Foundation Stabilization and Repair/Soil shrinkage from outside of home

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Question
Hi.  We have a 3year old new build in Cincinnati where soil contains a lot of clay.  We have developed a gap between the ground and exterior side of home (especially on west side that is a bit of a hill).  What should we use to fill in this gap to avoid eventual foundation problems.  We've read conflicting advice online.

Thank you!

Answer
cracked walls
cracked walls  
Rachel,
       DO NOT FILL IN THE GAP! If you fill it in, there will be no pressure relief once the soil swells again in the wetter weather. If you allow pressure ( hydrostatic pressure )  to build up from the soil, in many cases the wall will eventually crack as the pressure overcomes the wall strength. The best you can do would be to dig out the soil and replace it with riverstone gravel fill. This stone will not lock into place and can move around if pushed. You should , however, have a shallow cap of top soil over the stone to dress it off on top ( 18") or so....for small plants etc.

Best regards,
         Jim Hise   Expert Basement Repair, Cleveland, Ohio

PS  these walls had to be reinforced from the inside because excavation was out of the question. Fortress carbon Kevlar grid straps were installed, replacing the need for steel beams and wall anchors that most basement guys use.

Foundation Stabilization and Repair

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Jim Hise

Expertise

I am the owner of EXPERT BASEMENT REPAIR in Cleveland, Ohio. see WWW.EXPERTBASEMENTREPAIR.COM for more helpful links, pricing and information on repair work and products I can identify the reasons for movement or cracking in home foundations, basements and walls. I am familiar with most waterproofing and water control methods. I am familiar with and have installed Ramjack, Dixie MacLean, and A.B.Chance™ helical and push pier systems, including tiebacks, steel beams, and rod and grout repair and also several carbon fiber stabilization products. I am currently certified for Fortress carbon fiber installation and have performed carbon repair in the greater Cleveland and Northeast Ohio region for 14 years. Please remember to tell me what city you live in to help me answer your question up front!

Experience

20 years of structural foundation fault identification and most repair and stabilization methods. I introduced Fortress carbon fiber to this region of Ohio 14 years ago. I am always on site and involved in order to monitor each project I am responsible for. I have seen high pressure sales tactics used on homeowners over the years to buy on the very first contact. The most dominant ads on this site are good examples. My experience is that you need to be very careful when having these companies in your home.

Publications
Waterproofing magazine issue #2

Education/Credentials
Associates degree...and the school of hard knocks! Formerly certified by A.B.Chance company from 1993-2005. I have a construction and home improvement background for almost 35 years. I bought, restored and resold distressed property. I worked with 4 different foundation repair companies and am familiar with most methods. I also worked for a waterproofing company for several years. I teach ongoing education classes for home inspectors, adult education and Realtors in foundation fault identification and repair.

Past/Present Clients
Hundreds of residential, commercial and some industrial.

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