I thought I would throw this one out for comments.
Inspected a 1970’s era two story home last week as a pre-listing inspection, working for the future seller. It has a conventional foundation crawl space, and an attached two car garage.
During the inspection it was observed that the foundation wall that typically separates the garage slab from the foundation crawl space was entirely missing. The missing section is along the entire rear wall of the garage under the living space, and extends around the adjacent corner under the front entry foyer.
What can be seen is that the builder originally installed wood all the way to the ground in the absence of the concrete wall. Of course that rotted out over time, and about 15 years ago the wood wall was removed, and post and piers were installed. This has left the soil under the concrete garage floor slab exposed to the crawl space, subject to settling.
I have attached a link to photos I have uploaded to get a better idea of what is there.
Would like to hear your comments are on this. Thanks.
Maybe I should add that the seller says he has talked to a couple contractors who say there is nothing wrong with the missing foundation, and he also talked to the local building department. I have no idea what information he revealed to them, but he claims he was told there was no problem.
I told him the best I could recommend is to obtain an opinion from a licensed structural engineer.
After all any future buyers coming in with their inspector will see a red flag when there is a missing foundation wall. Seems like he should have an engineers’ report to back up anything he is about to DO, or NOT do. Right?
I can’t tell what I’m looking at. Foundations walls primarily “support” something, not “separate” things. Was this missing wall supposed to support the wall that separates the garage from the living space?
The lower area is the garage slab? What supports the firewall? Not sure what you mean “the missing section is along the entire rear wall of the garage under the living space, and extends around the adjacent corner under the front entry foyer.” Why would a foundation wall extend back under the living space?
At any rate… sounds like an SE would be a good recommendation. Sellers will say anything…
With what I can see/understand from the pics, if the soil under the garage slab gets displaced further and the slab bearing is undermined it will be problematic. I would recommend repairs, as needed by qualified professional, to maintain that structural integrity.
Right Kenton, I know it is hard to see from the photos. But you are right, this is the location under the firewall between the garage and living space. If you look near the top of the dirt you can barely see the edge of the garage slab. Under most homes this would be a foundation wall to provide support for the firewall/ floor system, and also to retain the soil under the garage slab.
Yes Larry, Undermining the slab is one of my primary concerns as the soil becomes displaced there is less to hold up the slab. The soil under this slab is cut vertical and is almost 24" high from the soil in the adjacent crawl space. Any other concrete (foundation, footings, etc.) have to have what is called an “angle of repose”. Generally about 45 degrees. But then the wood support posts are in direct contact with the soil.
Yes , Larry is right . It needs an immediate reconstruct , before it gets any worse .
1:I see wood that is direct contact woth earth.
2: I see earth under the garage slab without footing and foundation wall for support to stop erosion.
I see footers not full foundations and wood being used as support for fill.
My opinion of the photos