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garage corner foundation

I had to digout my foundation last summer because of water issues in the basement. No surprise that the drain pipes were completely clogged with a thick mat of tiny roots and mud. I was however very surprised when we started digging and found this.

The cinder block foundation had disintegrated almost entirely. Only the webbing and ends were intact. It is quite fortunate that we discovered this when we did, before that side of my garage completely gave way.

There were NO signs of termites, ants or any other pests. There were no signs of any tree or plant roots any larger than approx 1/16" or less. (the roots you see are from a tree about 15 ft from the wall which was dozed down and was NOT in the ditch or near the wall).

To fix, we formed a new concrete wall 6-8" thick in front of this deteriorating wall. Then we poured and vibrated 6000psi concrete into the deterioration and made a 6-8" thick concrete wall, re-enforced with 5/8" rebar pins going into the existing wall. I should add that this was also excavated about 10-12 yrs after original construction and no deterioration was noted at that time. It has been about 20 yrs since that excavation.

My questions are:

1) anyone ever seen cinder block disintegrate like this before?
2) cause(s)?
3) is my remedy sufficient?

The home is in N Alabama-- a very humid and wet climate.

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    Maybe it's only the picture but while I see deterioration what I'm surprised at is that the cinder blocks look as if they were laid sideways on the bottom three courses with the cutouts running horizontal instead of vertically. Is that the situation?
    – HoneyDo
    Feb 21, 2020 at 3:32
  • I'm not seeing any deterioration but I'm also not seeing a proper foundation either. I do see what looks like 3 concrete blocks stacked up being supported by the ground with no footer.
    – jwh20
    Feb 21, 2020 at 10:21
  • You are assuming the cinder block was satisfactory to start ; that may not be true. Feb 21, 2020 at 21:52
  • @Honeydo--definitely not the situation.
    – peinal
    Feb 22, 2020 at 2:21
  • @blacksmith37: that is true--but this deterioration was NOT present 10-12 yrs after laying the block.
    – peinal
    Feb 22, 2020 at 2:24

1 Answer 1

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I think the blocks were laid on there sides, possibly a small area for drainage. I know of no critter that eats concrete cinderblocks, hopefully it’s only a small area and if it is drainage may be the reason, I have had to add weep holes to foundation walls where a spring was discovered. Who knows this is not the correct way to do it and you may want to see how far this extends. This structure has absolutely no strength in an earthquake and it may need to be back filled with concrete if much wider than what we can see.

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  • That is definitely NOT the case. I know without a doubt because my brother and I laid the blocks.We did fill with 6000psi steel reinforced concrete.
    – peinal
    Feb 22, 2020 at 2:20
  • I have never seen anything like this with concrete or cinderblocks unless someone dumped muriatic or another acid that can eat concrete but even that would be a stretch.
    – Ed Beal
    Feb 22, 2020 at 3:29

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