Arizona Foundation Solutions Case Studies: Munds Park, AZ Underpinning System
Introduction: Thank you for allowing Arizona Foundation Solutions to present this foundation survey and assessment for the proposed foundation repairs on your property.
Purpose of the Investigation: The purpose of this report is to evaluate the foundation and the foundation conditions of this property, and to perform a manometer and foundation survey on the interior of the property.
Limitations: The purpose of this report is limited to documenting and addressing the areas of concern indicated by the customer related to potential foundation movements. Arizona Foundation Solutions uses a variety of tools such as manometer survey, observations by technicians with notes and photographs, and industry standards such as the Foundation Performance Association (FPA) “Guidelines for the Evaluation of Foundation Movement for Residential and Other Low-Rise Buildings” to determine if foundation movement has impacted the serviceability of the home. The term serviceability relates to items such as pinched doors and windows, cracks in drywall and slabs, cracks in exterior stucco and walls and the like. Recommendations in this report are made to address and limit future issues related to serviceability and the customer’s concern.
The extent and scope of this manometer and foundation survey and assessment is detailed as follows:
• Perform a manometer survey.
• Locate areas of potential foundation and floor movement, if any.
• Visually inspect and record the interior and the exterior of the location.
• Evaluate any noted movement using industry consensus methods, if any.
• Prepare a documented repair plan if needed.
Foundation Footprint: A drawing of the footprint of the first floor was created and is included in this report.
Exterior Inspection: The exterior of the location was visually inspected. Items such as foundation cracks, exterior wall cracks, improper grading, type of structure, poor drainage, gutters or no gutters, bowed retaining walls, large trees close to the foundation and any type of obstructions that may or may not influence the repair process were noted and recorded.
Interior Inspection: The interior of the location was visually inspected. Items such as floor cracks, wall cracks, ceiling cracks, sloping floors, uneven counter tops, doors and windows that are out of alignment, cracked window glass and bowed walls were noted and recorded.
Manometer Survey: The manometer survey, also known as a floor survey, is a measurement of the differences of interior floor elevations. The flatness of the interior floor was measured using a highly accurate survey device known as a Manometer. The entire interior floor area was surveyed and the elevations were recorded. These data points were then entered into a computer program that provides a topographical map showing the high and low elevation contours of the floor surface. This topographical map shows where the foundation is no longer level and shows where support and stabilization is needed. The floor survey also demonstrates whether any floor slab heave or settlement exists.
After examining the property and performing the manometer survey, Arizona Foundation Solutions believes the property could be experiencing foundation settlement at the southern, central and northern portions of the property as shown by the damage on the Signs of Stress page and lower readings on the Topographical 2D Map page. The drop off in floor elevations on the topographical map is consistent with a foundation settlement pattern. Settlement can be caused by one or any combination of many factors including sub-grade saturation of moisture due to poor drainage, years of storm runoff, plumbing leaks, improper compaction, the lack of a proper foundation system, and/or (in most cases) natural earth movement.
AZFS believes the chimneys could be experiencing minor foundation settlement as shown by the minor damage on the Signs of Stress page.
The Foundation Performance Association (FPA) “Guidelines for the Evaluation of Foundation Movement for Residential And Other Low-Rise Buildings” were adopted to correlate acceptable and unacceptable distress phenomena with actual survey elevations. Deflection and Tilt calculations were performed and compared to allowable values. For this engineered analysis, the deflection of the slab (L/269) exceeds the allowable deflection limit of L/360. In addition, the tilt of the slab (0.26%) was less than the allowable tilt of 1.00%.
AZFS believes the best way to stabilize the support beams in the crawl space is with Smart Jacks. These are adjustable galvanized supports engineered to be placed under the sagging floors to help prevent settlement of the floor joist system. The Smart Jack sequence should start at approximately 2’ off each perimeter wall and should not be spaced more than 7’ on center (exact spacing to be determined after load bearing calculations). An engineered push pier will be driven concentrically beneath the beam at each Smart Jack location to provide a footing for each Smart Jack. If for whatever reason the installation of concentric piers is not possible, a concrete footing of engineered size will be poured beneath the Smart Jack to distribute the load. The Smart Jacks will then be cut to size and set in place. Finally the units will be adjusted to lift the sagging floors back to their best functioning point or the Highest Practical Maximum.
This crawl space plan addresses foundation support. Carpentry and non-soil related movement are outside the scope of work of this project.
The settlement for both chimneys appears to be minor at this point in time. A protection plan has been designed to stop the chimneys from any additional settlement and further damages. AZFS can permanently stabilize this area to protect the foundation from future settlement at the property owner’s discretion.
Since storm runoff is responsible for the majority of the moisture that pools next to the foundation, gutters need to be installed to prevent the storm runoff from increasing the amount of foundation movement. A proper gutter system should be installed to discharge the storm runoff a minimum of 10 feet, preferably 20 feet away from the foundation. We do not recommend installing gutters that discharge next to the foundation as this will only increase the probability of a foundation problem.