Foundation Undermining

Foundation Stabilization and Repair/Undermining

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Foundation Stabilization and Repair/Undermining

QUESTION: Ed: Following the hurricane Katrina flooding the soil beneath our house was washed away, and the footings (I think that’s what I’m looking at)  were undermined.  

Let me describe – when I look at the piers they are surrounded by dirt and between each, there is a kind of “sidewalk” which is visibly undermined. 

I’ve been asking around on the severity of this to no avail. The only solution I’ve heard of is to pump river sand under the concrete sections. Shoring experts here are three weeks behind on estimates and want $$$ to estimate.

The house feels stable. No cracks are visible inside except one in an upstairs bedroom-which is on a slab and not supported by the piers.

ANSWER: Hello Thomas
I’m not sure what your question might be.
I can only recommend consulting with reputable structural engineers in your County. My thoughts are having slurry pumped beneath the voids, should be a good plan. I would seek out hydro-grouting contractors that use a mix with portland cement.
You should check with your homeowner’s insurance company to see if they may assist with storm damage remediation.
I wish you the best!
Respectfully          Ed Eckley

———- FOLLOW-UP ———-

QUESTION: I’m sorry. Let me clarify. I was really questioning how serious of an issue this is, how common is it, how to fix it, and possible costs?  

I know that many people here have issues with subsidence under-slab homes wherein they fill in the gaps under the house but haven’t met anyone whose footings are being washed away. 

Hello Thomas
Any time you experience undermining of the foundation footings or caissons, you have a serious issue!… In severe storm situations, where there is a lot of floodwaters, foundation damage is quite common!….. That is why most of the contractors are booked up for several weeks…The best way to fix it depends on the soil type and the initial cause of the undermining to begin with. You certainly do not want to go with a plan that will wash away in the very next severe storm. That is why I suggested going with a portland cement slurry instead of plain sand. Cost is based on the amount of time and material that is needed. It is impossible to guess without examining the entire situation and having material connections in your area. You will need to work with local professionals that have the proper experience and licensing.
I wish you the best!
Respectfully          Ed Eckley