Reinforce too-shallow concrete footing
We are remodeling a farmhouse and have a problem with a mudroom that was added to the house in the 1920s. The footing is only 24" deep and we're in Michigan. It has heaved and cracked across the entire width in one spot, causing the brick on the exterior to crack at the mortar about 1/2" in two spots. Three builders don't seem to think it's a big problem and a fourth proposes rebuilding the addition entirely. When pressed, one of the builders said we could watch and see what happens, then dig down and pour some concrete underneath if the heaving continues.
I'd like to know how we might reinforce the slab now in an effort to prevent any future heaving.
I realize that the ideal solution may be to tear off and rebuild the addition over a proper footing, but that is beyond our budget, especially for a mudroom/extra 1/2 bath.
Re: Reinforce too-shallow concrete footing
The existing foundation needs to be extended below the frost line where you are. I'm guessing at least 42", but it could be more. Check with your local building department.
Without rebuilding the whole building, the existing foundation could be underpinned.
Basically the earth is excavated under small portions of the foundation at a time and a new foundation in extended down to the desired depth. This type of work is a bit specialized, but any knowledgeable foundation contractor should be able to handle it. This seems to be what one of the contractors said. Whether it is less expensive than rebuilding is a question for contractors.
Their is no way to reinforce the slab to prevent heaving of the building. The foundation has to go below the frost depth.
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