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Calling all structural Engineer's!

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Calling all structural Engineer's!

Old 01-10-2015, 02:08 PM
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Default Calling all structural Engineer's!

I have a hole that goes directly under the foundation of my property, which appears to be a den for who knows what creature!

I noticed a rather large basketball sized hole in the shrubs last week along with approximately 1 yard or so of dirt piled just outside the entrance. I thought the hole just went down a few feet. Today, I go to clean the windows of the house which are 5ft from this hole and my first step plunges my foot down well into the soil directly next to the foundation of the house. A little digging reveled a hole (Tunnel) that goes under the foundation. The smell coming from there is horrible, so I know that I have killed several of them but my question is this!

Do I just fill the hole with concrete, packing it in as I go. or do I call the county building inspector first to see what he/she thinks?

I am siding on the side of just fill the hole with concrete and be done with it, but wanted to hear some other viewpoints. maybe there is some sort of expanding concrete I could use or some other method that I am unaware of.

Thanks for the help..
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Old 01-10-2015, 02:21 PM
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I would just fill the hole with good soil slowly watering it in as you go. You use a piece of pvc and run the hose on the end. Don't call the county you never know what kind of numb nuts you get, he may want to cost you a lot of money.
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Old 01-10-2015, 02:25 PM
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unless you pump concrete into the tunnel you probably won't be doing anything but filling the entrance.

I'd try to smoke out whatever dug the hole the backfill it with dirt.
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Old 01-10-2015, 02:34 PM
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What ever you do ... don't call the county. Handle it on your own without and assistance from "licenced" trappers or animal removal services. Why? you ask? If it's a Gopher Tortoise your in a world of sh*t.

Me... I'd get some of that slurry (soil/cement mix mud mix) from the concrete place and pump it in the dang hole.
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Old 01-10-2015, 02:38 PM
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Never thought that a county guy may cost me lots of money....would have never thought that...thanks.

Also, the hole smells bad, so I think whatever was there is now dead. I used the hose to fill the open tunnel with mud and water and it seemed to work.

Just wondering if I can simply just fill the hole in without worrying if the foundation should be looked at. As far as time goes were talking about 2-3 weeks.
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Old 01-10-2015, 02:47 PM
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How far does the hole go under the foundation? Put a hose or snake down there to get an idea how big the hole is.

If the size of the hole seems reasonable, call the concrete company and as for a delivery of flowable fill. This will flow into the hole horizontally better than concrete.
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Old 01-10-2015, 02:48 PM
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Originally Posted by kevincook View Post
How far does the hole go under the foundation? Put a hose or snake down there to get an idea how big the hole is.

If the size of the hole seems reasonable, call the concrete company and as for a delivery of flowable fill. This will flow into the hole horizontally better than concrete.
we call that mud mix around here
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Old 01-10-2015, 02:48 PM
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If the hole was about 10" wide 8" high and somewhat oval in shape it was probably a Gopher Tortoise.
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Old 01-10-2015, 03:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Hagar TH View Post
If the hole was about 10" wide 8" high and somewhat oval in shape it was probably a Gopher Tortoise.
Exactly, is this what the hole looked like? You do have footers right? If so, it seems odd that anything would go that deep, but maybe your foundation is well above grade too. I would slowly fill the hole with water running and let the sand wash in. You might have to repeat this after hard rains. One little hole under your foundation will not cause any structural issues, so do not call any so called "experts"!
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Old 01-10-2015, 03:05 PM
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How much dirt was around the tunnel entrance? Anything that came out would be there, gives you an idea how extensive it is.

Maybe George Zimmerman has been burrowing there!!
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Old 01-10-2015, 03:24 PM
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I do not believe its a tortoise, I would have seen a slow moving turtle. If I mix concrete with dirt and water would that work? I could always use very thin/wet slushy concrete.

Thanks everyone, will be doing this myself.
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Old 01-10-2015, 05:27 PM
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Just a thought.
Wouldn't you want to get whatever is in there, out, before filling the hole?

If using a hand held plumbers snake, you will be able to feel if the wire screw on the end hooks something.
If it does, pull it out then repeat until you feel the tunnel is empty.

You can also rent a pipe camera.

If something is still using the hole, set up a game camera.

I agree with the other post, calling an "Inspector" could lead to a whole heap of trouble.
Condemn house structurally until it is fixed and reinspected. $$$.
The animal could be an endangered species.
Peta may get wind of it.
Who knows. Stranger things have happened.



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Old 01-10-2015, 05:39 PM
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No structural damage to worry about. Do what you want to with the hole. Me personally, I would want to remove the animal. But I'm a pansy sometimes when it comes to living creatures, even fish! I said sometimes...
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Old 01-10-2015, 05:56 PM
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Do not! I repeat do not call the building inspector! The above mentioned plumbing snake should grab the fur of whatever is under there "DEAD or ALIVE" You can rent a small mortar mixer and mix the concrete as thin as you want. You can probably get by with a wheel barrow and shovel. Depending on the size of the hole it will take quite a few sacks of concrete. That stuff does not go very far. I probably would not get a concrete truck out there just because of the attention it would draw. Handle this on your own even if it takes a few tries. Good luck.
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Old 01-10-2015, 06:01 PM
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It maybe a possum that has gone down into the gopher turtle hole. They love to hide in them and they stink. I would just fill the hole with dirt and wash it down. No advantage of concrete.
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Old 01-10-2015, 06:14 PM
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Originally Posted by kevincook View Post
How far does the hole go under the foundation? Put a hose or snake down there to get an idea how big the hole is.

If the size of the hole seems reasonable, call the concrete company and as for a delivery of flowable fill. This will flow into the hole horizontally better than concrete.
This ^^^^^
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Old 01-10-2015, 06:15 PM
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Originally Posted by C Skip R View Post
It maybe a possum that has gone down into the gopher turtle hole. They love to hide in them and they stink. I would just fill the hole with dirt and wash it down. No advantage of concrete.

I agree, no need to concrete the hole, just fill the entrance and be done. I'd try to at least remove the animal if it's living. Smoke will drive em out....
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Old 01-10-2015, 07:05 PM
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With the caveat that I haven't examined the site conditions and you always get your moneys worth from free advice I offer the following:

1. The root problem must be addressed first. The critter or leak or whatever caused the void must be eliminated
2. Soil fill must be properly compacted and compactive effort effects a very shallow soil lense
3. Flowable fill would be the best backfill option. Beware, unless you can vent the air displaced by the fill, you won't fill the void.

Best of luck.
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Old 01-10-2015, 08:28 PM
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Originally Posted by brickphil View Post
. I'd try to at least remove the animal if it's living. Smoke will drive em out....
Yeah, and if it's dead, I've got some awesome sauce for the Q.
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Old 01-11-2015, 06:13 AM
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Update...
1. Thanks everyone for your insight!
2. The hole area smells really bad, creature is most likely dead
3. Venting idea is a great idea!
4. Used smoke granaids yesterday...nothing!
5. Don't think its a tortious, would have seen him.
6. Will NOT be calling anyone.
7. Filling in today with concrete slurry mix.


Thanks again for all the help!
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