New Foundation Wall – Big Foundation Problem

by | Jan 27, 2020

Hey kids! Stephen here from Waterproof Solutions, your foundation specialist in St. Louis.

Alright. What is the favorite line? Cast in place foundation! Concrete that is poured into two forms—poured concrete.

You know what’s interesting about this wall? IT’S NEW!!! And I’m here!

It is bad enough to need this kind of work done. Bad enough enough that we have enough to say, “Hey! I know a guy named Stephen.” But when I have to follow a guy who is supposed to be the guy…

You better figure out what is going to work for you. At the end of the day this house is fixable like anything is. We have to use what was done in conjunction with what needs to be done.

First thing you do is not put concrete in front of concrete. Isn’t that sweet? Put some forms up and just pour us some good old concrete right inside. This was poured a while ago. I’m not that strong to be be able to dig this concrete out by hand. This is called a dry socket. This is how the form was poured. This is a mess.

This is a soldier beam. It looks like it was put into a pier leg. Drain tile system is here. Some things are done right. We are going to focus on that now. What we want to do is unite this wall to the two walls that were here.

What do I call poured concrete that poured to concrete? It’s a cold joint. Like when one truck pours out and another truck pours out… or like when a wall poured a lot of times they will put a block above the poured so that they can get the concrete into the board. That is how the wall was retrofitted.

Don’t know if the footing was replaced or not, but the draining system is in play, so that is the good news. The water you have happening is coming through the wall and over the top is not a breach of the system. So it is all fixable.

I can pull this concrete wall piece here. For the life of me I can’t tell what happened. What I think happened is the concrete company bumped the wall. What is really happening is that concrete is really great for the first 28 days. We don’t even measure concrete after the 28 days in the residential market.

The tension strength of the concrete is only 10% after pour, then it gets really strong. In technical terms: 36 gallons of water or 300 pounds is all it takes to break this wall. Something like a hot water heater size. I bet they bumped the wall when they backfilled, cracked it, and sent everything wiggling. Then came back with a hydraulic cement to try to catch up with some of their errors.

It is hard to say what they were thinking or did, but really I don’t care. All this has to come off the wall. It is just like a bad bandaid. We just pull it off. The wall is still good. The cold joint between the two—we may have to go outside and have to seal it. But we are going to have to inject it the best we can. We have to attack these diagonal wall supports. From the way the water is here showing, I’ve got to think we have some cracks or something showing lower than the previous company. We may have to open up the drain tile system to see how well it is working. It is fixable.

We are going to fix the blocks above. A lot of this mud and water you see as we are walking through here, was due to where these two walls come together. These pins held the forms in place. Just more really bad patch work was done by the previous company. It is very interesting to me that the time and effort it took for the previous company to do the wrong thing. They could have done the right thing.

It is seriously crazy what they did. But at the end of the day it is all fixable. It is just a house. No reason to be freaking out. I don’t know why the previous contractor won’t come out. But Waterproof Solutions will fix it. That is what we do. We are not Superman. But we are honest.