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STRUCTURAL INSPECTIONS & DEFECTS
AGE of a BUILDING - how to determine
BRICK FOUNDATIONS & WALLS
CHIMNEY INSPECTION DIAGNOSIS REPAIR
COLD POUR JOINTS, CONCRETE
COLUMNS & POSTS, DEFECTS
DISASTER BUILDING INSPECTION & REPAIR
EARTHQUAKE DAMAGED FOUNDATIONS
FLOOD DAMAGE ASSESSMENT, SAFETY & CLEANUP
FLOOD DAMAGE TO FOUNDATIONS
FOOTING & FOUNDATION DRAINS
FOOTINGS EXPOSED, Repair Methods
FOUNDATION BULGE or LEAN MEASUREMENTS
FOUNDATION CONSTRUCTION TYPES
FOUNDATION CONTRACTORS, ENGINEERS
FOUNDATION CRACKS & DAMAGE GUIDE
FRAMING DAMAGE, INSPECTION, REPAIR
GRADING, DRAINAGE & SITE WORK
GUTTERS & DOWNSPOUTS
INSECT INFESTATION / DAMAGE
MOBILE HOMES, DOUBLEWIDES, TRAILERS
MODULAR HOME CONSTRUCTION
MOISTURE CONTROL in BUILDINGS
RETAINING WALL DESIGNS, TYPES, DAMAGE
RETAINING WALL GUARD RAILINGS
STRAW BALE CONSTRUCTION
STRUCTURAL DAMAGE PROBING
STRUCTURAL WOOD ASSESSMENT
THERMAL EXPANSION of MATERIALS
TIMBER FRAMING, ROT
WATER BARRIERS, EXTERIOR BUILDING
WATER ENTRY in BUILDINGS
WINTERIZE A BUILDING
This article explains How to Inspect & Diagnose Problems in Pre-Cast Concrete (Modular) Foundations - pre-fab foundation wall sections such as pre-cast "superior wall" foundations, precast concrete walls, how they are placed, how pre-cast concrete foundation walls are sealed, footing alternatives for pre-cast or modular foundations, and concerns for proper caulking or sealing between precast concrete foundation or wall sections.
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Pre-cast foundation walls such as the Superior Walls R-5 ™ or Xi ™ (extra insulation) systems provide sections of concrete foundation walls which are lifted into place and bolted together, often sitting on a simple gravel footing-base, or properly installed, on crushed stone footings [2009 IRC section 403.4.1].
Superior Walls technical director Robert Hare points out that Superior Walls panels use specially formulated polyurethane sealant to seal these joints.
From some manufacturers, (not Superior Walls) the wall sections are sealed, typically with gaskets or caulk or both.
These are excellent building products with a proven track record, but as with any building material or procedure it's important that the precast concrete wall sections are properly transported, stored, installed, connected, and sealed, and that they are supported properly on footings or gravel properly prepared.
The defects we've observed were in pre-cast concrete foundation wall installation and did not involve evidence of structural failures.
Special basement waterproofing system details are needed if a basement de-watering system is installed after construction of a building with precast concrete foundations or walls. Foundation waterproofing companies such as B-Dri ™ who are asked to address water entry in homes built with these systems have to use modified intercept drain materials because the absence of poured footings under the walls gives less depth for an in-basement trench.
Reputable manufacturers of precast foundation wall products, including Superior Walls of America, supply their customers with site prep and construction details and that these are a great resource for inspectors. Superior Walls provides these details in Builder Guideline Booklet MAN 42-9000 [local copy] which is available on-line, free of charge. This booklet includes a series of checklists, including one for Code Inspectors.
Continue reading at CONCRETE SLAB CRACK EVALUATION or select a topic from the More Reading links shown below.
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about problems with factory-made pre-fab or pre-cast concrete foundations
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