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Rules of Thumb: Diagnosing Foundation Problems part III

Landscaping

An important tool for diagnosing foundation problems is to understand the existing landscape on the site.

See below:

RoT III Arial Landscape

RoT III Drainage Image

To summarize:

  • Trees steal moisture
  • Irrigated grass usually adds water
  • Deco drains usually inject water when there are no drain points (most don’t have them)
  • Narrow side yards accumulate water
  • Gabled roofs without gutters that dump into narrow side yards exacerbate poor drainage
  • Sloped topography can accumulate moisture on the high side
  • Fill areas can be candidates for settlement
  • Cut areas can be candidates for heave

As mentioned in previous blogs, none of these rules of thumbs are absolute and are guide posts only. For example, I have seen on rare occasions, the cut areas over excavated accidentally during construction and filled back and under compacted causing settlement. Never the less, these are good guide posts that can be valuable in adding to an understanding of an issue. ____________________________________________________________________________________________________

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