Digging for footers

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Old 02-04-12, 10:43 AM
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Digging for footers

When digging for concrete footers under a house, after digging about a foot, the dirt is very wet. I've never dig down this far, is this normal? I guess this is a stupid question. I just figured it shouldn't be that wet since it is under a house protected from rain.

Any help is appreciated!
Zach
 
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Old 02-04-12, 12:53 PM
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i am going to say that = no, i shouldn't be much wet, if any at all. i would look for plumbing anywhere around that area. especially buried pipes, they could be leaking under the dirt. and/or are your gutters routed away from the house ?
 
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Old 02-04-12, 02:10 PM
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Generally, if it's soft and muddy it is not suitable for a footer using standard construction methods. Inspectors in my area will fail it if the bottom of the footer hole is not solid requiring you so solve the water problem or keep digging down until you hit firm ground.
 
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Old 02-04-12, 02:25 PM
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How close to the exterior wall is this foundation pier? The wet ground is likely the reason that part of your house is sinking.

http://www.doityourself.com/forum/fr...r-sagging.html
 

Last edited by marksr; 02-04-12 at 02:27 PM. Reason: add link to previous thread for reference
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Old 02-05-12, 11:41 AM
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If the soil bearing can be deemed substantial enough to support a structure the problem could be you are just plain at the water table and preparing for footings is a wet muddy problem. There are lots of homes excavated and water fills in the footing ditches overnight. There are lot's of things a person can do to minimize that problem. You could spread wash gravel and get some tile in. Dig a sump and start the pumping process so you can pump out the water so that not only do the masons have a workable place but the house foundation will be tiled when that goes up.

Even with form full of water concrete will displace the water as it is poured in the footing form. As the crew pours around the perimeter footing it is useful to perhaps leave a splice board of or remove a section of form and the concrete will push out the water. Provided the workmen don't pump the concrete mix up and down as it is poured, The slump of th concrete wil not be altered.

Just make sure at this stage that the tile level be near the top of the footing or below it assuming you will place a floor 4" over the top of the footing. Certainly the sump system needs to be below floor level. Good luck on your project and remember your rubber high top boots.

bs5
 
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Old 02-05-12, 09:18 PM
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Could also be a natural spring that's been there for ages.
 
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Old 02-05-12, 10:19 PM
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I have dug holes on each side of the sinking pier. A couple feet away on each side. If it's not suppose to be that wet, then that must be why its sinking.

Thanks for the quick replies, everyone!
 
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Old 02-07-12, 11:03 AM
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You never answered if you have rain gutters? And has it been raining alot there?
 
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Old 02-07-12, 03:46 PM
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I have a wet layer of soil under my house that keeps the soil continually soft. I had to over dig the footer depth and width and put in a substantial layer of gravel and then a larger than usual footer on top. Basically spreading out the weight over a large enough area to get the psi load down to what the mushy soil would support. It's worked well with no cracks or movement in ten years but a lot of out of sight work and planning went into it.
 
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Old 02-14-12, 09:01 PM
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Yes, I have gutters, all in good condition, and not a lot of rain here.
 
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Old 02-25-12, 09:26 PM
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I am having the same water problem w/ a 10 x 10' concrete slab base for a vinyl shed, plus there is 7" grade drop off from one side to the other. The concrete guy is recommending a 10 x 12" footer w/ #4 rebar x 2 and 4" thick for the rest of the slab. He left his hand tamper behind for me to tamp the area till he pours 3000 psi w/ fiber mesh concrete on Wed. We are ordering extra concrete to avoid delivery charge, so I wonder if a wider or deeper footer would be beneficial and how much wider and deeper and would I need even more rebar?
Thanks!
 
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Old 02-25-12, 11:54 PM
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A wider footer than what your proposing, for a small storage shed, doesn't make any sense. You'd do yourself a bigger favor by pouring an entry slab to where the shed's doorway will be. Rolling lawn equipment in and out will soon make a mess of the grass (or other landscaping) otherwise. Just make sure to provide an expansion filler between the shed slab/footings and the entry slab.
 
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Old 02-26-12, 07:44 AM
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Thanks for the reply.

He did frame a ramp, but I did not think about an expansion joint between the slab and the ramp, which I will specify.
 
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