Foundation Concerns


I am purchasing a home that had a crack in the brick veneer. I told the sellers that it had to be fixed before I purchased the home. It was fixed by a local company that I don’t know anything about.

The crack was a fairly good size crack near the ground in the rear of the house. I would say that it was a 2-3 foot high vertical crack, 1/8" to 1/4" in thickness.

The foundation company said that it put in three steel piers down to bedrock, patched the veneer and warrants their work for the life of the house. The company has been in business for several decades here in Nashville.

My inspector said that there were also no weep holes in the brick veneer and pointed out that the mortar around the corner from the crack had been patched over a garage side entrance.

It all boils down to this… I hear good and bad about foundation problems and repair. Some people (not experts) say to stay away from any house with foundation problems. Others say that it is VERY common to have foundation issues with the clay soil in middle Tennessee.

The house is a few hundred yards from a river, which also gives me pause about the foundation situation. The house in a major subdivision, with houses on each side of it.

Don’t know if I am freaking out and over analyzing the situation or if I have valid concerns. Should I bring in a foundation expert of my own?

Any thoughts?

You should post pictures, you seem to have more information than most non-members usually have so I would think you would?

Here are some pictures. You can see that some bricks did crack, while others did not. The foundation repair company said that the poured footers were not cracked.

I am also concerned about no weep holes being installed when the house was built. What will the long term affect be without them?

Thanks for any input.







Is this house on a ravine?

How could they tell the footers were not cracked? Did they excavate a section?

Age house?

brickveneerwithtext (Small).jpg
If that is brick veneer where is the flashing?
Where is the top of that foundation?
Is there an outside drain tile?
It is on a slope and I hope the water has some place to go.
What sort of foundation issues are we talking about?
Weep holes should be at the bottom but the grade could be a concern which will not be solved long distance.
Get a structural engineer.

brickveneerwithtext (Small).jpg

brickveneerwithtext (Small).jpg

Hey TG, I don’t think you can over analyze your concerns for a known foundation problem. I just went through this with my own home and would recommed you bring in your own expert to review what the foundation company did. The seller should be able to give you drawings of the pier locations. Looking at your pictures, 3 piers seem like a small number. My guess is they stabilized the house but did not level (raise) it. If they were able to raise the house the bricks can “roll in” closing the gap in the crack (provided there is no debris behind the brick). In your 3rd picture (3rd row of bricks from the top) there is a broken brick that still has a wide gap that has been filled in with mortar.

Another good reason to bring in your own expert is that typical lifetime warranties are good for ONLY the portion of the foundation that was worked on. If additional settlement occurs in other areas of the foundation you could be looking at a major expense.

I’m not a foundation expert but I did learn a lot dealing with my situation.

Hope this helps.

Best of luck!

poured or block basement?

did this repair company base the need for piers just because
bricks in this one area were cracked?

did foundation repair company or anyone else look at inside of back/rear
basement wall where these bricks rest atop?

have seen HO`s all too often get talked into unnecessary repairs,
just because some cracks occur in bricks does NOT automatically
mean there is a cracked footing etc, thats nonsense.

cracks can occur in bricks when a crack in basement wall occurs
and many cracks in bsmt walls are due to expanding-contracting soil
pressure, roots and other factors.and sometimes a basement wall will
crack around time house is built or, several months to 18 or so months
down the road, after backfilling.

soil compacts against a wall, could/can cause a crack(s), sometimes
just on 1 wall, 1 area of 1 wall

repair company said poured-footing for back wall not cracked…
if they dug 3 lil holes for the 3 piers then, they only could see
the footing in those 3 lil areas, wouldnt know what shape ENTIRE-footing was in, couldnt possible see rest of footing.

maybe take a lil time and read what some others say
-Cracking in Brickwork

“If a crack appears overnight in your previously intact brick house,
don`t panic.It is not the first step in the total disintegration of
your whole home”

“MOST CRACKS require cosmetic treatment ONLY. The MAJORITY
are NOT indications of grave structural damage…”

…“Unfortunately lack of knowledge can lead to the adoption of
UNNECESSARY expensive treatments which may be suggested by
firms BIASED in favour of using their own patented and profitable

First of all, thanks for the replies… I do appreciate all of them.

Answers to some of the questions:

The house is in Nashville, TN where there is a lot of clay soil and solid rock. They don’t build a lot of basements here and this one does not have a basement. It was built in 1995.

I did crawl under the house into the crawlspace and did not see any cracking on the inside other than on the bricks.

The foundation company did excavate some dirt around both sides of the house that were cracked. I was not there, but just relaying what they said. This work was done due to the cracking in the brick and no other known reasoning. There was a cre of three or four guys who spent one day there and the job came to $2700.00

The house is not on a ravine. It is on level ground. All of the surrounding ground slopes away from the house. There is no drain tile.

  1. I’m going to do some more reading as suggested and…

  2. For peace of mind, I’ll hire a structural engineer to look at the whole foundation.

Thanks again!

You’re welcome. Glad we could offer some assistance.

The more I look at that picture the more I wonder about the brick ties.
Also keep wondering about the length and height .
Should not be more than a few stories tall I hope.
Also could need control joints.
Oh well you are doing the right thing.