Asked on Aug 2, 2013

The exterior foam on our foundation is starting to go up.

Woodbridge Environmental Tiptophouse.comKia207633Gail lichtsinn
+6

Answered

Hello AS you can see from the pictures the foundation insulation foam of my house is starting to go up. Can we just cut the part that is protruding and flatten the surface with gravel or sand plus soil or should I call a professional to fix it.
q the exterior foam on our foundation is starting to go up, concrete masonry, curb appeal, home maintenance repairs
q the exterior foam on our foundation is starting to go up, concrete masonry, curb appeal, home maintenance repairs
9 answers
  • Mary Insana
    on Aug 3, 2013

    With the buckling of the patio stones it seems like you have a foundation problem. I'd call in a professional.

  • My guess is they never attached it & you either have some expansive soils / clays (are you in Texas area?) &/or the water is not draining away from the foundation area - call in a pro to find root issue & see what fixes will work

  • The issue is here is settlement. This is a very common condition on newer homes and accented by the paver patio. When a home is dug for the foundation walls and basement the excavator digs about two feet away from the area in which the foundation walls will eventually be positioned. This is to allow access by the water proofing companies and those who installed the foam boards as well to have access to the outside part of the foundation wall. During the back fill process the contractor waits until the flooring and the framing is somewhat complete. This extra weight on the top of the foundation walls help them from being pushed in towards the center when the heavy soils are returned back to fill the hole. Because the soils are somewhat loosely filled, the machine used to back fill cannot drive to close to the house or the weight of that combined with the soils will cause the wall to fail. In any case these loose soils are packed down by the bucket or the weight of the soils themselves. And in most cases the contractor leaves the soil proud of the finished grade to allow the soil to settle out on its own during the final part of the construction of the home. A good example of this is dig a hole and then back fill it. You will have extra soil. By magic you have increased the volume of the material that was removed. If you pile it on top of the hole and leave it there for several weeks, or soak it down well with water, you will see the mound disappear back flat to the original grade level. Now comes the patio people. When they do their job, they cut away the soils to level them for their stone application. Removing some of the soil that would over time had settled out to be level with the rest of the undisturbed soils around two feet away from the foundation. Although they may use vibrating compacting plate machines to compact the sub-base for the pavers, they cannot get the soils packed enough to prevent settlement with such a light machine. The results over time is the soil settles out causing the pavers to drop along with the soils. The fix here is to completely remove about three feet out from the house, add back fill soils or stone and reset the pavers to the original position. While this can be a DIY project, quite frankly its the type of job that requires several hands and strong backs. Do nothing with the insulation. Other then to cover it with soil so the sun and weather does not cause damage to the insulation from being exposed. If you look around the rest of the house foundation areas, you will find some settlement of soils around the other areas of the foundation. These also should be back filled to prevent water ponding and the possibility of a future water issue from within the basement area.

  • Kia207633
    on Aug 3, 2013

    I really appreciate your responses. I think you guys are right, calling the pro would be the smartest move at this point. Thank you once again:-)

  • KMS Woodworks
    on Aug 3, 2013

    The short answer is the soil is sinking , not the foam is rising. Woodbridge explained it very well. You can remove all of the pavers, bring in some more fill. compact it and then replace the pavers. It would be Ideal to maintain a gentle slope away from the house.

  • Good points @KMS Woodworks & @Woodbridge Environmental Tiptophouse.com but I got to say I considered settlement to, but looking out in the yard & seeing how close is to the top of the foundation (which doesn't meet codes...) leads me to poor workmanship & not designing for the environment - of course not knowing where they are doesn't help either & you could easily be right

  • Gail lichtsinn
    on Aug 6, 2013

    you already have a problem..Call a proffessional before it gets any worse..Think you have a poor installation and cosmetic remedy will look better but something is doing damage and whatever is causing it will continue

  • Kia207633
    on Aug 6, 2013

    Can you guys tell me which professional I should call. Someone told me any landscaping or payasagist is what I need. Any other advice?

  • A landscaper is normally the type of person you would look for in this type of work. Just be sure that they do this on a full time basis. If they just do a few now and then, steer clear. There are companies that just do driveways and patios as well.

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