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Someone didn't check the plan?

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Found this in a crawl today. 1989 home. The photo doesn't show it very well but the OSB to the left was really bulging in. The 2nd photo is the area directly above.

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It's as if they poured the foundation and framed for a wood "deck" front porch and then decided to fill in the area and pour a concrete porch. Kind of a shame as the house was otherwise fairly clean, but it looks like a very expensive fix. I don't see any option but to rip the porch slab out to expose the area. ???

I haven't quite phrased the report yet, but it's gonna have to end with "structural engineer".

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Hi Rich,

In the second photo, it looks like that stoop has settled relative to the brickwork and that it was poured against the brickwork without a capillary break. See the line of concrete on the bricks about an inch above the surface? When I usually see that, the shape at the edge of the slab perfectly matches the concrete line on the bricks.

If that's the case, the overdug area wasn't properly compacted when they backfilled it. Do you really think that this is soil that's being "forced" through the hole? There's old dirt there that's dried and newer moist there on top that's recently been deposited there. The OSB is rotting, so I'm guessing you've got a bunch of ants mining out a nest beneath that stoop that're depositing that dirt in the most convenient location - the crawl.

Either way, stoop has to come out, veneer has to come off and repairs have to be made. The only question - who's nickel will it be on?



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Here's a picture of the general area.

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I had one visible weep hole at the left and the rest have been buried by the raised bed (another, but related issue). The bulging sure had the appearance of being pressure related (the photo sucks...you had to be there). There was a much bigger mound of dirt on the moisture barrier beneath the one in the photo. Don't know about ants, but the hole may have originally been rodents as there were plenty of older droppings in this area.

My guess is that they miscalculated or otherwise screwed up when they poured the foundation and then just buried their mistake. Tough to really say what is going on, but I know it ain't right and needs a good fixin'!

I don't know if they originally had the home inspected but, if so, I wouldn't blame that inspector. If it hadn't been for the bulge, the hole and the dirt, I doubt that I would have put two and two together. That's a little scary!

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Do you have a wider shot of the stoop and the area to the left? If you look around the corner to the left in the third pic you can see the foundation, the height of the vent establishes the likely highest elevation of the foundation wall, and it looks to me like the landscaper has raised the grade at the front of the house 2-3' above the foundation.

What I can't tell is where the grade at that wall sits in relation to the stoop (and threshold and finished floor height) - does it drop down considerably from the center of the wall toward the entrance area? If so, runoff could be undermining the stoop - there's a gutter above, but the downspout appears to be disappearing into the landscaping (to a french or foundation drain or similar, or did the landscaper just bury the downspout extension?) - there's going to be a *lot* of water directed down that valley toward a point above the edge of that stoop, and ideally you would see a downspout at that end.

In any case, I would want to take a *very* close look at the interior areas along that wall, both from the crawlspace and below the front windows in the living area.

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