California consumer needs inspector's help.

----- Original Message -----
Sent: Wednesday, January 04, 2006 9:01 AM
Subject: property owner questions…

*I am a home owner in San Juan Capistrano, California and have recently noticed a few cracks in my ceiling and in my living room floor. My single-story house is over 40 yrs old and built on a sloped hill. As a consumer, I’m not sure what next steps to take. Contacting a contractor, a foundation underpinning company or an Inspector first. *
Any professional direction will be appreciated.
Thank you,

*Randy Baker *

Cracks are caused by movement, which commonly becomes obvious following recent rainfall. Radiants cracks around windows and doors are not uncommon, and will usually reapppear if they are not repaired properly. For your peace of mind however, you should consult a local foundation contractor, which would be cheaper than consulting a geo-technical specialist. Good luck.


I tried to get ahold of this person but have not received a reply. I left him my e-mail and phone number as well this was abbout three days ago. Guess he found what he was looking for.


The San Juan Capistrano area has some special soil issues. There is a publication called “Field Guide to crack Patterns in Buildings.” The author is Harry S. Audell and does consulting work in the area. He can be contacted at

SJC is definitely an interesting area with regard to soils issues. Contact Mr. Rick Munson, Engineering Geologist. Rick was in charge of the Orange County Grading Department for 20+ years and is one of the most well respected Geologists in the area. He’ll be able to give you great detail about problems within your area just by knowing your street address. Contact Rick @ (949) 492-3200, he’ll be able to help you decide if further inspection and or evaluation is warranted. I would hold off the foundation contractor for now, if the foundation has experienced some stress, it no doubt was caused by soils and or drainage related issues.