. Most basement floors are not poured perfectly level, so if the main floor is supported by columns and a central beam or continuous support walls in the basement can make a difference in the unevenness in the main floor. Also, in a finished basement partition walls perpendicular to the floor joist could push the main floor up, if the slab heaves. (assuming the top wall plate touched the joists) In many cases its difficult to separate poor workmanship from settlement or heaving in a floor system. Many people live in houses with floor sags or settlement of an inch or more and not know it. So in many cases a contractor, engineer or home inspector who performed a floor level survey will tell the client the whole floor system needs leveled, which can cause allot of drywall damage. So the point of this long story is be careful what you say or recommend.

A PE is the right call, but my suggestion would be to start with a geological/soils engineer. Once the recommendations from the GE are followed, the structural engineer can remedy the damage.

Devereaux …

We have a lot of heaving in our area. Some locations around town are worse than others. Olathe south of Santa Fe and east of I-35 is one hotspot. So is west of K-7 and north of K-10. So is Briarcliff north of old downtown airport and over by the ballpark and behind the IRS / Bannister Center off 95th. Where was this one at.

I’ve done a bunch of these and most of the times they benefit most to start by having a really good foundation company like Kansas City Master Company or Spartan Foundation do a slab type survey … Then head to the PE if needed for design.

We got a handful of good PE’s for this type work and a whole lot of not so good ones. The last 2 of these I’ve been called in on, had over 2"-3" of heave, raising poles, I-beams, 2nd floor cabinetry & floors, doors that had been cut off to close, etc. Each time they’d had a PE their REA had recommended to them AND had paid $350-$450 and all they had was “The floor has heaved, I think we need soil boring and then a foundation contractor to repair”.