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Front Stoops Can Result In Foundation Leaks

Joseph Coupal - Tuesday, December 07, 2010

A front stoop set of stairs or even a porch can settle. In fact, of all the issues we see in foundation settlement, front stoops/stairs and porches rank in the top 3 (along with chimneys leaning and garage column settlement).

Front stoops, stairs and porches are typically built on the front of homes within the first few feet of the foundation.  When a house has a basement, or has a deep crawlspace, the soils on the front of the home are disturbed during construction.  When a builder pours the foundation walls, he then pushes the soil back against his new wall. In either a block or concrete poured wall, the builder has to be careful not to apply too much lateral pressure on the exterior while backfilling for fear of "blowing" the wall in or causing damage.  For this reason, the soils typically are only slightly compacted.  So what does this mean?

Well poorly compacted soils are a major reason for foundation settlement.  In this case, the porch, stoop or stairs are placed on this soil.  As the soil consolidates (compacts over time), the stoop will settle as well. In many cases, a stoop will be removed and rebuilt only to settle again as the new stoop is sitting on top of the same poorly compacted soils (or worse, the builder of the new stoop poured concrete thinking he would go deep enough to stop future settlement). This can be detrimental to your foundation and is one of those little things about a home that some people misread. If you think you need an inspection contact us today and we’ll be happy to put our A-1 method to work for you!

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