I live in Michigan, and have an old "Michigan basement" e.g. stacked stone
basement walls. One interior wall is starting to crumble and I'm trying to
size up the project so I can decide either to do it myself, or how much I'm
willing to pay (and what to expect) from a contractor.
My specific question is based on the idea of replacing the existing wall
(non weight-bearing) with a 8x8x16 block wall. The basement has some
humidity (condensation in the summer) but no water seepage. The target wall
is in the middle of the house/basement, and only holds back the wall of dry
dirt behind it.
Under those circumstances, what type of footer is appropriate under the
block wall? I don't have to worry about frost or water, but I do want the
wall to remain level, so I'm thinking a footer is still appropriate.
I'm having a hard time picturing an interior wall with dirt on one side,
unless there is a crawlspace on the other side of the wall. That being the
case, there is a lateral load.
If there is the floor above resting on that wall then there is a load on it.
In most cases an 8" cmu wall should be sufficient but you need to tie the
ends, top and bottom into the structure. A footer, the floor above and
adjoining walls should take care of that. A 16x8 footer should be fine,
assuming there is no large vertical loads on the wall. You will need to use
vertical rebar from the footer to the wall along with the other
reinforcement required for cmu wall construction.
My question is, what do you plan to do with all that dirt on the side of the
wall while your building the wall?
I have several plastic 55-gal drums for temporary storage; I believe the
consistency of the dirt to be such that I can remove at an angle where
the top edge of the dirt (about 6' high) will be about 2' in, sloping to
the termination along where the footer needs to be. Once the wall is in
place I can backfill the dry dirt, then haul the rest out in 5-gal
buckets. The part I'm not looking forward to is hauling the rocks that
make the current wall- some are so large they will probably become
permanent residents in the basement.
Your description was accurate- there is no vertical load, and the
horizontal load is just retaining the dirt. The top and one side would
be easy to tie in, I'll have to look again at the other side to see what
I can do with it- it is behind the only (wooden) stairway to the
basement, so I may have to remove that (or remove some of the width,
anyway) to be able to tie in the far side.
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