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Question DetailsAsked on 8/22/2016

why does my concrete foundation vibrate? Anything that vibrates can be felt all over the house, like a. window Un

30 year old house. Gulf coast. Did not flood during any hurricanes. Water running through the pipes makes it vibrate also.

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1 Answer


Would normally indicate it is sitting on a soft soil (almost a given in your area) and vibrations are being transmitted through high water table to the house. - things like trucks going by and jet aircraft or helicopters passing overhead at lower elevations and such.

Could also be it broke free of the foundation in a prior hurricane - enough to make it unstable but not enough to knock it off the foundation.

Lack of subfloor blocking between the joists can make for vibrating floors also.

However, if people walking around or normal water running (without water hammer) causes vibration, then I would say it likely lacks shear resistance in the walls or foundation. If on pilings or piers for instance, they might not have put in the necessary X-bracing. If plank siding (wood or other material) and wood plank interior finish, may not have put in the diagonal "fire bracing" (which is also sway bracing) they should have. Normally plaster or drywall serves that purpose, but in warm climates where interior planking is common this can be an issue.

Another possibility - if a trailer home or manufactured home sitting on concrete blocks, may be they did not concrete them in as they should have, so you are basically teetering on building blocks.

If this concerns you, a Structural Engineer (your Search the List category) would probably be the best person to assess it and recommend remedial measures - which could include X-bracing with wood or cables, concreting in concrete block foundations, bolting the house down to the foundation if that was not done, HUD standard tie-down cables if a trailer home/manufactured home on cinder blocks or cribbing or blocking, or drywalling select intearior walls.

Answered 3 years ago by LCD

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