I’ve been studying to pass the home inspector exam and I’ve came across a question that got me thinking, the question asks:
Given a foundation wall that is cracked due to horizontal force
The choices are:
(a) You will not be able to determine whether the wall has also moved inward.
(b) If the wall has moved inward, the cracks would typically be wider on the inside face.
(c) If the wall has moved inward, cracks will typically be wider on the outside face.
(d) You should not be concerned unless the crack is at least 1/4" in width.
The correct answer is B but I picked C. I googled this question to get an explanation but still in my mind I see the cracks being wider on the outside face. Am I not picturing it correctly? I would like clarification on this question and all feedback is much appreciated!
If the wall comes inward the crack will be wider inside (inside the basement = inward) as it is opening up. In practice pretty much any horizontal crack gets a write-up. As far as inward movement, use a straightedge to set over the crack. It’s super easy to find even the slightest inward movement.
My old business partner was an engineer and gave a great analogy of cracked foundation walls and holding buckets of water in your hands with your knees locked. Once you unlock your knees (once the foundation is cracked) the system is significantly weakened.