View Full Version : Help Please

Jim Dull
04-13-2007, 03:52 PM
Home today had stucco. I photographed cracks on exterior but they do not show up in the picutures. The One crack outside had a vertical which then went down and then angled straight up. Inside the basement, there were cracks a little farther over which were vertical and step. There is leaking at the very bottom of the East wall and again at the South wall. The driveway runs along the East wall and is buckling and cracking. There is a Wood beam retaining wall on the other side of the driveway which is tilting and has no gravel behind it. I told the client to obtain the services of a structural professional but I also said I would try to find some answers on this forum.
Is the leaking caused by failure of the stucco or by the soil which is probably also causing the driveway upheaval? There is also some weird stuff leaking out of the stucco in the basement. Also, how can you tell what kind of foundation the stucco is covering? Thanks for anyones help.

Rick Hurst
04-13-2007, 04:19 PM
Just looking at that retaining wall wanna-be and the grade of the soil on the left side of the property is enough for me to tell these folks to run for higher ground.

Byron Lentz
04-13-2007, 04:24 PM
The hill is pushing against the drive that is heaving. The stuff "leaking " looks like expanding foam. I would guess, the water problems have to do with the lack of any kind of drainage system. You just to know that there is a ground water problem coming off the hill side.
I would call for a structural engineer on this one. I have seen this problem before. The hill is moving anytime there is any rain, then it pushes against the hardscape that pushes against the house. Good luck on this one

Rick Hurst
04-13-2007, 06:27 PM

I wished you could drive back by this place in about 2 years and take another picture of where this place used to be. ;)

Just looking at that retaining wall built from landscape timbers is like a train wreck waiting to happen.

In our area, any retaining wall over 3 ft. high has to be designed by a SE and approved by the city before start up.

That detached garage in the back is already looking racked somewhat or your leaning while snapping the picture.

imported_John Smith
04-13-2007, 06:59 PM
Its pretty obvious these folks need some help. The timbers for the "retaining wall" are already starting to separate. The gutter runs right next to the house (Im assuming that the driveway is sloping down hill), even if it is sloped water is still getting to the foundation. This is beyond home inspection and requires help from a civil engineer. Im not sure about Minnesota, but in Texas licensed irrigators are also very helpful. Driveway (and house) is only going to get worse.

Jerry Peck
04-13-2007, 08:29 PM
Others have pretty much covered it, but that hill to the left of the drive is pushing against the drive and not only buckling it, but is pushing it against the house, and likely is pushing the house down hill (if there is a down slope on the right side of the house), otherwise, the hill is just compacting the house between a rock and a hard place (well, maybe not so hard places, but nonetheless, the house and drive are being compacted by that hill (or whatever it is).

Look at the garage in the back.

Is it me, the angle of the camera, or is the garage at an angle to the house corner?

I would tell my clients to "Run Forest, run."

Richard Rushing
04-13-2007, 09:48 PM
Did you ever see the show, Worlds most shocking moments caught on tape"?

There is a scene where a mudslide takes about 10 cars and just pushes them and everything else in it's path downhill at a speed of about 35 mph. Well, this won't go that fast but make no mistake... she's a moving down hill.


Tim Moreira
04-13-2007, 10:45 PM

I saw that video and I agree.


That *retaining* wall is a joke. I agree with Byron, the stuff you see coming out of the wall and window is expandable foam squirted in most likely to *stop* a leak.

Get an engineer to make recommendations and run as the other stated. Better yet, I would tell my client to run.

Jim Dull
04-14-2007, 01:47 PM
Thanks to all. I didn't have to change my recommendations but you gave me a lot of info which made my report stronger. Another pissed off real estate agent. Oh well.

Jerry Peck
04-14-2007, 06:49 PM
Get an engineer to make recommendations and run as the other stated.

The only recommendation the engineer needs to give is ...

How far, and how fast, to run. :D

Bruce Breedlove
04-15-2007, 12:40 AM
Another pissed off real estate agent. Oh well.

Well, la de frickin' da! The agent wants the buyers to invest their hard-earned money in a money pit just so she can get her commission. What else is new?