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Thread: Concrete House Foundation Reinforcement

  1. #1
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    Concrete House Foundation Reinforcement

    Has anyone ever successfully braced/reinforced a concrete house foundation? My family owns a little house that was built in 1899 and the foundation has some cracks on one side. Nothing too alarming, considering the year, but I'd like to support it before any problems start. It looks like years of the outside ground pushing against the concrete has caused it to bow inward a little.

    So there are two basic reinforcement styles that I'm aware of:

    The "power brace" style which is usually an I beam butted up against the inside of the foundation wall, bolted or concreted in the floor, and affixed to the joists above. I think this would be very simple to build but I don't really like the idea of using the joists to support the foundation.

    The other style is a plate on the inside wall and a plate outside, underground (about 12 feet apart), with a threaded rod between them. I like this idea much better because you're using the ground as support, instead of the house. I spoke with a foundation company and they drill through from inside the basement to do this and sink a plate into the ground with a skid steer attachment, so they don't disturb the ground.
    I have no idea where to get a 12 foot drill bit and that sounds like a huge pain so my idea is to dig away all the dirt from the foundation. This will a) relieve some of inward the load from the foundation and b) make it much easier to setup the threaded rods. To make up for disturbing the soil, I'd likely have to concrete the outside plate in the ground.

    I know this more of an engineering question than a welding question but maybe some of you guys have had experience with this.

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    Re: Concrete House Foundation Reinforcement

    Do have drawing of the work need.
    The first you said 12 foot apart then 12 drill bit.

    Dave

    Quote Originally Posted by Shwoody View Post
    Has anyone ever successfully braced/reinforced a concrete house foundation? My family owns a little house that was built in 1899 and the foundation has some cracks on one side. Nothing too alarming, considering the year, but I'd like to support it before any problems start. It looks like years of the outside ground pushing against the concrete has caused it to bow inward a little.

    So there are two basic reinforcement styles that I'm aware of:

    The "power brace" style which is usually an I beam butted up against the inside of the foundation wall, bolted or concreted in the floor, and affixed to the joists above. I think this would be very simple to build but I don't really like the idea of using the joists to support the foundation.

    The other style is a plate on the inside wall and a plate outside, underground (about 12 feet apart), with a threaded rod between them. I like this idea much better because you're using the ground as support, instead of the house. I spoke with a foundation company and they drill through from inside the basement to do this and sink a plate into the ground with a skid steer attachment, so they don't disturb the ground.
    I have no idea where to get a 12 foot drill bit and that sounds like a huge pain so my idea is to dig away all the dirt from the foundation. This will a) relieve some of inward the load from the foundation and b) make it much easier to setup the threaded rods. To make up for disturbing the soil, I'd likely have to concrete the outside plate in the ground.

    I know this more of an engineering question than a welding question but maybe some of you guys have had experience with this.

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    Re: Concrete House Foundation Reinforcement

    The plates are around 12 feet apart from each other. So in order to get a threaded rod between them, without doing any digging, I'd need a 12 foot long drill bit. Here's a rough sketch.
    Name:  131930028_852174362206910_1760389881318085304_n.jpg
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    Re: Concrete House Foundation Reinforcement

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    I had the same situation with my garage. The pictures aren't the best, but you may be able to see the center of the wall is pushed in about 6 inches underneath the building.
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    Re: Concrete House Foundation Reinforcement

    I would look into a boring company that could bore from the house to your tie back point. They are very accurate in hitting their mark. I would be skeptical of the tie back being a long term fix. I would look at other ways to reduce the pressure ie improving drainage any roots from landscaping pushing etc
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    Re: Concrete House Foundation Reinforcement

    Quote Originally Posted by ArcTan View Post

    I had the same situation with my garage. The pictures aren't the best, but you may be able to see the center of the wall is pushed in about 6 inches underneath the building.
    Oh yeah, quite a bit. Mine is solid concrete so it doesn't really flex like that, just cracks. What did you do to fix it?

