Posted by JWmHarmon on December 19, 2002 at 13:37:29:
In Reply to: Re: Are old houses being blown down where you live? posted by Bruce Jennigns on December 18, 2002 at 12:59:03:
My 1970's house was built with a concrete block foundation with no foundation drains and no loose backfill material. Backfill material was shale and heavy clay. The freeze thaw cyle eventually began to shove the foundation inward with horizontal cracks appearing at about three feet below grade. My house also has a natural spring at the top of the footer at the rear of the house. An attempt was made to drain this spring water into the sewer line by providing a branch line. This soon plugged with clay and silt preventing any further drainage of the spring water. The spring water then found its way through the block foundation wall, periodically flooding the basement floor.
This foundation and drainage problem was solved by digging up all around the foundation and building a reinforced block wall with both vertical and horizontal reinforcement. The drainage problem was solved by backfilling with 8-12 inches of gravel up the entire side of the wall and schedule 40 perforated drain pipe. The house sits on a hillside so gravity flow provides drainage.
Calculations showed that predictable wind forces required anchoring to the foundation which was not done in the original configuration.
The house has not suffered wind damage. It was built with 1970's hardboard siding (20 year guarantee). The south side siding had to be replaced after 25 years because of severe deterioration particularly around nail holes and on the bottom edges of the siding.
The house has not been subjected to extreme wind so far. Estimates of wind speed have not exceeded sixty miles per hour. About ten years ago a tornado struck about five miles to the southwest of this house. By the time it arrived in my neighborhood it was nothing more than a strange, vertically rising, slowly twisting cloud about 100 yards away.
Windows and door have been replaced, and a new asphalt shingle roof was installed at 25 years.
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