Recurring Foundation Problem

7 Replies

We have a 1957 built house which had foundation problems when we bought the house in 2016. The house had a crack all the way on one side of the house - stretching from living room, dining, kitchen and bedroom. Our contractor said that he would pour concrete to fill up the cracks, which he did. He then hired a foundation company that put in 9 exterior piers to level the house and it came with a lifetime transferable warranty. About 6 months ago, our tenants complained about gaps in the floor and we called the foundation comoany to check it out. They came in and determined that the piers had to be raised and when they began raising, a crack in the concrete in the middle of the house gave in and the foundation company said that they cannot raise the piers anymore.

Upon further investigation, we came to know that the previous contractor never mentioned that the concrete slab didnt have a post tension cable or rebar. The crack was just filled with concrete and left. Another company stopped by today suggested that they could fix this problem by mudjacking the floor with polyurethane - first time we heard of this. The sink in some places is about 1-1.5 inches.

Can anyone please share their experiences with polyurthane mudjacking ? Are there any long term problems with this ? Cost wise is this better than using concrete or worth the money ? Appreciate the help.

Mudjacking raises concrete, but I question if the weight of the house is too much for this application.  The house sits on the footer portion of the concrete slab, which has exterior piers now. So the piers will fall off if you raise it.   I'm not an expert on this, but I find foundation problems interesting.  Sometimes, it is a way to get a property at a steep discount.  

Another way of thinking about this is to manage the problem and don't expect to ever completely fix this problem.  Beware of costly repairs that can ruin your future cash flow.  Selling this house will be difficult in the future, so continue on as a rental.

Originally posted by @Brian Ploszay :

Mudjacking raises concrete, but I question if the weight of the house is too much for this application.  The house sits on the footer portion of the concrete slab, which has exterior piers now. So the piers will fall off if you raise it.   I'm not an expert on this, but I find foundation problems interesting.  Sometimes, it is a way to get a property at a steep discount.  

Another way of thinking about this is to manage the problem and don't expect to ever completely fix this problem.  Beware of costly repairs that can ruin your future cash flow.  Selling this house will be difficult in the future, so continue on as a rental.

I had one in Dallas that was a nightmare like this.. fix one side the other moved.. that's one tough place... at least some of these houses are .. WOW. 

Originally posted by @Sonu Sharma :

We have a 1957 built house which had foundation problems when we bought the house in 2016. The house had a crack all the way on one side of the house - stretching from living room, dining, kitchen and bedroom. Our contractor said that he would pour concrete to fill up the cracks, which he did. He then hired a foundation company that put in 9 exterior piers to level the house and it came with a lifetime transferable warranty. About 6 months ago, our tenants complained about gaps in the floor and we called the foundation comoany to check it out. They came in and determined that the piers had to be raised and when they began raising, a crack in the concrete in the middle of the house gave in and the foundation company said that they cannot raise the piers anymore.

Upon further investigation, we came to know that the previous contractor never mentioned that the concrete slab didnt have a post tension cable or rebar. The crack was just filled with concrete and left. Another company stopped by today suggested that they could fix this problem by mudjacking the floor with polyurethane - first time we heard of this. The sink in some places is about 1-1.5 inches.

Can anyone please share their experiences with polyurthane mudjacking ? Are there any long term problems with this ? Cost wise is this better than using concrete or worth the money ? Appreciate the help.

Not trying to split hairs here but clarity is necessary. First its helpful to get the terms correct. Mudjacking is one thing and Poly Injection is another. 

Mudjacking is cheaper and not always more permanent. It can be though. 

Poly Injection is more permanent and more costly. 

Mudjacking weighs a lot and can cause the mudjack to settle just as much as the concrete. Thats why it is not as permanent. Poly weighs less and doesnt cause the settling so it last longer. 

Originally posted by @Jay Hinrichs :
Originally posted by @Brian Ploszay:

Mudjacking raises concrete, but I question if the weight of the house is too much for this application.  The house sits on the footer portion of the concrete slab, which has exterior piers now. So the piers will fall off if you raise it.   I'm not an expert on this, but I find foundation problems interesting.  Sometimes, it is a way to get a property at a steep discount.  

Another way of thinking about this is to manage the problem and don't expect to ever completely fix this problem.  Beware of costly repairs that can ruin your future cash flow.  Selling this house will be difficult in the future, so continue on as a rental.

I had one in Dallas that was a nightmare like this.. fix one side the other moved.. that's one tough place... at least some of these houses are .. WOW. 

I busted a slab three years ago to re-do some plumbing and found a 2" slab with not even 6x10 mesh in it. We do have a big problem here but its not really so much the soil as it is the hacks that put the slabs in 40 years ago. Notice I have never tried to correct you on our inherent problem. 

There is a company called Uretek, they apparently do a lot of slab raising in TX, with a polymer. We used them on a different type of job here, there’s nothing cheap about it.

Originally posted by @Mike Reynolds :
Originally posted by @Jay Hinrichs:
Originally posted by @Brian Ploszay:

Mudjacking raises concrete, but I question if the weight of the house is too much for this application.  The house sits on the footer portion of the concrete slab, which has exterior piers now. So the piers will fall off if you raise it.   I'm not an expert on this, but I find foundation problems interesting.  Sometimes, it is a way to get a property at a steep discount.  

Another way of thinking about this is to manage the problem and don't expect to ever completely fix this problem.  Beware of costly repairs that can ruin your future cash flow.  Selling this house will be difficult in the future, so continue on as a rental.

I had one in Dallas that was a nightmare like this.. fix one side the other moved.. that's one tough place... at least some of these houses are .. WOW. 

I busted a slab three years ago to re-do some plumbing and found a 2" slab with not even 6x10 mesh in it. We do have a big problem here but its not really so much the soil as it is the hacks that put the slabs in 40 years ago. Notice I have never tried to correct you on our inherent problem. 

yup one of my homes that's was the case poorly built.. and in Texas were no licenses were or are required.. this happens.. and guess what those are usually the distressed homes.. this market for fix and flip in my mind is for the local pro's I got my butt kicked and will never go back.. and then when your fooling with these homes.. the tax's pile up on you.. and then of course when your just about done you get hammered by a hail storm and have to go through roof replacement..   etc etc etc..  Like I said I think its locals market for local experts.. us folks coming out of market trying to compete just did not work for me.  

If you have a slab-on-grade foundation a poly injection could be a viable option to fill the void underneath and lift the slab at the same time. The high density polyurethane as mentioned in the other posts is much lighter than a cement/mud mixture making it less likely to cause additional settlement due to the weight, another benefit is that it expands and compresses the soil underneath it to a certain degree.

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