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RE: Out of Plumb Residence need help on fix.

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I have read all of the responses to your post; and, while I do not disagree
with any of them, I would first investigate your assumption of a broken
drain and expanding soils.  Drainage pipes are sloped and are intended to
move water away from an area by gravity.  Unless the pipe is blocked, I
would not expect a significant amount of seepage from the pipe (unless it
could possibly be a domestic water supply pipe, under pressure).
Additionally, if the movement is moisture induced, the owner should notice
differences in the amount of swell (or settlement) during the wet and dry
periods of the year.  In my experience, a center heaved residence does not
look much different than one that has perimeter settlement.  Depending on
the roof construction, I often find settlement on two opposite perimeter
walls.  You can also take some soil samples to determine the moisture
content of the soils.  If any free water is found, I would also have it
tested for chlorine to determine if it is from a potable source.

Additionally, if you redirect the drainage line, be sure to grout the
abandoned pipe.  If water can leak out, it can also leach in, taking soil,
and causing an even greater problem than the owner now has.

Brian K. Smith, P.E.
Bossier City, Louisiana

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Rodriguez, Marlou [mailto:mrodriguez(--nospam--at)]
> Sent: Wednesday, November 22, 2000 10:11 AM
> To: 'SEAINT Newslist'
> Subject: Out of Plumb Residence need help on fix.
> I currently live in a house that is out of plumb, doors are sticking and
> some sliding glass doors do not function any more.
> I think I have figured out what have caused this.  There is a
> driveway drain
> that runs under the house out to the street.  I suspect the drain
> has broken
> under the foundation and the soil is now expanding when it gets
> wet.  This,
> I suspect, has caused the house to bow in the middle of the
> house.  This bow
> is lightly noticeable in the floor, but the doors and windows are
> sticking.
> The owner has decided that he will re-rout the broken drain, but he also
> wants to find a way to fix the bowing of the house.
> I believe that the only way to fix the house is to re-frame all
> the windows
> and doors that are sticking and no long square.  But that does not fix the
> floor from bowing.  Re-framing the floor can be very costly but may be the
> only solution.  The other solution may be to leave the floor
> framing the way
> it is, build up above the framing to level the floor and re-apply the
> flooring.
> Does anyone else know of an inexpensive solution to this problem.
> Thanks in advance.
> *************************************************************
> Marlou B. Rodriguez
> Biggs Cardossa Associates Inc.
> Structural Engineers
> 1871 The Alameda, Suite 200
> San Jose, California 95126
> 408-296-5515 Fax 408-296-8114
> Note:  The opinions that I write are my opinions and
> are not necessarily the opinions of BCA.
> *************************************************************