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Filling Concrete into Hedge Planters – Risks to Foundation?

This topic contains 24 replies, has 10 voices, and was last updated by  DirtyWhiteBoy 3 days, 18 hours ago.

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  • #719933

    Seven-Delta-FortyOne
    Pro
    The Emerald Triangle, Northern California

    We always like to keep the water away from the edge of the house. Wet ground is a favorite place termites and the runoff water causes homes to become out of level.

    Which is usually done with overhangs, proper grading, and downspouts.

    I’d say probably less than 1,000th of 1% of homes are built with hardscape butting to the stemwall to mitigate water infiltration.

    Goin' Down In Flames........

    #719951

    CB
    Pro

    Which is usually done with overhangs, proper grading, and downspouts.

    More than that… after the foundation is poured and the forms are removed, there is to be perforated drainpipe surrounding the perimeter at the inverted T, with the holes oriented downward, and with slope directed away from the building. The buried drain pipes are set in gravel, capped in gravel, and covered with a silt screen fabric prior to back filling with soil.

    I suspect the OP has an inverted T perimeter grade beam, possibly grade beam on pier, foundation on the building that isn’t a concrete slab. An exploratory hole could be dug to determine what drainage provisions were done to relieve hydrostatic pressure on the foundation at the time the structure was built.

    #719953

    CB
    Pro

    Especially given the presence of other utilities / infrastructure in the area (water main, drains/cleanouts).

    @cb, could you please clarify what you mean by sand? Would decomposed granite work or would it need to be regular sand? I’m thinking the granite would be more stable, less likely to run off. Also, I assume we would need to put down a moisture barrier beneath the sand/pavers, correct?

    @miamicuse, thanks for pointing out a few of your watch-outs. I share the concern about the concrete possibly separating from the wall / not creating a seal. Unfortunately, I don’t think this sand/paver stone really solves that issue either, except for the moisture barrier to the extent that remains intact / effective.

    How old is the building? How long have the foundation plantings been in place? How long has the sidewalk / patio surrounding the open dirt foundation planters been in place?

    You earlier said this property has been in your family for a number of years? Just as it is now? With a 16″ to 18″ wide trough of dirt, decorated with manicured bushes, open to every drop of water wandering through the sky?

    Why then, are you now so suddenly concerned “about the concrete possibly separating from the wall / not creating a seal.”?? What will a 1/4″ or even a 1/2″ or for that matter a 1″ gap admit, that an 18″ gap didn’t already admit for the last few decades?

    You said this was in L.A.? As in Los Angeles? How much of a concern is rain in Southern California? I lived in LA briefly… about 40 years ago. I think it rained for about 30 minutes during the entire 3 years I was down there. (Admittedly, there was a drought happening at the time).

    I admire your attention to all the details, but LA is generally very forgiving in terms of foundation moisture, lateral pressure, frost heave, and run off management problems compared to other parts of the country. We pay for that however, with seismic concerns.

    Decomposed granite is not a good base for pavers. Either backfill decomposed granite all the way to your drain plane slope above the sidewalk, without any pavers (and sweep up the gritty mess that wanders over the sidewalk every week), or set your pavers in proper bedding sand, such as concrete sand, and top them with proper topping sand, such as polymeric sand.

    Decomposed granite may not allow the pavers to settle in place properly.

    I’d use a landscape fabric that breaths, rather than plastic.

    #719970

    Seven-Delta-FortyOne
    Pro
    The Emerald Triangle, Northern California

    More than that… after the foundation is poured and the forms are removed, there is to be perforated drainpipe surrounding the perimeter at the inverted T, with the holes oriented downward, and with slope directed away from the building. The buried drain pipes are set in gravel, capped in gravel, and covered with a silt screen fabric prior to back filling with soil.

    I do know that. 🙂

    I was just referring to the above-grade actions.

    I know it’s hard to know who folks are here, and I haven’t been around much lately, but I am a Licensed Building Contractor, with more than 20 years under my belt. :thumbsup:

    Goin' Down In Flames........

    #719978

    DirtyWhiteBoy
    Pro
    Honolulu,, Hi.

    Most of what we build here is slab on grade and none of that stuff comes into play.

    Dirty

    A Working Pro since 1988!

    Member since January 26, 2013.

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