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Drainage & Foundation Damage

 

Drainage & Foundation Damage: What kind of role does drainage play?

 

I often hear that drainage improvements alone can effectively take care of moisture accumulation and heave. While I agree that drainage improvements are beneficial, alone they may in the short run be less effective, and in the long run may not be enough.

We believe in drainage improvements. We offer both gutters and hard pipe drainage. It does little good in fact it may be counterproductive to collect all of the roof water and dump it in a concentrated location at the base of the house. Surface drainage in modern housing is not sufficient to properly drain, because the lots are too small and too flat to properly drain. Hard piping is required to properly drain the water from the roof.

When you have a typical dome heave with the center of the slab as the high point, it is already more moist than the edges, as moisture accumulates at the middle. What happens in the short run with a house in this condition when you dry out the edges more with drainage improvements alone? It will dry out the edges MORE.

if you have heave in the middle of a slab, you need to effect change at that location…. the middle. That is why when we install the MoistureLevel system we install the suction pit as close the high point as we can, where we can affect the most change.

We also advise the homeowner to install proper drainage improvement to aid in the long-term moisture infiltration reduction. Along with the MoistureLevel system they make a great combination.

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Glen K. Copeland wrote on February 12th, 2018 11:02:23am
But what do you do to assess that this interior mounding is truly center heave. If you do nothing, it could just as well be edge settlement, either due to compression of the soil or desiccation of the soil. By the way, I sent you a request to send to me your "After the Fact" field test studies of homes that you have used your company has the MoistureLevel system on. I have not gotten any response
BOB BROWN wrote on March 1st, 2018 03:03:38pm
Hi Glen, thanks for responding. We use a number of tools and techniques to help diagnose between heave and settlement. I have devoted 12 blogs to this one subject. Everything from recognizing patterns, noting the damage proximity to either high or low areas, the type of damage, topological info, drainage, solar orientation,known soil characteristics, historical rainfall facts and many others. I hope you will read the blogs and comment.

In my last post on the data I suggested you contact David Deatherage PE. he has our data. I recently told him of your inquiry and he is fine cooperating with you.