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The Home Improvement Thread. Successes and Failures

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  • dxmnkd316
    replied
    Originally posted by St. Clown View Post
    I figure that a walkout would allow at least one direction for the water to move rather than all being stuck the “bowl” created when the land is excavated for the foundation. According to the guy who was here, if you dig up clay and put it back in place, even under a house foundation, it takes about 25,000 years for the disturbed ground to become as hard as it had once been. So I’m thinking that the water movement, if it had at least one direction of escape, would help to somehow mitigate water issues. I might be way off on that idea.
    Hell, it takes about 2.5 days at my house in the summer to turn to a hardness that jumping on a spade won't penetrate it. :-)
    (I don't doubt that it's a long time. Holds water so well. But once it's gone...)

    You might be right though. I haven' tseen much in the way of water issues with my place. I'll definitely be looking for less clay when we move eventually.

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  • Deutsche Gopher Fan
    replied
    Well this thread has officially become terrifying

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  • walrus
    replied
    Originally posted by St. Clown View Post
    I figure that a walkout would allow at least one direction for the water to move rather than all being stuck the “bowl” created when the land is excavated for the foundation. According to the guy who was here, if you dig up clay and put it back in place, even under a house foundation, it takes about 25,000 years for the disturbed ground to become as hard as it had once been. So I’m thinking that the water movement, if it had at least one direction of escape, would help to somehow mitigate water issues. I might be way off on that idea.
    If the foundation is done right, the soil the footers are on should be undisturbed, the walls are then built on those footers. Compacted gravel between the footers(below cellar floor), drain pipe to daylight if possible inside and outside the footers and then a slab is then poured inside the walls. . Back filling with native clay is done all the time although I wouldn't do it at my home. Frost issues are especially bad in clay, ice lenses can form and push concrete all over the place. Block walls can be pushed in easily by frost(as can poured walls). I googled ice lenses(lens) and got a Minnesota example on first hit. https://inspectapedia.com/Energy/Ice...ion-Damage.php

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  • St. Clown
    replied
    Originally posted by dxmnkd316 View Post

    Why would a walkout be any better?
    I figure that a walkout would allow at least one direction for the water to move rather than all being stuck the “bowl” created when the land is excavated for the foundation. According to the guy who was here, if you dig up clay and put it back in place, even under a house foundation, it takes about 25,000 years for the disturbed ground to become as hard as it had once been. So I’m thinking that the water movement, if it had at least one direction of escape, would help to somehow mitigate water issues. I might be way off on that idea.

    Leave a comment:


  • walrus
    replied
    Originally posted by St. Clown View Post
    We called foundation companies with good reviews from various orgs, like the BBB, Google, yelp, etc..

    I also ran Google searches prior to seeking out companies on what causes these issues I’d been having in my house - brand new entry door going out of alignment after winter came, the ceiling of the basement room in the same corner of the house as said door appearing to separate from the walls, and the appearance of foundation blocks separating on that side of the house, and a crack appearing in the plaster wall by that same entry door.
    There are a lot of posers out there calling themselves home inspectors, glad you did your homework. Thats a serious issue.

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  • dxmnkd316
    replied
    Originally posted by St. Clown View Post

    The inspector was telling me that the homes built on former sand pits and fields that had been repeatedly tilled over the years have had so many issues that construction companies have started installing these piers at the time of original home construction. The is will mitigate the sinking problems, but there’s only so much they can or are willing to do regarding the water drainage concerns.

    The more I think about it, the more I would look for a walkout basement going forward.
    Why would a walkout be any better?

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  • dxmnkd316
    replied
    Originally posted by FadeToBlack&Gold View Post
    Yeah, ANoka County is basically just sand. GDO is all clay. It's a sharp line

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  • state of hockey
    replied
    Originally posted by FadeToBlack&Gold View Post
    I take this to mean brown = sand. While the clay has a potential to swell, it sure made watering the yard in the summer easy. I did it maybe twice at our house in North MPLS over five years, where it is pretty high in clay.

    Leave a comment:


  • St. Clown
    replied
    Originally posted by walrus View Post
    What kind of inspector?
    We called foundation companies with good reviews from various orgs, like the BBB, Google, yelp, etc..

    I also ran Google searches prior to seeking out companies on what causes these issues I’d been having in my house - brand new entry door going out of alignment after winter came, the ceiling of the basement room in the same corner of the house as said door appearing to separate from the walls, and the appearance of foundation blocks separating on that side of the house, and a crack appearing in the plaster wall by that same entry door.

    Leave a comment:


  • Kepler
    replied
    Originally posted by walrus View Post
    What kind of inspector?

    "Eh what"? Eh 'mon-key'?"

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  • walrus
    replied
    What kind of inspector?

    Leave a comment:


  • St. Clown
    replied
    Originally posted by dxmnkd316 View Post
    Minnesota is in for some rude rude awakenings if this is because of clay. Not super thrilled to be living in a home surrounded by clay.
    The inspector was telling me that the homes built on former sand pits and fields that had been repeatedly tilled over the years have had so many issues that construction companies have started installing these piers at the time of original home construction. The is will mitigate the sinking problems, but there’s only so much they can or are willing to do regarding the water drainage concerns.

    The more I think about it, the more I would look for a walkout basement going forward.

    Leave a comment:


  • FadeToBlack&Gold
    replied
    Interesting map

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  • dxmnkd316
    replied
    Minnesota is in for some rude rude awakenings if this is because of clay. Not super thrilled to be living in a home surrounded by clay.

    Leave a comment:


  • St. Clown
    replied
    Originally posted by walrus View Post

    Is your house built on a slab? or do you have a basement? That sounds like an expensive fix. and way more to it than just some pilings driven and somehow connected to some pads.
    We have a basement. Most homes in MN have either a basement or 4’ crawl space due to weather safety considerations.

    The corner of the house that’s sinking is about 12’ along the front of the house, and then about 5-6’ along the side, which leads to the four piers.

    This all happens because of the excavation process of building a home in mostly clay soil. The water will get trapped in the disturbed soil which then expands and contracts under the entire basement, but impacts the footings upon which the basement walls rest as they carry most of the house’s weight.

    According to the inspector, the number of houses experiencing this issue have shot way up because of the odd weather patterns these past few years. We’ve had some very dry summers, but then it’s been getting very wet just before the cold weather hits. This all causes the soils to shift more during the winters.

    The fix is just shy of $15k, about half of what I had been expecting.

    Leave a comment:

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