Cracks in Poured Foundation


I recently had a home inspection and these cracks were found in the foundation. Inspector said they are shrinkage and no big deal. I want to be 100% sure before purchase. Anyone have any thoughts?


Looks like it, but can’t determine without the complete whole picture.
The whole picture is seen by the Home Inspector on site.

Why do you doubt your Home Inspector?:slight_smile:

Its not that I doubt him, just looking for a 2nd opinion… Dont want to get burned later on.


Seal em and watch em. If significant movement occurs(1/8-1/4") rapidly then you can get concerned.

From what I see from the photos I would have to agree with your inspector, also what post #2 says.

Look to be a little wider than shrinkage cracks to my dumb az.

How old is duh home?

Are they in same-wall, 2 or 3 walls?

What city/area you in?

I’d have 'em waterproofed (outside!)

I wouldn’t call them “shrinkage,” but more likely settlement. If the foundation is properly reinforced (which cannot be determined by a home inspection) there’s really nothing to be concerned with.

Agreed. I would seal them properly to keep moisture and insects out, and not give it much more thought. IF you really are concerned you can always have them evaluated by a qualified engineer. I personally wouldn’t but it is your call.


There is only two sure things about concrete, It’s Grey and it Cracks. Looks normal, Your on site home inspector would be your best point of reference. That is what he was there for.

Take a level to all four corners of the home (top of foundation and floor). If level good. Next take the level and walk horizontal down the walls to see if they are straight. If level good. Best way to do this however is with what’s called a plumb bob. If your corners are not level footing may have dropped. If everything is straight/level seal the cracks to prevent moisture and monitor for movement until you see width (1/8-1/4") like said above. If the home is old most likely most of the settlement is close to being done. If the home is pretty new get a second opinion by a foundation contractor. If you’re really worried call in a foundation guy with a laser level. Most will come out for free to give you an idea/bid. Some won’t until you’re already the owner. Did the inspector report any wall cracks inside or out? Also take a look at your roof is the ridge line nice and straight? Is the rest of the roof nice and staight. Sag/dip/humps/waving you need to have someone come out.

Worth repeating.

The answer to the above would be suited to minimize your concerns. Good

questions John.

Nothing about your pictures look uncommon

Typical. Seal’em, monitor them.

This appears to be a vertical tension crack caused by local soil subsidence causing

downward displacement of exterior foundation. Read post #6 above.

Most of the vertical cracks we see is due-to lateral soil pressure against duh wall, as U S Army Corps says/shows here on page 35, photo 6…

‘Lateral pressure causing vertical fracture…’

Vertical crack in poured wall

By the way … You DO NOT want to try and sound like a structural engineer (may be illegal) describing movements OTHER than something like:

“The vertical crack I observed was less than 1/16” wide and in my opinion did not look to be uncommon for the age of the building combined with its type of construction. We recommend sealing the crack to help prevent moisture intrusion and deterioration. Then monitor for future movements or leakage / If either condition occurs, repair may be needed"

Shrinkage Crack…
more problematic if you start sealing all of them if they are not actively leaking.

A large number of sealed cracks that never leaked…
are more concerning to a Buyer…
than a half dozen that have never leaked…

The buyer needs peace of mind prior to purchase. I see nothing wrong in

further evaluation instead of postponing a future event.

Good notes by everyone, since we are not at the site it’s not possible to

correctly comment on the issue at hand. :wink:

I agree Joe.
I see a lot of shrinkage cracks that have never leaked.

Unless there is a change to provoke an existing shrinkage crack it might never leak.
Have some on my own basement that have remained dry for the past 46 years the house is old. :slight_smile:

It would be insidious to steer towards the wonderland that all soils are

semblance to every geographical area. :wink: