Cracks in Brand New Foundation

I have a potential client asking me about cracks in a brand new foundation. The foundation was poured in February and construction was stopped without pouring the slab due to the pandemic. The homeowner is concerned that there are 6 cracks in her foundation walls already. The builder is having their structural engineer come out to take a look at the cracks to assess the situation. The homeowner will probably be looking for another assessment. I mentioned to the potential client that as a home inspector I would more than likely end up referring her to a structural engineer if there are issues anyway (not the builders structural engineer).

So in the mean time I am looking for your thoughts on if the cracks are a concern. Maybe I with further my knowledge. Any thoughts would be appreciated.



Those are shrinkage cracks with what appears to be some possible bowing, biggest concern I see from here is they can leak without proper waterproofing. Is the town inspector doing phase inspections on the house? Please label the pics as they appear around the perimeter of the foundation. Would be helpful to see the cracks from the top of the wall and then its view from its side.

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I will have to check but I believe there are phase inspections.

I do not blame the buyer for being concerned. If the walls were back-filled prior to the sand being placed inside the garage slab area, that large vertical crack may have been caused by unbalanced fill pressure or machine strike damage. In any event, a structural engineer will be necessary to determine cause and remedy.

What other cracks are in the same wall that’s part of a crack in pic #4?

The homeowner sent me the pictures so I am not sure. I assume potentially one of the corner cracks.

I agree with the shrinkage cracks as mentioned. Judging from the slump line at the bottom of the wall on one pic, along with colder weather and weakened concrete due to high slump, high shrinkage is expected especially if only a 2500 PSI mix was used.

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Thanks everyone for your assistance!!

I see a concern here. Shrinkage cracks are normally hairline in width. These are gapped. Gapping indicates stresses and movement. A structural engineer should evaluate.

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This looks like shrinkage cracks due to poor quality control of their concrete.

As a homeowner I would want something in writing from the builder and/or engineer stating the cause and stability of the cracking with some sort of warranty or guarantee with enough time to monitor and experience multiple temperature cycles.