Foundation Stabilization and Repair/Foundation and House Stability

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QUESTION: I am looking at buying a house on a flat lot.  After thorough inspection we determined that a water main broke in the past.  When it broke, apparently it flooded the area under the house.  The house is on a raised foundation.  It appears that due to this flooding, the house settled some.  This settling has caused the house to lose contact with some of its supporting piers and of more concern seems to have caused a crack with about a 3/4" offset in one of the walls of the raised foundation.  Due to this the water and the shifting the stucco has been damaged.  The damage consists of some minor cracking in the stucco but no noticeable separation.  There is a crack in the drywall that starts at the front of the house and continues through the while length of the house to the back where the damage is.  The room immediately adjacent to where the main was has cracking throughout the room with about a 1/4" separation in one area.  Is this a problem that can be solved and if so what should I expect to pay for the repair?  Thanks for your help.
Ryan

ANSWER: Hello Ryan
The problem you have described is a very serious situation!
Depending on the amount of water and the length of time the foundation was subjected to the saturation, the overall distortion and displacement may be quite severe.
Of course there are remedial steps to properly restore the foundation integrity, but the cost will be understandably extreme. I would say easily into the thousands of dollars.
You would need to work with a reputable, licensed structural engineer and formulate a plan of stabilization and manipulation of the twisted foundation.
I would recommend avoiding the purchase of this type of home unless you can obtain the place for approx 1/2 of the market value of similar homes, (without structural damage).
Presently, there are so many great deals out there on nice homes because of the banks determination of foreclosing on everyone possible!...I would bet that you can find a great home that is ready to move in.
I wish you the best!
Respectfully          Ed Eckley

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

QUESTION: Ed,
Thank you for your timely and informative response.  I would like to follow your advice of having a structural
Engineer take a look and at least provide an estimate based on the extent of the damage.  The house is in Newport Beach, CA. How do I go about finding a reputable structural engineer in the area or do you know of any companies that address this type of situation? Thanks again for your help.
Ryan

Answer
Hello again Ryan

I'm sorry that I do not know any of the professionals down in southern California.
I would recommend contacting the County building department and asking for their recommendations of nearby professionals. Hopefully they keep track of the most successful structural engineers and planners.You could also check the local directories for licensed structural engineers.
I wish you the best!
Respectfully          Ed Eckley

Foundation Stabilization and Repair

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Ed Eckley

Expertise

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.

Experience

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
Ezine.com Article Title: Foundation Problems Do's & Don'ts custombuildingsupport.com: Foundation Repair Methods

Education/Credentials
High School Graduate 1976 Trade School Graduate 1976 College Graduate 1978

Awards and Honors
Certificates of achievment: Excel Industries Letters of appreciation: City of Golden Awards & Plaques: Jacobsen Turf Division

Past/Present Clients
Available on request

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