Wall Call

I was suprised that the interior didnt show major water damage or movement by the driveway settiling at least 6 inches.

My question is at the bottom of the concrete wall it appeared the wall was moving. This wall wasnt the driveway side but there was moisture and a vertical crack.

Looks like the drain tile may be plugged and this may be causing some movement. It is hard to see from the picture but at the moisture stain it look like the block was seperated. Isnt the term called shearing.

This house has some settlement issues. Driveway/porch/steps/walks/walls

This house has issues.


Hi. David;

From the photos you supplied, I would imagine the all this settling at the exterior, would be disturbing for anyone.
I personally think that the settling is due to improper compaction of the soils around the foundation, or the foundation drainage is washing away all the fines from the backfill due to no stone or fabric installed over the perimeter drains.

Sagging or settling of the exterior grade will not necessarily mean that movement will occur on the foundation of the structure itself.

Water penetration through the soils and settlement could, although induce unnecessary pressures to the foundation, and any inferior structural deficiencies in the wall could eventually promote leaks in the basement.

I would strongly suggest site evaluations by an Expert and have the perimeter drains evaluated as to functional or not.

Considering, that this foundation is of CMU, it is not very tolerable to undue pain.

Hope this helps.

Marcel:) :slight_smile:

What’s with the salt in the pictures? Or is that cocaine? A drug house?

It’s usually better to just describe what you see, than guessing at terminology for whats happening … which is hard to access from just photo’s. Observe and Report, thats the job … :wink:

Also be careful attributing a cause to a possible problem as there are all kinds of reasons it may be happening. If they fix the drain tile and the cause is actually a weak wall or soil issue, what then? … and who is going to be getting out the checkbook?

JMO & 2-nickels … :wink:

Don’t you just love it when the stupid driveway and/or concrete people put the concrete right up against the outside wall? 70% of the time, with a negative slope.

What are they thinking?

Guess they are not. :mrgreen:

See that around my area alot. You’ll see a 15-20 year old subdivision with a row of homes with all of the driveways settled before the garage resulting in a 3 inch step up into the garage. Looks as though the same co. installed all of them.

My assumtion is that when they back-fill next to the foundation, they are careful not to put too much pressure against the wall and in doing so, don’t adequately compact the area nearest the home. The only solution i could think of to avoid this wound be to more allow for settling of the base material, prior to installing the finished driveway.

Adam, A Plus

It’s also a lot easier to just dump the soil and walk away, as opposed to using light plate compactors on thinner soil lifts to adequately compact the backfill … :roll:

I can’t remember the last time it was done right, but I don’t think isn’t a real serious issue as long as there isn’t a driveway adjacent to the foundation.

JMO & 2-nickels … :wink:

“Excessive settling of soil visible around home perimeter. Foundation appeared sound, indicating that the problem is limited to the area of backfill. Cause of apparent backfill settling will require evaluation by a qualified soils engineer.”


As to the porch, would this be a fruitcellar? It is common in 1940-50’s homes to have a porch like this which is a fruit cellar, most commonly buit with concrete block. It is also typical in my area to see them settle away from the house. Then again maybe this is just a porch with improper footings (i.e. not below the frost line, and or drainage issues)

Although as an engineer also I don’t like giving away referrals, that type of situation may not need an engineer. A good sitework contractor can look at it, and simply raise the grade around the house and at the driveway … pretty simple, unless you also suspect settlement of the foundation. Then the SE call is better.

The designs/repairs I have done, and what the better builders do, it to bring the top of foundation up a little and increases the grade/slope away from the foundations above the minimum (6" in 10 feet). Then when (not if … lol) the backfill settles, you don’t end up with a negative grade towards the house … :!:

JMO & 2-nickels … :wink:

RR. when water vaper from ecumulus nimbus (clowds) cools and falls back to earth, we call that SNOW. or salt for your margaritas if it’s in your yard.