Author Topic: Cracks where floating porch joins house  (Read 856 times)

Sun Hat

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Cracks where floating porch joins house
« on: September 06, 2017, 09:39:06 AM »
Hi Mustachians!

I'm looking for advice on what do to about my porch. I've lived in my house for 1.5 years and so far it's been a money pit. Last year I had piles installed underneath the whole perimeter of the house to stabilize the shifting foundation - the ground here is a clay gumbo. This year has been quite dry, and while the house has stayed put, the far side of the enclosed porch sank a couple of inches. The result is cracks at the vertical seams with the house, a crack inside my living room (where it seems that the weight of the porch is pulling the wall outwards) and a slight cant in the porch which has pulled the screen door frame out of square.

I gather by the cracks in the stucco that this has happened before, but perhaps not to this extent. However, the previous owner neglected a lot of necessary maintenance, so I'm not sure if continuing to just ignore the problem is a good plan.

So far, all I've done is to sand the door frame so that the door can close again, and later I'll use a silicone caulk to patch the crack in my living room wall (it's a horizontal space between the wall and crown moulding) and exterior silicone caulk to plug the exterior cracks.

Those fixes obviously don't fix the underlying problem though - my porch floats while my house is now stable. Any ideas on how I can keep the problem from recurring - or whether I should just let it be? My only ideas are to have piles installed under the porch to render it as stable as the house, but that'll easily be $20k. Since I'm already $300K into a house worth $225k, I'm reluctant to spend that much if there are cheaper options. Ideas?

former player

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Re: Cracks where floating porch joins house
« Reply #1 on: September 06, 2017, 10:14:08 AM »
Demolish the porch?

As a minimum, detach it structurally from the main house.

Sorry you are having all these troubles.
Be frugal and industrious, and you will be free (Ben Franklin)

ChpBstrd

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Re: Cracks where floating porch joins house
« Reply #2 on: September 13, 2017, 03:45:11 PM »
Check your gutters/drainage first. Is water causing these sags?

There are foundation repair companies that use large drills and hydraulically pressurized concrete to push support under concrete slabs, if that applies.

If it's a new house, you might just need to wait a few years for the settling to finish and then pour new concrete level over the slab.

Goldielocks

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Re: Cracks where floating porch joins house
« Reply #3 on: September 17, 2017, 11:47:41 PM »
flex joint / free standing porch not tied to house, wit flexible flashing (up to 6" deep) covering the join.   You need to cut the attachment to the home and add posts for the porch at your house line instead.   Not it can heave 4" or more without a problem.

Alternative is a smaller porch / deck that is entirely supported / cantilevered off your home, if your home will support it.

Goldielocks

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Re: Cracks where floating porch joins house
« Reply #4 on: September 20, 2017, 12:55:19 AM »
Hard to know.  If the roof is not also a deck, you only need to worry about wind and snow loads.

You need to add a wear plate against the wall, and a flexible flashing over the join.   Can't say more as I don't know you specific situation.

Goldielocks

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Re: Cracks where floating porch joins house
« Reply #5 on: October 05, 2017, 08:20:34 PM »
I am glad a solution has been found!