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re: garage settlement

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Jim,
Couple thoughts. Why does the contractor suggest you NOT get a geotech study? But he wants you to use his product to fix a problem which you are not completely sure about? Does he fully understand the soil issues causing the settlement? You know what the contractor's motive is, to sell his services....
 
Without a full geotechnical report, you could call a local geotech, you probably know one, and negotiate some very limited borings and penetrations along the footing. Find out what is really going on with the soil before you determine the solution. Once you determine is it a shallow or deep soil issue, you can compare different repair methods. I would compare the cost of soil grouting, that is a popular method in FL but maybe that is because we have Sandy soil.
 
I also highly doubt the paving of your driveway caused significant vibrations to cause any damage or settlement, particularly to a 20 year old structure. I just did a bit of research for a recent forensic job regarding road construction and the effects on a nearby structure.
 
Do you have any other details of what is going on with the building? Cracking, separation of finishes, other damage?
 
My $0.02.
 
Andrew Kester, P.E.
Orlando, FL
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