I am about 80% certain our garage is slowly falling into a sinkhole.
You remember our sad-looking garage, right? Unfortunately, I believe the garage overheard me telling my wife that I liked her curves, and got the wrong idea. This is not what I had in mind.
The truth is that I don’t really mind our wonky garage. I couldn’t care less that the roof is sagging or that the walls aren’t plumb. What drives me batty, though, is the cracked and sloping concrete slab inside the garage. You can tell from the sagging eaves that the side entry door is the low-point for the entire structure.
Maybe. It’s sunk at least 6″, if not a full foot right under that door, and since the whole yard drains to that point, we get up to 6″ of standing water at that point. This past winter, the bottom of the door was underwater, so whenever the water would freeze, the door would also be frozen in place. Take a look at this slab:
I dunno. I think there may be a soils stability problem. The slab just seems to have sunk too much for this to be typical soils consolidation and settling.
The sad part about this is that the timber structure is actually still in great shape, considering the terrible condition of the foundation. Seems like a shame to tear down the whole garage just because I don’t like the sloping floors… but I’m tired of setting the lawn mower on one side and watching it roll across the garage to the low point.
We’ve considered a half-dozen options, but we’ve narrowed it down to the following:
1) Jack the sunken side of the building up into (sort of) place, and pour a new slab right over the top of the existing slab. Pros: this would be cheap, relatively easy, and would solve my primary complaint (the sloping floor). Cons: this wouldn’t pass muster with any sort of building code, and is only a temporary fix. A big unknown is exactly how much life we’d get out of the new slab before it looked just like the old slab. 1 year? 5 years?
2) Full tear-down and rebuild. Pros: new, bigger, meets building codes. Cons: cost, have to deal with permits, very time consuming; if there is a sinkhole or soils issue, fixing it correctly could be a major can of worms I don’t want to open.
Hmm… what do you think? quick fix or expensive fix?