New Home Problems!
1. A base of 4” of #57 or #67 washed stone should be placed over a compacted sub-grade.
2. A 6-mil polyethylene vapor barrier should be placed over the stone and all holes and seams should be taped or sealed.
3. Welded wire fabric (reinforcement wire) should be placed with a 6” minimum overlap at all seams.
4. The concrete should be 4” thick and poured at a 4” maximum slump, pulling the reinforcement wire up into the concrete as it is placed.
5. After the concrete is finished it should be protected with a moisture retaining cover, or chemical curing compound to maintain as much moisture as possible for a minimum of 14 days.
Not following the procedure above will result in excessive cracking. The superior walls should not have a cracking problem either. I would also suggest you contact Superior Walls and tell them about your problem. If the builder did not follow all the manufacturers recommended procedures during the installation he should be liable for these repairs. If he did follow all the proper procedures Superior Walls should make the repairs under their warrantee.
I am very interested in knowing who installed your precast walls. Were the problems resolved to your satisfaction?
There's no mention of warranty details on http://www.superiorwalls.com.
We called the main office in PA and we were informed they have NO responsibility for the warranty....is up to the franchisee. After initial contact a Mr. Hawthorne was unresponsive to several phone calls.
I've also contacted Bob Villa via this web site and got no reply. I'd like to think that if Bob were aware of the warranty details, he might not be so embracing of the Superior Walls foundation.
I'm not looking to sue anyone, I just want a dry basement and thus far this is not the case. I will update this thread if anything changes.
I think Bob Villa should get involved and stop recommending this product by virtue of their advertising.
Our basement floor has numerous fissure cracks that are widening.
I will let you know how well they respond to problems because their dealer is a typical contrator type. The first time we dealt with him, he kept saying "(expletives deleted)sue me, sue me, I'm not fixing anything (that was for incorrect wall heights at the stair entrance)". Now the walls under 4 of the basement windows bulge in 1.5 inches between the concrete studs... We'll see if they do anything about it. I think we will be getting an attorney soon
Bill- New Jersey
I think some of the reason's we have experaince no problems are due to 1) Backfilling of the foundation was started and completed once the basement floor and first floor deck were installed. 2) The exterior walls were waterproofed with the Tuff-n-Dry System(System we used has the one (1) insulation/drainboard installed) 3) The footer tiles are wrapped in filter fabric to prevent soil infiltation as well as one foot of 3/4 inch aggregate placed on top of the footer tiles and against the drain, then cover with a filter fabric material to promote postive drainage and reduce hydrostatic pressure against the walls.4) Finally the entire superior walls system rests on top of 12 to 14 inches of compacted No. 3/8 inch and 3/4 inch washed aggregate for postive drainage and reduced hydrostatic pressure under the basement floor and at the base of the foundation walls. The extra expense of waterproofing the walls, wrapping the footer tiles in the filter material and additional compacted aggregate for the footer system has been well worth it.
I would and have recommonded Superior Walls to anyone building a new home.
i am a master builder with no vested interest in superior walls.
if your *site conditions* caused your walls to bulge and not break or leak then the superior system must be very good. there are a lot of factors that can act on a foundation. any lateral movement would be due to site conditions beyond what is considerered to act on a foundation unless your builder alerts the foundation company to extenuating circumstances.
superior walls are engineered to resist typical forces that act on a foundation. the engineering shows that the system will withstand the forces actiong on it better thatn a block foundation. if you have problems now, they would be worse if you used block. of course this is valid as long as the system was installed properly and there were no improper alterations made.
many building type companies do not respond to frantic claims that are obviously unfounded because anything you say can be yused against you in a court of law. the unfortuante fact is if y ou get any case into court, some amount will get paid no mattrer what.
MOST likely, the reason(s) a basement wall can crack-leak-bow is from one OR more of following---
1) the SOIL that was used as Backfill against the outside of the wall settled/compacted which causes a spring-like lateral force against the way and caused the wall to crack-leak-begin to bow inward. Most builders use the SAME soil that was excavated to backfill, a few will use a LITTLE gravel-peastone BUT, still backfill w/mostly the same soil which was excavated.
2) the backhoe/equipment operator didn`t know and/or didn`t use any-enough CARE when backfilling heavy/large amounts of same soil against newly built walls. Walls where steel reinforcing rods were NOT used or sometimes, bsmt floor was NOT poured/installed and they still backfilled. Thing about using heavy equipment ALONE is that the WEIGHT of the equipement itself, when operated near/along basement walls can/could cause a wall to crack/bow.
3) the soil that was used for backfill finally got its first few soaking/rain and its always possible that, when clay is used as backfill against bsmt walls it, expands when it gets wet and then, contracts. THIS kind of Lateral-SOIL-PRESSURE OFTEN causes new/old wall(s) to crack,leak,bow inwards.
4) Tree ROOTS, roots can grow along/against outside of basement walls and certainly could cause a crack, leak, help push a wall inward.
5) some cracks/leaks can be caused from underground vibrations, again, from heavy equipment being operated close by, like in the street or even from house being close to a highway, yup.
Don`t believe me, fine...read this...
take time and read it....
for instance, see --Compaction-- 2nd para
"The problem is that the PRESSURE from the compacting process gets transmitted THROUGH the Soil to the WALL. Basement walls have been known to CRACK or fall over while earth is being dumped against them OR,compacted around them; so foundations should ALWAYS be BRACED BEFORE Backfilling.
AFTER compaction, SOIL is under compression like a spring and CONTINUE`s to PUSH Against the foundation as it tried to expand.......in practice sands and gravels densify or compact more readily than silts or clays, creating LESS of this springlike FORCE--one more GOOD reason to use them for backfilling!!!!
--Careful On Construction Site--
"When there`s a heavy load on the ground next to a foundation, some of the PRESSURE is transferred to the WALL.During construction, bulldozers and trucks that come near a basement wall can add enough surcharge Pressure to damage the wall. A NEW building being built next to an existing basement can also INCREASE the Underground PRESSURE and DAMAGE the EXISTING foundation..."
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