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  1. #1
    Shru Voh's Avatar
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    Default post tension cable exposed in foundation "Need Help"

    We are first time home buyer and we really liked one house for which we got the inspection done.There were couple of things that were pointed out by the inspector.
    Right now we are confused whether this issue is really big? or can it pose foundation issues in the future .

    According to the report a long section of the post tension cable sheathing is visible on the south side of the house.( This house is 7yrs old and is Facing east ).The inspector observed a truncated cone shear fracture in the northeast and southeast corners of
    the foundation. Though there were no crack visible inside the house or on the ceramic tile floor.

    If we could get your opinion then that would be very helpful for us to make the decision whether is it worth to pursue this house or this may pose problems later..
    [IMG]file:///C:/Users/shruti/AppData/Local/Temp/moz-screenshot.png[/IMG][IMG]file:///C:/Users/shruti/AppData/Local/Temp/moz-screenshot-1.png[/IMG]

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: post tension cable exposed in foundation "Need Help"

    Quote Originally Posted by Shru Voh View Post
    We are first time home buyer and we really liked one house for which we got the inspection done.There were couple of things that were pointed out by the inspector.
    Right now we are confused whether this issue is really big? or can it pose foundation issues in the future .

    According to the report a long section of the post tension cable sheathing is visible on the south side of the house.( This house is 7yrs old and is Facing east ).The inspector observed a truncated cone shear fracture in the northeast and southeast corners of
    the foundation. Though there were no crack visible inside the house or on the ceramic tile floor.

    If we could get your opinion then that would be very helpful for us to make the decision whether is it worth to pursue this house or this may pose problems later..
    [IMG]file:///C:/Users/shruti/AppData/Local/Temp/moz-screenshot.png[/IMG][IMG]file:///C:/Users/shruti/AppData/Local/Temp/moz-screenshot-1.png[/IMG]
    What did your inspector recommend?
    You can get a lot of different arm chair answers here.
    Personally anything structurally related including foundation and PT slab issues more often than not, I'm going to recommend an engineer.

    As inspectors we are not only looking out for your best interests before you purchase the home,, and while you own the home, we are also looking down the road when you sell the home.

    If you are concerned about it now, and not do anything about it,/ accept it as is, when you go to sell it, what will the next buyer expect when it is disclosed at that time?

    Phoenix AZ Resale Home, Mobile Home, New Home Warranty Inspections. ASHI Certified Inspector #206929 Arizona Certified Inspector # 38440
    www.inspectaz.com

  3. #3
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    Default Re: post tension cable exposed in foundation "Need Help"

    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Harris View Post
    Personally anything structurally related including foundation and PT slab issues more often than not, I'm going to recommend an engineer.
    Yep, your only safe course of action is to call a structural engineer and have them tell you what they say needs to be done.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  4. #4
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    Default Re: post tension cable exposed in foundation "Need Help"

    I agee with Dan and Jerry, you need a PE to tell you it is not a problem.

    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

  5. #5
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    Default Re: post tension cable exposed in foundation "Need Help"

    The first photo is of concern and may need repair. The second and third photos are very common on post tension slabs and are not a big deal in my book, but the exposed cable in the first photo is supposed to be deeply imbedded in the concrete so get a structural engineer to take a look at it or better yet, skip to a foundation repair company with a engineer on staff to tell you how much it will cost to fix the problem.

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Plano, Texas

  6. #6
    Shru Voh's Avatar
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    Default Re: post tension cable exposed in foundation "Need Help"

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Luttrall View Post
    The first photo is of concern and may need repair. The second and third photos are very common on post tension slabs and are not a big deal in my book, but the exposed cable in the first photo is supposed to be deeply imbedded in the concrete so get a structural engineer to take a look at it or better yet, skip to a foundation repair company with a engineer on staff to tell you how much it will cost to fix the problem.

    Thanks! for the responses. Even our inspector had mentioned that structural engineer can give us the real picture. First picture is a real concern for us , wanted to get some more opinion , or may be wanted to hear something positive since we really liked the house, But i guess a structural problem would always remain a problem and might haunt us during the time of resale. So we might drop the house or might got to the structural engineer.


  7. #7
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: post tension cable exposed in foundation "Need Help"

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Luttrall View Post
    The first photo is of concern and may need repair. The second and third photos are very common on post tension slabs and are not a big deal in my book, but the exposed cable in the first photo is supposed to be deeply imbedded in the concrete so get a structural engineer to take a look at it or better yet, skip to a foundation repair company with a engineer on staff to tell you how much it will cost to fix the problem.
    All great advise. The cable ends do need to be sealed for future possible concerns.


  8. #8
    Lee Coughran's Avatar
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    Default Re: exposed post tension cable in foundation "Need Help"

    A major home builder in the Katy/Houston area is building a home for me in Westheimer Lakes. Electrical & plumbing are in, windows were supposed to go in today, and inspector is supposed to come out next wk. While doing a walk-thru this wk I noticed a post-tension cable in the kitchen sticking up thru the surface of the concrete, near where the elec & plumbing for the kitchen island enter the foundation.

