Foundation wall crack

Am I making too much of this? I inspected a home, with a basement today. The front concrete block basement wall has a horizontal crack about four and a half feet above the floor, that runs the entire length of the wall, which is probably forty five to fifty feet long. The crack is approximately one eighth inch wide at both ends, and one fourth to three eighths wide in the center. Approximately fifteen feet to the left of center, two blocks are protruding into the basement, one approximately one fourth inch, the other one eighth inch. I told the potential buyers that I would reccomend further inspection by a qualified professional. I have been told by a realtor that I make too much fuss over foundation cracks, but I am expected to inform the potential buyers of all observed hazards. Am I making too much of foundation cracks? Thank you.

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You did the right thing. Foundation walls with cracks, and especially horizontal cracks, are defects.

The only thing I would do different than what you did in the instance is recommend repairs be made by a qualified contractor as opposed to recommending further evaluation.


Thank you Sir. When I showed my clients the crack, they lost most of their interest in the house. I forgot to say also that the front steps and sidewalk are right above this area and are settling pretty badly. An inch or more gap between the top step and the front porch. I will say recommend repair, not more evaluation in my report

Please post pics. Horizonstal cracks are bad stuff, never want to see them as a buyer. The realtors just want their check, so of course they’re going to complain, they want any and all properties to sell instantly without any fuss.


I will post some pics tomorrow, as I am busy the rest of the night.

Educated both my client and his agent on the difference between cracks and cold pours on a poured foundation. Same house in my new construction post. 12 " thick poured walls 14’ high at the front and stepped back. During the inspection the agent asked be if I had any concerns with any “cracks.” Had to explain and point out what a “cold” pour was and the difference.

Moral being that most agents and/or clients only see “cracks”…


First, Welcome back to our forum Chris!..Enjoy! :smile:

Chris, you absolutely did the right thing. The agent’s mind was on his paycheck. Good job on sticking to your guns. It beats the heck out of the inside of a courtroom.

And referring it our for repair by a qualified mason, like Kevin said, is the way to go…IMHO.

Nice work!


That is a long crack and crack width >1/4" becomes a structural concern. The agent just wanted a quick sale and really wants to downplay your findings. It is disappointing what some people will do for money.

You just became a picky , alarmist inspector. Congratulations


:laughing: :laughing: :laughing:
I don’t get it. Chris, I would love to see the pictures but based on my experience, not only you did the right thing but you saved the client’s a lot of headache down the road after the realtor get his commission your inspection warranty expires.


I will get some pictures posted tomorrow.

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You did the right thing, agent looking out for his wallet and he won’t be the one with the claim. Be proud you are working to protect your clients, agent certainly are not.

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Well, I just showed my clients the crack. I gave them the information, and they made the decision. I don’t lie, hide anything, or add my opinion, unless asked.

You handled it correctly. FWIW, for things like that, I never recommend a qualified professional or contractor. I recommend further evaluation by an actual structural engineer. A licensed structural engineer is the qualified professional.

You were RIGHT ON IT…!!

You need to educate (in a friendly manner) that Realtor. Make her understand that you are ‘a professional’ and your recommendation is in the best interest of the buyer and herself, the Realtor…!

I will tell her softly, Foundation cracks, any!! Are serious business. The whole house is standing on ‘the foundation’. There are many solutions to repair them, from simple to very complex. Once they gave a Licensed Contractor Formal Opinion about what involved in such repair, the buyer can make “An Informed Decision”. Knowingly how much will it cost to fix it, The Realtor can come out like ‘champion’ renegotiating down the sale price to include such repair.

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The settling of the steps on the front along with the crack is a good indication of an issue. Quite often seem to show up together.
My recommendation in the report is always…recommend an engineer evaluate for structural integrity and determine best course of action for repair, if repairs are needed. Either way, they have a stamped document from the engineer. Let the expert determine the need and method, especially with a foundation.

Here are some pictures. Sorry they are not the best.