Federal Engineering and Testing, Inc. can help determine if there is an issue with the underlying soils. Typically, when you see cracks there is an issue. After a site evaluation and testing, we will provide recommendations for stabilizing your existing foundation. Foundation stabilization options can include pilings, pressure grouting and or foam injection for existing structures with cracking or settlement problems.
Homeowners purchase their homes in good faith that the soil conditions are safe and that the initial testing was performed when the structure was built. This is not always the case! Due to miscommunication between architects, contractors, building departments etc. errors and omissions can occur. When this happens testing can be missed, overlooked or just not required by basing the soil values off of rational analysis.
Rational analysis is the practice of using soil data from neighboring areas to make an assumption about what the soil conditions are for a particular area. This means your neighbor might have great soil conditions but there may be unsuitable soil conditions under your foundation that was never discovered. These unsuitable conditions may be buried organic debris or other natural occurring organic materials. These organic materials are very compressible and naturally decompose overtime. As the foundation loads compress the materials and while decomposition occurs, the soils will settle causing the structure to crack and fail. This is why it’s important to always have your own subsurface investigation done for your structure.
See below where the FBC allows building officials to waive a geotechnical investigation based on rational analysis. Yes, it is permitted but what happens when there are issues later on?
FBC 1803.2 Investigations required. Geotechnical investigations shall be conducted in accordance with
Sections 1803.3 through 1803.5.
Exception: The building official shall be permitted to waive the requirement for a geotechnical
investigation where satisfactory data from adjacent areas is available that demonstrates an
investigation is not necessary for any of the conditions in Sections 1803.5.1 through 1803.5.6 and
Sections 1803.5.10 and 1803.5.11
We can also help for proposed new construction such as a pool, home addition, or any new residential or commercial structure. We can provide a subsurface investigation to provide recommendations for the proposed foundation. This is also a very good practice when purchasing a vacant lot to determine what types of soils you will be building on in the future. If you buy a lot that has muck or organics it could cost thousands of dollars to install pilings or to de-muck the foundation location.