Had an inspection the other day on a 3500 sq ft home built in 1992 poured concrete foundation that I deferred to a structural contractor/engineer because it had 10 vertical cracks all were very small (didn’t show up in the pics) with no moisture seepage but almost all extended from top to bottom some were broken and continued to floor. Nothing unusual as far as structure was noticed. I was wondering at what point do you guy’s defer to a structural contractor/engineer when there are small cracks, (i.e. how many and in any direction), in the foundation and/or exterior with no noticable structural problems in the house.

20 years old and only hairline cracks?

It’s hard to get excited without more info.

Concrete cracks and shrinking after curing is not uncommon.

I would probably only suggest monitoring for changing conditions and sealing the cracks as a precaution.

As Mike said, I would not even worry about it. If the cracks would be the size of a dime and quarter, I might start thinking about what caused them. :slight_smile:

I’ll re-phrase. How many cracks caused by shrinking and curing interior/exterior would you have to see before you would defer to a structural engeineer for further evaluation.

If there was no bowing, no tapered cracks, no water intrusion evidence, no other signs of a structural defect, the number of cracks is not the issue.

Without knowing how the the wall was reinforced there is not much here to be concerned with in a 2 decade old wall.

If your client is concerned, refer him to structural engineer.

It’s almost like you were on the inspection with me. I told him exactly what you said except about the concern for the amount of cracks. He was so concerned that after talking about them for about a 1/2 hour I wrote in the report to have a structural contractor check it out. Once I did that he left it alone.

Mike Nelson says concrete has two properties. It’s gray and it cracks :smiley:

If the cracks are too small to show in a picture …forget about them…