bowing walkout basement question

Hi.public user with a question. I’ve learned a lot from this site. Here’s the question. Subject house on raised lot with walk out block basement. Combination of verticle horizontal and step cracks on side and back walls and appears that part of house is separated from foundation on back wall. Built in mid 90s. From what I read here looks like a significant foundation problem. Although rest of house seems straight and square as far as windows and doors operating correctly. Is this fixable? Ballpark costs and how do I find a reputable contractor as opposed to some of the paste jobs some of you have mentioned? House is in nj. Have pics will link them after I upload. Thanks Dropbox photos

Any photos sir?

‘Separated’… meaning? Bricks on top on wall or… ?

Sorry, have limited time this morning/today, will post a couple photo albums

Block walls… photos 15,16,17,18… hairline step crack etc

Hairline vertical cracks photos 2–8

Hairline step crack photos 4,5,6,7
You don’t see a ‘horizontal’ crack way down low on the INSIDE but if you look at other photos, the outside photos, there IS an exterior crack down low… at top of first block up off floor

ONE POINT is, when inspecting/when looking at the INSIDE of a block wall, it does NOT mean anyone is seeing ALL possible existing crack(s) that are OPEN on the OUTSIDE.

Back to the FIRST photo album, when you look at the photos taken of inside block walls, at-near the corner, you don’t see what happened on the outside of that same corner.

And obviously one would not know/see that there was an underground ROOT that caused, or at least, in-part, help-cause the exterior corner cracks etc which allowed water to enter.

There are times on some block basement walls you will NOT see a crack(s) on the INSIDE but, there is 1+ cracks on the outside and–or, deteriorated/disintegrated blocks and mortar joints.

Here’s a U S Army Corp link, quite in-depth eh, cracked, bowed block/CMU basement walls, the causes etc

Fairfax County VA link, ‘Basement Wall DAMAGE’… cause and resolution

Paragraphs 6, 7 here… Yoder builders

Know you haven’t said ‘bowed’ walls but, just so you have some UNBIASED info

And this is a good read on foundation walls, cracks, lateral soil pressure, clay, silty soils, gravel is best and so on

Here’s a house, block basement walls, homeowner hired a company that installed an INTERIOR system and sump pumps, lots of $$$, see what happened…

i gotta run for now

Hi Anthony. If you upload photos, please make sure some are of the exterior foundation, roof line and adjacent grounds as well. Identifying the cause is as important as the cure.

Why will the site not let me add Dropbox photos!

Dropbox photo link thanks!

I added. A Dropbox link to first post. Thanks

From your pictures you’ve got some issues on your hands. You should consult directly with a structural engineer to assess the foundation and property drainage. In my humble opinion, you have some property and roof drainage issues leading to erosion and foundation movement. I would jump on it before it gets worse.

Looks like the water piles up at the chimney and they just moved the downspout plus have a water bib there.
Second look they just removed those vines from the wall so it is basically a water management issue from what I see.

If there is movement that is another problem.

Thanks! agreed on all of the above - what I am looking for is someone who will give me an honest price on assessing and fixing it right (I have seen all the horror stories on here). Assuming house has to be jacked up and footers redone, walls repaired and the like, is this a 50K or 100K job? Or is it a "tear down and start over? This looks worse than any of the photos I’ve seen on here.



It appears from your photos years of poor drainage have saturated the soil under the footings causing significant settlement. First I would have a structural engineer familiar with residential foundations look at your house. That should cost $300 to $500. If jacking up the foundation is required, that cost is about $1000 per pier and you would likely need several. These piers are typically placed 6 foot apart, and in you case you will likely need piers across the back and half way along the sides of your foundation. Add in some money to regrade your yard and to modify your gutter system. Once the foundation is jacked back in place, some drywall crack repair and crack repair on the foundation will be needed. One more item that may impact your wallet could be subsurface water flow. With a walkout basement you obviously live on a hillside lot. Water not only flows downhill on the surface, but subsurface water flow will also follow the contours downhill as well. If the basement has leaked in the past, the exterior foundation wall may need waterproofed and the foundation drainage cleaned out or replaced. Others on this message board can give you a cost associated with waterproofing. Good Luck…

All that concrete/weight isn’t helping and there will be some underground roots in vicinity.

Hope none of those concrete slabs are tied-in to the house/walls.

Hope you find a good SE, not ALL SE’'s design solutions alleviate settling and-or lateral pressure problems etc. Don’t believe me, read the US Army Corp link.

Did a job today, homeowner bought house 2 years ago, started leaking within 1 year.
Started digging it and found some IDIOT previously ‘waterproofed’ it.
They did a shtt job.

They backfilled with ALL clay, nailed the top of a shtty membrane into block wall and likely charged MORE than we just did.

Hard to give you anything close to an estimate as we cannot tell if 1 or more walls need part-all replacement etc etc etc. If you give me total linear footage and depth to footings for all problem walls I could throw a number at you to dig the biaiaiaiatch out etc but not for any possible wall replacement or anything else. Would need to be on site for other shtt.

…a drainage issue is pretty much all, really?

So, IF they had better, longer downspout ext’s and a bit better GRADING, none of these problems would have OCCURED??

Let’s see, the word is C O N F U S I O N.

Homeowners hear stuff/supposed causes and supposed solutions from home inspectors, city inspectors… quite a few say the same things ( not all! sheesh lol) , then homeowners hear OTHER stuff from landscapers, concrete/mudjacking co’s, then hear OTHER stuff from plumbers and interior basement system co’s and hear stuff from SE’s and from people like my az/J McEwen/Capizzo etc and hear other supposed solutions from those who claim they are wet basement consultants, former HI’s now turned wet basement consultants!! lolol OH my, so much fun… they hear DIFFERENT shttt so it ===
C O N F U S I O N… who do we believe.

Seems most, just about all THINK they have the causes and solutions on this subject covered, eh? Got milk? LOTS, a whole LOTS of luck.

Basement waterproofing, foundation repair= Land of Confusion, Genesis

Thanks all…Boy that is a lot of information all at once. John, I sense that you have seen a lot of people thinking they were buying a better basement get robbed in the process. I’ll get the measurements and PM on Monday and maybe one of you can give me a referral.

Thanks!! Happy spring weekend!

Ok, I’m ready for a referral. Do any of you have a referral for a SE to design/plan the work out of my newest project? Its in Gloucester county, NJ Exit 2 of the NJTPK. PM is probably best bet. None of you said “knock the biatch down” (I think that is how Mr. Bubber would say it) so I made an offer and have the price locked in and bank accepted and have a few days before the clock starts ticking on my 12 day review/inspection/budget writing process. Seller gave an engineer’s report that said broken footing, but frankly its worth the money to have one of my own.

Thanks much.