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"Water heave"

I live in the frozen northland and we have to have footings below the frost line to prevent frost heave. I saw that on the Austin project they had a heavy rain and the ground swelled with the water and heaved the house. I would think that a house heaving from water would be just as bad as from frost -- the house is still moving. Is this just a normal thing in Texas? Do they build new houses with deeper footings to prevent this? Am I the only one who thought this was just not right?

Re: "Water heave"

I too wondered about that one.

Bill Moore
Re: "Water heave"

The older houses in Austin were designed to flex a little with the changes in soil moisture. The walls were wood with wallpaper on a loose gauze backing. The house could move somewhat without damage. Sheetrock changed all that. Like plaster it does not react well to movement. The old piers are replaced to the depth that is economically feasible. The underlying rock is 16' below at this location. To go that deep requires removing all the floors for drilling equipment. So replacement piers are about 3' deep and then correcting the perimeter water conditions are the most important.

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