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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2017
    Location
    TX
    Posts
    2

    Default Foundation & Driveway-wrapping around 1/2 of structure

    There is a property that I'm wondering how to maintain should I end up choosing it to purchase. I posted a photo below this is an arial shot.

    Currently, I am waiting to hear the structural engineer report. My prior residences have only had a small portion of concrete around the home, so it hasn't been a problem utilizing soaker hoses in Dallas, TX.

    However, this property has a driveway that wraps around over half of the house. The lines I listed in yellow appear to have no way to provide a "uniform moisture" on the concrete side of the house. How can one maintain uniform moisture control around a foundation when a driveway as such or concrete is poured against the foundation? It seems like this type of layout could lead to more issues in the future.

    Much of the homes in our area are laid out like this which is cause for concern.




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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    2,761

    Default Re: Foundation & Driveway-wrapping around 1/2 of structure

    Not personally experienced with Expansive Clay Soil and I don't want to be, but I understand the ramifications.
    I am sure some the forum members from Texas will chime in at some point.

    For the uninitiated, expansive clay soil will expand when it dries something akin to freezing and heaving issues. http://www.texasinspector.com/files/Soil_Issues.pdf

    If the drive is poured right up to the foundation I would only assume that you would have to cut a channel in/through the concrete and lay in soaked hose.

    Have you looked at other houses in the area that may be is the same situation and tried knocking on the doors to inquire what they have attempted?


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Garland, TX
    Posts
    621

    Default Re: Foundation & Driveway-wrapping around 1/2 of structure

    Quote Originally Posted by AHW-TX View Post
    There is a property that I'm wondering how to maintain should I end up choosing it to purchase. I posted a photo below this is an arial shot.

    Currently, I am waiting to hear the structural engineer report. My prior residences have only had a small portion of concrete around the home, so it hasn't been a problem utilizing soaker hoses in Dallas, TX.

    However, this property has a driveway that wraps around over half of the house. The lines I listed in yellow appear to have no way to provide a "uniform moisture" on the concrete side of the house. How can one maintain uniform moisture control around a foundation when a driveway as such or concrete is poured against the foundation? It seems like this type of layout could lead to more issues in the future.

    Much of the homes in our area are laid out like this which is cause for concern.


    AHW-TX
    You are right to have concerns as it's apparent numerous homes in that area have had extensive foundation repairs along the driveway if you look at aerial views you will see approximately 3'x3' squares along the foundation where they cut the drives for repairs and patched.
    Many homes have a 1/2" or 3/4" expansion joint depending on the material used between the drive & foundation, consult the engineer about removing the expansion joint material and installing drip irrigation along the perimeter.
    If they greenlight have a competent licensed irrigation installer get'er done and refill the residual expansion area with a backer rod & approved sealant.

    badair http://www.adairinspection.com Garland, TX 75042 TREC # 4563
    Commercial-Residential-Construction-EIFS-Infrared Thermography
    life is the random lottery of events followed by numerous narrow escapes

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Plano, Texas
    Posts
    4,162

    Default Re: Foundation & Driveway-wrapping around 1/2 of structure

    Slightly different take on this but after 22 years inspecting and building in the North Texas area I feel I have a pretty good understanding of the issue. Unless you have some anomaly that creates some out of the ordinary issue, the driveway covering by itself is of little concern. The same concrete that prevents watering the soil around the foundation also prevent evaporation of the moisture in the soil thus creating an area that preserves a consistent moisture level in the soil.
    If you had 100% of the perimeter of the foundation covered like this you would have NO seasonal foundation issues. The complete covering of the soil would provide both good drainage of rainwater and protection from evaporation of the soil moisture supporting the foundation. The only soil movement would be horizontal migration through the soil which occurs very slowly (again barring other anomalies.)

    So in my opinion, make sure the drive slopes away from the foundation to move excess water away from the foundation, keep it in good repair, and enjoy life. Spend the rest of your time dealing with any improper drainage and watering the soil around the rest of the foundation.

    Remember your goal is consistent moisture content in the soil. Drain excess water away during the rainy season and add a bit of water during the dry season.

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Plano, Texas

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Plano, Texas
    Posts
    4,162

    Default Re: Foundation & Driveway-wrapping around 1/2 of structure

    After finding the photos online, I would be more concerned with two other issues more than the driveway.
    The cast iron sewer is subject to deterioration, movement due to expansive soil, and leakage. Have a hydrostatic test on the sewer and ideally, scope it internally. Most of the cast iron sewers I have come across in the past 5 years or so have problems ranging from isolated leaks to tree root intrusion, to deterioration requiring total replacement.

    Second is to look closely at the structure where the internal walls have been removed. I can't tell much from the photos but they did not make open concept houses in the 1960's so it is almost a given that a load bearing wall or two were removed.
    Good luck.

    Last edited by Jim Luttrall; 09-06-2017 at 06:49 PM.
    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Plano, Texas

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