Cracks Expert Needed!

Hi, Folks
This Villa is a concrete built structure with masonry facade.
The owner hired a pool company to dig one and after 2-3 months he realized few cracks on the building, so at the balcony and some on the exterior facade! He need an assessment of the structural integrity of the villa.

I have attached photo and appreciate your feedback

Capture4|591x436 Capture 1 .
Capture2 Capture3

Are you kidding :smiley: It says you are PE? This is a job for a SE. As a PE, do you honestly believe someone can give you any credible information based on that single pic you posted? Of course, if the cracks developed following the dig and the house isn’t brand new… the structure moved, likely due to the construction of the pool. From there a lot of things have to be looked at, taken into account, fuzzy maths need to be performed, how close they dug, how deep, how they backfilled, with what, the type of foundation the house sits on, on and on and on…

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I don’t get it.
The website says he’s a Structural Professional Engineer

Professional Structural Engineer
Structural Engineer Professional
Structural Professional Engineer

choose one

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How deep was the pool hole and how close was the pool hole dug to the building?

Welcome to our forum, Ehab!..Enjoy! :smile:

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Hello, Larry. Many thanks for the warm welcome. Great to have people like yourself in the forum.
The pool was only 1.5M deep, circular with 5 m diameter.
It was dug approx 10m away from the building. I personally did not see it. This is a remote consultation from a customer that I dealt with in a seperate project, who had this other property in a different country and wanted to get a remote opinion. He got scared as a local inspector gave him the impression that these are serious settlement cracks cause by the soil movement due to the pool excavation !
I personally don’t see any thing serious as all seems like separation cracks (the one under the glass panel) and the rest are thermal/shrinkage cracks that are not structural. The report from the inspector seems a bit inflated and hence I wanted to check with experienced people “like yourself” to see if I’m missing something here :slight_smile:

Wow…What a sharp eye :slight_smile:

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I’m not an engineer and the photos are lacking but I would tend to go with the engineer on site because he sees the whole picture.

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The OP “is” the Engineer :rofl:

Images of the pool, how far the pool is from the foundation please and any points of excavation.

Are you sure the envelope is not EFIS or DRYVIT? There is an horizontal expansion joint above the bump-out. With Structural Masonry this would not be the case.
Any Infrared images?

There cracks do not look serious what so ever. For 1, they are uniform, uniform vertical or uniform horizontal cracks inline with abutting systems or components.
1: The first image might be a hairline crack at a bond-beam spanning the opening below for a fenestration/window frame below…
2: The crack in the second image is likely the HVAC duct work. I suspect the larger rectangular shape crack is from the sheet metal ductwork termination the register exhaust or intake grill is attached to.
3: The last image horizontal crack is inline with the fenestration/metal window frame.
Just me 2 cents.

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A home inspector following the standards of practice would recognize this issue outside the scope of a profession which relies on non-destructive visual observation, and move on. The practice of law and engineering should be left to licensed professionals.

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Thanks Robert. I agree and have the same opinion. The rectangular one is for sure related to the duct work connected to the fresh air register.
The horizontal one under the glass panel is a separation between the rubber caulking material holding the glass panel and the masonry floor. Rest are hairline shrinkage cracks.
As much as I can predict based on images and not physically inspecting
Thanks for the feedback

Yes, I mistook the local inspector for another engineer. None the less there isn’t enough info to diagnose from afar and a local engineer needs to assess it, IMHO.

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Impossible to make any educated constructive comments without being on site and description provided. Lacks good pictures for one thing.
Sorry.

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Looking closer, it appears the register terminates in panel substrate used for EIFS or DRYVIT that was not properly sealed.
The horizontal line a control joint.
A thermogram would tell you more about the envelope.
Cracks

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Great insight. Thanks, Robert for the detailed assessment

If the OP can’t satisfy basic questions from Simon and Marc I don’t see it as a thread worth replying to.

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Based on the size, depth and distance from the building I seriously doubt the excavation had any influence on the structure. The photos look like synthetic stucco most likely on a wood framed building or light gauge steel framing. A full concrete structure is typically reserved for large multi-story buildings, which haven’t been built in decades due to cost and weight. Have your client hire a local engineer for $500 for an initial assessment.

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Thanks, Randy
The concrete block walls is used and is very common where this customer is located (South Africa). They sent me more photos today that are clearer and shows a clear settlement of the patio door (large sliding aluminum panels), where the aluminum frame separated from the concrete header.
I actually proposed that a structural engineer should “physically” inspect as it will not be an accurate assessment if remotely done.
Thanks

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Good advice, Ehab! :smile:

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Just my two cents. I would ask your friends to inspect the windows, interior and exterior doors to see if they are operating well. Also have them check the finishes on the interior of the back wall and their adjacent walls for signs of cracking or separating. This information might give you clearer insight.
Still, having a local structural engineer take a look now and follow up in 6 months would be a wonderful idea.

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