cracks in foundation

Originally Posted By: jmichalski
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Weekend inspection and I found three areas of cracking in the foundation. One is a diagonal 1/32 inch width running on the side wall from the window tot he base of the wall near the sump pit (about 8 feet in length - did not photograph well).

The second is a vertical crack on the rear wall that seemed fairly typical. ![](upload://v1e8JQWa1vi6IFXaSniPgjBJkkB.jpeg)

About two feet to the right of the vertical crack, at the corner of the foundation was another crack.....

Then near the front of the home, under the stairs there was this diagonal crack which was nearly 1/4 inch at the top.

The home is only 4 years old and I recommended contacting the builder to determine if the foundation is under warranty. My client is understandably edgy about it, so I recommended an SE as well for his peace of mind.

Any thoughts? Did I overreact to his jitters?

Also, I know the rule of thumb is that vertical cracking is usually not a structural failure, while horizontal is. I could not find a good authoritative source to quote however - anyone have any help? Or a good blurb they use in their reports to cover this type of cracking when observed?


Originally Posted By: ekartal
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It’s still hard to tell from photos, but a vertical crack may be a concern if it runs the entire length of the wall.

Erol Kartal

Originally Posted By: rwashington
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1/4" I think you would be right in recommending an SE. That’s a decent size. Were there other factors in the home taking place? Doors not shutting flush or shutting on their own? Windows tough to open and close?

Richard W Washington

Originally Posted By: jmichalski
This post was automatically imported from our archived forum.

I know the photos don’t tell much of a story but that’s all I really got a look at ( the rest of the basement is finished). The corner crack and diagonal cracks near the sump pump go floor to ceiling, but I have seen this near a sump pump several times (I am guessing that there is a higher liklihood of settling near a sump pit?).

Anyway, the 1/4 inch crack is a concern to me, but no sticking doors (althoughthe closet door that hid it is the only one near by. Other doors above were fine, and this is a partition wall between the foundations of two twin homes. Does that help any?

I advised the client to have the seller contac tthe builder for the warranty information (It's covered!) and repairit or issue a written statement saying they inspected it and determined it is not a concern.

Sound ok? Or should he still pursue an SE?

Originally Posted By: mcyr
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icon_smile.gif icon_smile.gif

It is common in the residential foundation district to see these cracks undoubtedly due to the common practice of building.
Here is some exerpt from Bob Viola.

The first I
think of is that the concrete was not cured the
proper way. From what I gather from you, the
floor of the first floor is the slab, and somehow
as the concrete was cureing water evaporated too
fast leaving small cracks, not deep at all. Second
reason might be that the soil, or fill under the
slab was not compacted the correct way and now the
concrete is settling. Third is when the concrete
was poured the wrong size rebar mesh was used and
the mesh was on the bottom of the slab. Last reason
I can think of is that the concrete mix was an
inproper mix for the application. In reference to
complaning, I would first talk to the concrete company
and see what mix they used, along with the slump,
of the mix, and air content of the mix, also see
if they used a admixture. If that checks out fine.
Talk to the contractor who compacted the grade for
the slab and see what tests he ran. Like compaction
tests, and tests on the fill he used. If that checks,
talk to the contractor who placed the concrete mesh,
and see what size he used and ash where he placed it
when the concrete was poured. It is very uncommon
to find these cracks and I would start to find the
answers. Most Bull shi- contractors like to skip
steps to cut corners and tests as well to save money,
it might sound like this is what happened to your
friend. Any questions you or your friend can
email me at vento1@acad.wit.e