43 votes

Is this cracking foundation under a jack post a problem that requires repair?

I'm not familiar with USA house construction methods (I live in the UK) but speaking as a mechanical engineer, I wouldn't even stand near that thing while debating how safe it was. That bolt is ...
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  • 894
32 votes
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How do I self-repair a section of crumbling basement wall, or should I hire a professional?

It looks like a cosmetic DIY patch-job was already attempted before. The current situation is exactly how you can expect your attempt to turn out. This is a structural issue and I would hire a ...
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27 votes
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Why did cracks form over the rebar grid in my concrete footings?

This is known as "plastic settlement cracking", a type of shrinkage crack. It's the result of the rebar being too close to the surface. As water settles out of the concrete, it tends to ...
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  • 104k
24 votes

Is this cracking foundation under a jack post a problem that requires repair?

This should make the hairs on your neck stand-up. What my first thought was is the sand fill that the concrete was floated on has been undermined. Is there a sump pump well in the basement? And if so, ...
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  • 10.8k
19 votes

Can a power transformer cause building vibration

You mention the vibration happens more often when it's cold. It could be related to the building's heating system or, perhaps, the outdoor unit of a HVAC system with an old or imbalanced fan.
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17 votes

Can I pour a concrete foundation in multiple pieces?

Yes, you can do that. Provide plenty of rebar length past the joint. The vast majority of commercial projects are poured in sections, and virtually everything more than 60-70 years old was poured in ...
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  • 133k
14 votes
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Can I pour a concrete foundation in multiple pieces?

I agree with Ecnerwal, yes you can do that. I also agree to extend the rebar past the pour (drill holes in the form boards and extend the rebar out the holes). Code (and CSI) require 30 bar diameters. ...
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  • 3,610
13 votes

Is this cracking foundation under a jack post a problem that requires repair?

Definitely get a home inspector to look over tbe place; there may be other damage from this subsidence... If the price is attractive enough that you'd consider trying to have this redone properly, I'...
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  • 16k
12 votes
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In a house fire, how hot does the foundation have to get before it too has to be replaced?

The information is incorrect, the temperature at which concrete becomes unsafe for re-use is significantly lower, 570 degrees F actually. The 'telltale" sign is if concrete that was not charred from ...
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  • 14.4k
12 votes
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Can this water damage be explained by lack of gutters and grading issues?

You've really got a two-step question here Would a lack of gutters and grading explain the water? The simple answer is yes. That's the source here. Even without gutters and proper grading, should ...
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  • 19.7k
12 votes
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Can I run an underground wire to a shed on blocks?

Yes, the national electric code allows wiring in structures like your shed. If you plan on using UF wire for the run buried 24” deep you need to bring the wire up in conduit so the wire is protected. ...
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  • 95.6k
12 votes

Why did cracks form over the rebar grid in my concrete footings?

Potentially there are three issues. The cracks could be caused by any single issue or any mix of the issues. Not enough clear cover over the rebar mat. The concrete mix contained too much water (...
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  • 3,261
11 votes

Can I run an underground wire to a shed on blocks?

It is advisable to use a slip joint [expansion coupling] on the conduit stub up, otherwise nothing out of the ordinary. Around here, that's not out of the ordinary even with a poured foundation. ...
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  • 133k
10 votes
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What are my options for saving this building?

Ultimately, I decided to save it. I used stacks of cribbing with large beams to jack the building up off of the failing foundation walls. Similar to this (much larger) example: Once I had it up on ...
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10 votes
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Is it common for residential foundations from the 1960s to contain asbestos?

For concrete foundations no, asbestos is not an issue. However, the earth in your location may contain asbestos. In Northern California my brother is having a pool installed and they had to monitor ...
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  • 95.6k
10 votes

Leaving basement forms on permanently

Sounds like a hack-job approach to me. That wall could be built from concrete blocks (aka CMUs or concrete masonry units), with bond-block rows and reinforcing steel, and grouted full, making it ...
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  • 133k
9 votes

Is this cracking foundation under a jack post a problem that requires repair?

If your gut is telling you to run then run. But if you are still thinking about purchasing the house I would make sure that the builder gives you something in writing to back up what he/she is saying. ...
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  • 958
9 votes
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Should I repair or replace floor joists with holes in poor locations?

None of the holes are an issue. There is some slight compression with the one joist - in your top picture. But it doesn't look to be an issue and it is certainly not caused by that small hole. If ...
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  • 46.2k
9 votes

How do I self-repair a section of crumbling basement wall, or should I hire a professional?

The first step of repairing a deteriorated wall is to knock loose and remove the bad materials to the solid base. However, in your case, I suspect there is nothing solid that remains, as the cracks ...
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  • 3,261
9 votes

Why are basement walls subject to tensile forces?

All walls experience tensile stress. This is not a force trying to pull the wall apart as such. The stress comes from lateral forces that can arise from two sources. Firstly, a simple lateral force ...
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  • 1,075
8 votes

What's the easiest way to cut a chunk out of a buried railroad tie?

I've used a sawzall type reciprocating saw with the 14" long demolition style blades for similar type wood removal in the ground. Be prepared to replace the blade a few times as cutting into dirt ...
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  • 61.2k
7 votes
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Will the concrete slab in a partially heated shed conduct a lot of heat to the unconditioned area?

I'd have no concerns about doing what you describe. I've seen it done many times here in frigid Minnesota. Build your walls (using treated lumber and suitable nails where it contacts the slab), ...
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  • 104k
6 votes
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How to reinforce bowing foundation?

If you want to install it yourself, great. But I suggest you start by having an engineer look at the application and calculate your requirements. Could be well worth the investment.
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  • 569
6 votes

Is this cracking foundation under a jack post a problem that requires repair?

This may be a problem or non-problem depending on the foundation construction. You'll be much better off consulting an expert who knows how foundations are built in your area and how to diagnose them. ...
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  • 9,357
6 votes

Is this cracking foundation under a jack post a problem that requires repair?

No this is not okay - especially for a new house. If the builder is saying it is okay, run away from this house because you have no idea what else they have screwed up. You can't put a post on a slab ...
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  • 179
6 votes

How can I properly support a raised concrete patio?

FWIW, that's technically called a "raised patio" rather than a deck. At 40' long, your challenge will be to prevent cracking...so I'd count on putting in expansion joints. If you want to ensure a ...
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  • 23.8k
6 votes
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Pier foundation and water table issue

You have several issues: 1) Hold your building up, 2) keep your building stable (lateral stability) 3) freeze/thaw, 1) I would be careful to calculate the number of piers required to support such a ...
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  • 22.5k
6 votes
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How to Fill Gap Between Steel Beam and Concrete Pillar?

mortar is not really structural, I would go with steel, perhaps half-inch plate and some washers
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  • 13.2k
6 votes

Leaving basement forms on permanently

Check with a termite control company and/or the state agency that studies termite control. Also check with your homeowner's insurance company. Having all that buried wood would invite termites.
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  • 19.6k
6 votes

Leaving basement forms on permanently

It is possible to remove those forms. We did plenty of that when I worked for my dad. Usually contractors want to keep and re-use the form panels because they are expensive. There are only two real ...
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