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    Re: Concrete House Foundation Reinforcement

    Quote Originally Posted by farmshop View Post
    I would look into a boring company that could bore from the house to your tie back point. They are very accurate in hitting their mark. I would be skeptical of the tie back being a long term fix. I would look at other ways to reduce the pressure ie improving drainage any roots from landscaping pushing etc
    That's a good idea. I'd be happy to pay someone to do the drilling. The house could definitely use some gutters. Those will be going up fairly soon. Would you agree that the plate and rod method is still the best option for now? Compared to other designs.

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    Re: Concrete House Foundation Reinforcement

    You concrete drill 1 1/8" diameter about 4 longer than footing.
    Most footing is only 1' long so drill about 16 inches long.
    Between the foots you dig a trenck about 12 long.
    After putting the spreader rod in place it pack in concrete.

    Dave

    Quote Originally Posted by Shwoody View Post
    The plates are around 12 feet apart from each other. So in order to get a threaded rod between them, without doing any digging, I'd need a 12 foot long drill bit. Here's a rough sketch.
    Name:  131930028_852174362206910_1760389881318085304_n.jpg
Views: 673
Size:  46.8 KB
    Last edited by smithdoor; 12-17-2020 at 11:02 PM.

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  10. #9
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    Re: Concrete House Foundation Reinforcement

    Quote Originally Posted by Shwoody View Post
    Oh yeah, quite a bit. Mine is solid concrete so it doesn't really flex like that, just cracks. What did you do to fix it?
    This was technically solid concrete, but it may have been hand mixed and poured. They used horizontal boards for forms. Definitely a DIY or budget job in the early 1900s I'm guessing. I didn't actually do anything to fix the wall, just took the pressure off it by building a new wall next to it.
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    Re: Concrete House Foundation Reinforcement

    Quote Originally Posted by Shwoody View Post
    Has anyone ever successfully braced/reinforced a concrete house foundation? My family owns a little house that was built in 1899 and the foundation has some cracks on one side. Nothing too alarming, considering the year, but I'd like to support it before any problems start. It looks like years of the outside ground pushing against the concrete has caused it to bow inward a little.

    So there are two basic reinforcement styles that I'm aware of:

    The "power brace" style which is usually an I beam butted up against the inside of the foundation wall, bolted or concreted in the floor, and affixed to the joists above. I think this would be very simple to build but I don't really like the idea of using the joists to support the foundation.

    The other style is a plate on the inside wall and a plate outside, underground (about 12 feet apart), with a threaded rod between them. I like this idea much better because you're using the ground as support, instead of the house. I spoke with a foundation company and they drill through from inside the basement to do this and sink a plate into the ground with a skid steer attachment, so they don't disturb the ground.
    I have no idea where to get a 12 foot drill bit and that sounds like a huge pain so my idea is to dig away all the dirt from the foundation. This will a) relieve some of inward the load from the foundation and b) make it much easier to setup the threaded rods. To make up for disturbing the soil, I'd likely have to concrete the outside plate in the ground.

    I know this more of an engineering question than a welding question but maybe some of you guys have had experience with this.
    The floor system takes the load of the wall anyway if the house is designed correctly. I have one wall in my basement supported with vertical rectangle tubing every 5 ft. It is only temparary since I am building an addition that will be on a crawl space and will relieve most of the pressure on that wall. The way I have mine set up I can put more or less pressure on any part of the wall just by tightening or loosening a few bolts. I cought the wall just as it was starting to move so it stopped the problem when it had only moved it about 1/2" . It is now only a 1/4" or less since the pressure of the screws has moved it back over the last 3 months that the supports have been in place. The floor system is having a lot more pressure on it now since it has been moving dirt back to plumb the wall. The joists transfer the pressure to the entire floor and if it were calculated the pressure on each joist is not very much.
    Last edited by thegary; 12-18-2020 at 11:41 AM.

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    Re: Concrete House Foundation Reinforcement

    Name:  16083181863631952319208.jpg
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    The old barn on my property will crumble one of these days. Needs a new foundation, a new roof and just about everything in between needs replacing repairing or at least paint. Should have had my excavator guy remove the dirt from this wall to slow the leaning. Replacing the barn would be cheaper and far less effort, and new would be more useful. But I also like old barns.
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    Re: Concrete House Foundation Reinforcement

    May be time to get professionals with insurance involved.

