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How to remediate a heave

So now we have established that many homes have floor heave. And we have established that many homes get misdiagnosed. We have also established in my previous blogs that this is a significant occurrence.

So now if we have a structure with floor heave what are the real options for remediating it. They are as I see as follows:

Let’s talk about these for a minute. I have put in many cutoff walls. They are expensive and intrusive. They involve excavating a 5 foot wide by 1 foot deep trench all around the house, followed by a deep trench 4 feet deep. Plastic is then run from the bottom of the trench and attached to the edge of the stem wall of the house. Here is a picture:

This process is expensive and time-consuming. Somewhere in the neighborhood of $45-$75,000.

Removal and replacement of the interior slab is even more expensive and more intrusive. This basically is gutting the entire interior of the house including the floors and rebuilding it. The cost is somewhere in the neighborhood of $100,000-$200,000 and an involved moving out entirely and rebuilding and moving back. Not fun.

We almost always recommend grading and drainage improvements on any house that has soil issues. Depending on the scope this may be relatively cheap or somewhat expensive. Many times this fails to fix the problem all on its own. Although it can help.

We have also done many excavation lowering projects over the past 10 years. I pioneered this concept and believe it is still valuable. But it is also expensive and intrusive. Somewhere in the neighborhood of $40,000-$150,000. It also really only works on post-tension slabs as conventional slabs don’t really lend themselves to this kind of operation.

So that leaves us with the last option on the list. What is the direction MoistureLevel? This is a revolutionary concept that I have pioneered with local geotechnical engineer David Deatherage and the a ASU geotechnical department.

15 years ago I had a discussion with Dave about a building that he helped remediate the pollution underneath it. He did this with active soil depressurization, which is another word for drying the soils underneath. The chemical removal was successful, but it had a side effect of drying out the soils and because they were clays soils, caused the building to settle. We then put our heads together and thought why can’t we use this same concept to control the soils. Thus the MoistureLevel concept was born.

Below is a refined concept of how that technology works.

This is a patent pending technology that we are making available to anyone with floor slab heave. In my next blog I will discuss the details of the system and its benefits.