    The builder's superintendent kinda dismissed the cable issue, saying it was their foundation contractor's problem. When I asked the building superintendent how they fixed something like this, he said he hadn't a clue, that was for their foundation contractor to resolve. I feel like I'm being left in the dark with a potentially serious defect. That was a few days ago and I haven't heard a word from my builder about how they're going to fix it.

    Do you think I need to get a structural engineer to write a report, or what recourse do I have to get the builder to address this properly? I'm starting to have fears someone might try to stack drywall on the cable and hide it from the city inspector next week. I'm still wondering how it was missed on the first inspection after the foundation was poured, assuming there was an inspection at that stage.

    Finally, how does one even repair a post-tension cable coming up thru the surface of the concrete? Thanks any & all comments.


  9. #9
    Darrel Hood's Avatar
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    Default Re: post tension cable exposed in foundation "Need Help"

    Lee,
    Almost all of my inspection business is new construction phased inspections. Most "standard" phased inspection programs offered in this region do not include an inspection immediately after a foundation is poured. It is part of the framing/mechanical inspection which occurs just before insulation and drywall is installed. Yes, the builder could strategically place material to hide the defect. Most would not do so on purpose. Some might.

    If I observed this on one of my client's projects, and I have in the past, I might say it is such bad workmanship that I would be concerned about the workmanship in the entire foundation and I would be careful not to express any confidence the foundation.

    I can think of a couple of methods to fix this problem at this location, but I can't think of a practical way to detect the other issues in this foundation and repair them.

    In the scenario where the home is still under construction, you have some options for resolution prior to spending your money and time with a consultant. For instance, you say this is a major builder. That probably means the superintendent is at a relatively low level in a management hierarchy. I suggest you take a few good photos, then go over his head and up the "chain" to resolve the problem first. This type of conversation is one of the major reasons the builder has not been paid all the money for the house. It gives you leverage for the discussion.

    Obviously, these are just my opinions and I wish you good luck.


  10. #10
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: post tension cable exposed in foundation "Need Help"

    Well, how abouty striking a deal with the builder if you want this lot that bad and having the foundation dug up and start over again.

    Just saying!.


  11. #11
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    Default Re: exposed post tension cable in foundation "Need Help"

    Quote Originally Posted by Lee Coughran View Post
    I'm still wondering how it was missed on the first inspection after the foundation was poured, assuming there was an inspection at that stage.
    The inspection is before the concrete is poured.

    The next inspection after the slab pour is a bit later and depends on if the house is a frame house or a block house.

    As stated previously by others, take the photos and show them to the city inspector, I suspect they will go out and take a look without much delay.

    Finally, how does one even repair a post-tension cable coming up thru the surface of the concrete?
    There are a couple of ways to make that correction, but the first thing they will want to do is to release the tension on that post tensioned cable so there is no risk of it being dangerous while the work is going on.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  12. #12
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    Default Re: post tension cable exposed in foundation "Need Help"

    my 2 cents

    post tension slab on grade should be an engineer designed system
    the builder should have a foundation plan with engineer of record stamped seal affixed
    this plan will have the engineer contact information
    the engineer of record is the person to contact for any corrective repairs or retrofit modifications to their improperly executed design
    once all is completed the engineer should also issue a letter approving said retrofit/repairs
    get copies for your records
    good luck

    badair http://www.adairinspection.com Garland, TX 75042 TREC # 4563
    Commercial-Residential-Construction-EIFS-Infrared Thermography
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  13. #13
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    Default Re: post tension cable exposed in foundation "Need Help"

    Not to be a wise guy, concrete is placed , not poured.

    The attached photo is of exposed rebar on the 24th floor of a 32 story building I am correcting water infiltration issues and facade deficiencies on right now. Some times you can carve out the concrete and spice a bar and patch with a Sika 212 polymer modified but in this case, to trace the bar back got to close to the spay bars coming out from the verticle mass columns on the buildings corner. Most of these products require a miminum thickness of an inch over the defect exposed bar or cable.

    There are a lot of good products out on the market, dont let these monkeys take a short cut, it will come back to bite you or them.

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  14. #14
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    Default Re: post tension cable exposed in foundation "Need Help"

    Quote Originally Posted by Joseph Ehrhardt View Post
    Not to be a wise guy, concrete is placed , not poured.
    While that is the correct term, how many concrete contractors, concrete suppliers, general contractors, etc., say that the slab pour is scheduled for ... and yes, we will be have trucks running every 30 minutes during that large pour ...

    ... the concrete is poured ( ) from the concrete truck and then transported to where the concrete is placed by one of several means, including, but not limited to: pumping, wheel barrow, directly from the chute on the back of the truck, boom, etc.

    Some times you can carve out the concrete ...
    Not to be a wise guy, you chip out the concrete, not carve it out.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  15. #15
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    Default Re: post tension cable exposed in foundation "Need Help"

    Love a good spar of words JP, we do chip it out...but, the concrete is discharged from the chute, back to you...

    Joseph Ehrhardt
    Building Forensic Specialist LLC

  16. #16
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    Default Re: post tension cable exposed in foundation "Need Help"

    Quote Originally Posted by Joseph Ehrhardt View Post
    Love a good spar of words ... but, the concrete is discharged from the chute, back to you...
    I noticed that after I posted it, but not in time to correct it ... I wondered if you'd catch it - you did. Shame on me.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

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