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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Chicago
    Posts
    1

    Default Major issue with slab foundation, door frame, and awning

    Hi,

    My wife and I own a condo, which we are currently renting out. It's a second floor unit, with a private entrance that immediately "forces" you up a staircase once you enter the door. Above the entrance door, we have an awning which has been progressively separating from the exterior wall (see attached pictures). The front patio slab has cracked, and is now sloping downward towards the house. We have had to "adjust" the door frame and lock about every two weeks, as the frame is continually shifting so that our tenant is either "locked in" (door wont open), or the door lock isn't flush with the jam and therefore won't actually "lock". This property is part of a complex of about 15 other upstairs and downstairs units. Others like ours have had the beginnings of this problem, but ours has definitely progressed the worse.

    This property is in the Chicago suburbs, and we have had a VERY cold winter this year. The association says this is what is causing the issue. We have documented the issue, sent letters, made calls to the association, etc. and they are finally going out to take a look and hopefully resolve the issue. It is now a safety issue and I have attorneys who work for me who will get involved if needed.

    Any ideas of the extent of what has to be done here, as far as cost for a complete repair? My guess is that they will have to dig up all the concrete, jack the slab back up, then re-attach the awning and repair all the soffits and damaged siding. Please see pictures below - any feedback would be appreciated. This is the associations responsibility, however I just want to know what to expect. We are going to get our own independent opinion from a structural engineer, however I wanted to get some other feedback to make sure they are fixing the root problem, and not just putting a band-aid on it.

    Flickr: tjgocubs' Photostream


    Thanks!
    TJ



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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Spring City/Surrounding Philadelphia area
    Posts
    3,473

    Default Re: Major issue with slab foundation, door frame, and awning

    My guess is when the unit was built they just put the slab on the grade surface and never put footers in or they put footers in but didn't install them deep enough in the ground. The base of the footers would need to extend down below the frost line to help prevent the movement you are experiencing. With the extent of the damage you have, I don't know that anything with that entry roof can be saved. They may just need to tear it all down and start over.

    "It takes a big man to cry. It takes an even bigger man to laugh at that man". - Jack Handey

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Connecticut
    Posts
    1,828

    Default Re: Major issue with slab foundation, door frame, and awning

    That is being caused by settlement of the main structure, or upheaval of the front porch slab which would be the preferred defect.
    Geta local strucural engineer to give you report. You won'tget aywhere without it.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Spring Hill (Nashville), TN
    Posts
    5,847

    Default Re: Major issue with slab foundation, door frame, and awning

    I would contact Kurt Mitenbuler | Contact. Kurt should be able to direct you in what needs to be done.

    I hope the condo association has a large reserve fund, if not you and everyone other owner will most likely face a hefty assessment to take care of the problem.

    Last edited by Scott Patterson; 03-09-2014 at 09:00 PM.
    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Lansdale, PA
    Posts
    876

    Default Re: Major issue with slab foundation, door frame, and awning

    The most likely cause if frost heaving. Replace patio and install proper footings below columns. May need drainage improvements also. Also need to rebuild porch roof.


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    2,777

    Default Re: Major issue with slab foundation, door frame, and awning

    I concur on entrance has a slab that the posts were set on or the front post did not have a footer deep enough to prevent heaving/lifting of the posts. The lifting of the front roof is twisting the framing causing the door issues. Not a quick fix, but repairable. Roof can be salvaged, alum trim may not, siding can be reworked and reinstalled after roof structure is reattached to building. About a four day job.


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    NY
    Posts
    48

    Default Re: Major issue with slab foundation, door frame, and awning

    Either the main dwelling sunk or the porch columns heaved up. There needs to be s structural engineer and temporary posting deployed.


  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Wisconsin
    Posts
    274

    Default Re: Major issue with slab foundation, door frame, and awning

    First things first, agreed, you need to secure the roof as it could collapse. Looks like it is being held in place with whatever nails along the top, but that is a pure guess.

    No structural engineer is needed at this time. Once the ground is thawed you can just dig under the posts and see how far down the concrete goes, if there's no footing or it's too shallow problem solved. In the Chicago area 4-5 feet deep, is my guess???

    I've fixed roofs like this, not a big deal.




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