FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Q: Can you fix a landslide on my residential property?
A: Yes. As a geotechnical design-build firm, we can conduct a geotechnical study to determine the best course for remediation, design the repair, and build it for you!
Q: Why do I need an engineering company for my landslide?
A: Landslides begin at the toe (bottom) of the slope, and usually result in a crack, known as a scarp, at the top of the slope. The scarp is the first observable sign of slope movement and eventually the beginning of a larger and accelerated slide of the surface. It takes a trained professional to discern a scarp from an ordinary ground crack. Common factors include erosion, loose or excessively rocky soil, poor pre-building preparation or compaction, and excessive rain.
Proper evaluation and remediation of a landslide requires a team of geotechnical engineers and construction professionals with specialized knowledge and equipment to conduct a geotechnical study, develop a remediation design, and build the fix. Our team of professionals will determine the total slide area, depth of the slide, and materials and methods required to stabilize the landslide. Proper remediation can return the slide area to its intended use and minimize or eliminate structural damage and loss of property value.
For more information about landslides, check out this Landslide Brochure or Landslide Fact Sheet.
QUESTIONS ABOUT YOUR PROJECT
Q: Do I need to complete a geotechnical study?
A: There are many different requirements for the various municipalities around the Greater Cincinnati Area. Check with your local planning and zoning commission to determine requirements for your site. All new construction within the hillside district of the City of Cincinnati is required to have a geotechnical investigation performed prior to permitting for construction. Most other sites in the Greater Cincinnati Area that have sloping land should have a geotechnical study performed prior to construction/earthwork. Please contact us to discuss your project.
Q: I see a crack in my basement/foundation wall. Do I need to have it looked at?
A: Basement cracks can be an indicator of exterior soil issues. However, not all cracks mean you have a problem. The size, direction, and location can mean different things. While a Professional Engineer may be required to design a fix for an underlying problem, a typical home inspection company may be able to provide initial guidance.
Q: Do I need an engineer to design my retaining wall?
A: Not all retaining walls require design drawings provided by an engineer. The material (block) manufacturer typically has standards that are to be followed by the installer to provide the best results of their product. In addition, local municipalities may have laws or regulations which require a set of construction drawings stamped by a licensed engineer. Please contact us to discuss your project.
Q: Do I need a permit for my project?
A: Contact your local (city/county) zoning or building department to determine the specific requirements for your project. If one is required, please contact our office to discuss your project.
Q: What is a Geotechnical Study?
A: A Geotechnical Study involves obtaining soil samples from a project site, classifying the soil layers, and developing recommendations for site construction or landslide remediation. Our recommendations are based on the characteristics of the soil and may pertain to foundation design and construction, earthwork operations, retaining wall design, slope stabilization, drainage provisions, or general site development. This study is tailored specifically to the project and type of construction being requested.
Q: What type of work will you perform for residential projects?
A: Civil Solutions performs geotechnical engineering, construction management, and testing & monitoring services for a variety of residential projects including landslide repair, new construction, and more. We can assist with geotechnical recommendations (determining proper site development); special inspections (monitoring concrete or fill placement, etc.); engineered design drawings (for foundations, drilled piers, drilled shafts, retaining walls, culverts, dams, and more); and oversee the construction of your project.
Q: Can you design my retaining wall and build it too?
A: Yes. Please contact us to discuss your project.
Q: Do you perform soil percolation tests?
A: No. Civil Solutions does not perform percolation tests, which are different than geotechnical investigations.
FEES FOR SERVICES
Q: Is there a fee to come and look at my landslide/project?
A: For residential projects, Civil Solutions charges a $1,500 fee for an engineer to visit your site and provide a description of visual observations and proposal for suggested work. This fee is applied to future work performed from the associated proposal. Please contact the office in order to discuss your project.
Q: When do I have to pay?
A: For most services, payment is due at the time of service or prior to receiving any stamped documents. Testing and monitoring is billed monthly based upon work performed.
Q: Can you work with my insurance company?
A: Yes. Civil Solutions can help assist in any consultation, reports, or recommendations which may facilitate insurance assistance.
Q: How long does it take to perform a geotechnical study?
A: For a standard residential geotechnical investigation with 4 soil borings, it can take between 4 and 8 weeks from contract execution to report delivery. There are many factors that affect the schedule such as weather and drilling delays, inadequately marked utilities, site accessibility, type of recommendations required, laboratory tests on soil, and current workload/availability of staff. A specific timeline will be outlined in a formal proposal for your project.
Q: How long does it take to fix a landslide?
A: Construction duration will depend on the type of repair required. Other aspects, including location of slide, proximity to public utilities, and season (weather) can affect the schedule of a project. If you already know the type of remediation required, please contact our office to discuss your construction options.