Foundation Stabilization and Repair/Foundation Backfill


QUESTION: My husband and I are taking it upon ourselves to repair our foundation (only 10 feet of it needs to be repaired, as the wall has sheered at the bottom and pushed in about 3 inches, the rest will be core filled to prevent damage, etc.) We have a clay based soil, so it would not be a good idea to use it to re-fill, since it is what pushed the walls in originally. My question is, should I use any particular fill - rocks, just sand, dry concrete, etc - and do we have to wait to backfill if we are just fixing a 10ft cinderblock section? We are in Minnesota, and you never can tell when the weather will turn - I'd like to get the project done in a weekend when we have a bunch of hands to help, but don't want to rush it, either. Many thanks and look forward to your response!

ANSWER: Hello Lisa
I would recommend using a good compactible road base material. You should be certain that a finish grade is established with a positive slope away from the foundation edge of at least 10% out to a minimum distance of 5 to 6 ft. This is very important to provide proper surface water evacuation and prevent future saturation problems.
I wish you best!
Respectfully          Ed Eckley

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Thanks, Ed - the slant was wrong on the sidewalk, so I'm no stranger to making sure the slope is right!  Do we need to wait any period of time after laying the cinder block wall prior to said back filling - I see online there is a curing time, but I'm not sure if that is specific to a poured foundation or not. Thanks much!

Hi Again Lisa

Probably best to wait at least 72 hours after the blocks are set, for the mortar to cure before backfill. You should be careful of the compaction pressure against the blocks. Poured Foundations can withstand compaction much better than block, but it will be important to provide compaction in 16" - 20" thick layers.
Take Care
Ed Eckley

Foundation Stabilization and Repair

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Ed Eckley


I will be happy to answer any questions regarding foundation problems of any type. Questions pertaining to construction methods, Problematic soils, Settling & Movement, Frame torsion & racking, Preventative measures, Repair methods of all types.


Over 18 years in the industry. A.S.M.E. Certified,(American Society of Mechanical Engineering). Hydraulics Design Expert. 18 years of hands on soil manipulation. Over 500 homes repaired, and over 20 commercial buildings repaired. Extensive soil knowledge. Familiar with most types of repair methods and the expected results of each.

Publications Article Title: Foundation Problems Do's & Don'ts Foundation Repair Methods

High School Graduate 1976 Trade School Graduate 1976 College Graduate 1978

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