Re: Porch Separation
It is likely that the steps were built on top of organic soil (humus) rather than supported from mineral soil (clay). As a result, they have settled unevenly. The seasonal freeze/thaw cycle will continue to cause the steps to move; any patch to the existing steps will be a band-aid that will only last a year or two. The good news is that the steps appear to be monolithic, moving as a unit with no cracking. This reduces the danger of imminent failure.
The ideal fix is to completely remove the steps and rebuild them. New steps should have a footing dug down to mineral soil, to eliminate seasonal movement. Concrete, brick, or stone steps should be independent of the house structure, not attached in any way, as differences in movement between the house and the steps would cause something to fail. Wood steps should be attached to the house structure for additional stability, and should also be placed on a suitable footing.
The footing doesn't have to be concrete all the way down to the mineral soil. You could used packed, crushed gravel as a base. Though there could be seasonal movement, it will be minimal compared to the movement of organic soil. If you do use a concrete footing, it should be below the frost line.
Last edited by Fencepost; 01-09-2016 at 07:20 PM.
The "Senior Member" designation under my name doesn't mean I know a lot, it just means I talk a lot.I've been a DIYer since I was 12 (thanks, Dad!). I have read several books on various home improvement topics. I do not have any current code books I can refer to. I was an apprentice plumber for two years.