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    Re: Concrete House Foundation Reinforcement

    You need to concrete inside
    You to dig the outside first and install a French drain.
    You can push out the footing then pour concrete.

    Dave

    Quote Originally Posted by bead-boy View Post
    Name:  16083181863631952319208.jpg
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    The old barn on my property will crumble one of these days. Needs a new foundation, a new roof and just about everything in between needs replacing repairing or at least paint. Should have had my excavator guy remove the dirt from this wall to slow the leaning. Replacing the barn would be cheaper and far less effort, and new would be more useful. But I also like old barns.
    Last edited by smithdoor; 12-18-2020 at 05:36 PM.

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    Re: Concrete House Foundation Reinforcement

    unless you dig out all the hard pan clay around the foundation and put in a perimeter drain and backfill with gravel or bankrun its just going to continue to push in each freeze thaw cycle...and nothing is going to hold that back..

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  17. #15
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    Re: Concrete House Foundation Reinforcement

    May be expensive and overkill. But how about pylons. or piers. I know where the ground is too soft to build on
    Pylons are hammered in to support the weight. I know you can buy a casing with a big flat base to sink in the ground
    and fill with concrete I have seen small ones used for decks.

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    Re: Concrete House Foundation Reinforcement

    Here is something else to look at that might work for you:

    https://www.soilnailsystem.com/produ...ing-soil-nail/

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    Re: Concrete House Foundation Reinforcement

    Quote Originally Posted by Shwoody View Post
    That's a good idea. I'd be happy to pay someone to do the drilling. The house could definitely use some gutters. Those will be going up fairly soon. Would you agree that the plate and rod method is still the best option for now? Compared to other designs.
    Buddy did what you're talking about doing, did it himself. Of course he has all of his own equipment. Still holding to this day.

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    Re: Concrete House Foundation Reinforcement

    My Dad and I repaired the foundation on a 100 year old barn. The foundation on one wall fell over. The dirt beside it had been dug out by chickens.
    In this case we jacked up half the barn off the foundation. poured a new better one.
    Then had to pull the wall in about 6 inches and move it to the left about 5 inches to get the wall back in to plumb. Used screw jacks and come-a-longs and several ropes.
    You just move everything slowly. Can't be in a hurry or something will crack.

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    Re: Concrete House Foundation Reinforcement

    I think the price is not the main thing, you can take a small loan

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    Re: Concrete House Foundation Reinforcement

    I spent my life in concrete construction /repair. I'm also a great believer in do-it-yourself. If I were doing this, I'd dig down about 5', about 12 or 15' from the foundation, and pour some big deadheads of concrete.....maybe one cubic yard each. I'd put a wrap of weldable 1/2" rebar in each so the ends pointed toward the foundation. I'd drill some holes in the foundation and run some 1" threaded rod through the holes and weld it to the rebar ends. Then I'd put a 3/8" plate maybe 6" x 6" over the threaded rod on the inside and put a nut on it. Do this as often as needed...maybe every 10', maybe as close as 5'. Once the deadheads are backfilled, and the ground compacted, I'd tighten the nuts in sequence. I'd use some care to keep things even. I'd tighten until it quit moving. I'd go back every week, or so, and see if I could gain more movement. Move slow, take things carefully to avoid breaking the foundation. Might take a year, but very cost effective, and permanent.
    Jim`

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    Re: Concrete House Foundation Reinforcement

    The use of deadheads as Jim mentioned is commonly used and very effective. My father put in a retaining wall with steel beams as the buried deadheads. The wall lasted close to sixty years before the property was demolished.

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    Re: Concrete House Foundation Reinforcement

    I am a structural engineer and have used both methods. With the vertical steel braces I use my own design. For the tie rod type I have used braces made by Grip Tire. I am not fond of that method. I think it can allow more wall movement than I like to see. It's ok for retaining wall s.
    There are a lot of issues to deal with to get this done correctly. It would be worth consulting with an engineer experienced in residential repairs to look at the foundation and decide what is needed. It could save you time, money, or wasted effort. However, there are not a lot of engineers that are familiar with this type of work. They tend to work on bigger projects and want to over engineer the design. On the other hand, most repairs I have seen done by contractors or homeowners are usually much weaker than they should be.

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