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RE: Building Settlement - Las Vegas

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Bill

I have no experience with gypsum-bearing soil.

However, whenever a building that has been stable for a long time shows
signs of recent foundation settlement, the usual suspect is water.  Water
that penetrates to the soil under the foundation can have many possible
sources: excessive landscape irrigation, plumbing break, grade modifications
near the building that allow water that was once conducted away from the
building to flow toward or stand near it, changes or breaks in the
gutter/downspout system.

As I go through my list of common moisture sources, the owner will often
suddenly recognize the probable cause as an item in the list.

Nels Roselund, SE
South San Gabriel, CA
njineer(--nospam--at)att.net 
-----Original Message-----
From: Polhemus, Bill [mailto:BPolhemus(--nospam--at)wje.com] 
Sent: Thursday, May 04, 2006 8:58 AM
To: Seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org
Subject: Building Settlement - Las Vegas

Comments?

William L. Polhemus, Jr. P.E.
Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates Inc.
Houston, Texas
P: 832.467.2177
M: 281.450.8426

-----Original Message-----

We are investigating settlement of a building in Las Vegas.  The buildings
that have settled are on the order of 40 years old - the settlement is
reportedly a relatively recent phenomenon - starting within the last five or
six years.  A new building was constructed adjacent to the older buildings,
however, the construction was only a couple of years ago, after the
settlement had already started. 
  
The settlement is significant - in some locations on the order of 6 or more
inches.   
  
Two recent geotech studies identify gypsum in the soils and note that the
gypsum can go into suspension if water is present.   
  
Anyone have any experience with something similar? 

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