Gaps in Foundation Blocks

Found these gaps in block fondation wall in crawlspace. Wall appears strait and level. Looks like it may have been originally built that way (note cut block in gaps). I’m a little concerned though because the front porch and rear brick steps have definitely settled. I’m guessing the steps did not have proper footings. Doors and windows in home do not stick and no cracks noted in interior walls. Any opinions? Thanks





was this a manufactured home…? did it have any steel supports under it…just reminds me of one I saw years ago …the block was non supporting and just there to keep the wind out…just a thought …jim

No, it’s a brick veneer split level. Here’s another view.


I would just call it out as major cracks in the foundation with the usual language. It has obviously been repaired, and a couple of blocks appear to be replaced, and the whole thing is in the corner, as usual, with a problem foundation. How new of a house is it?

30+ years

It appears to have been built that way by an amateur bricklayer, there appears to be dirty water leaking through, and the way the joists bear on that wall, it is a wonder the floors are still level.
I’d call it out as structurally questionable, and an indicator of why there are other problems, such as the steps.

30+ years

pic`s of EXTERIOR crawl walls 5-17

no parging,no protection on exterior. Some open mortar joints and hairline-
crack. Water can easily enter crawl and would usually be seen along wall-floor.

Interior crawlspace encapsulation cannot stop/prevent water,insects,radon from entering these exterior openings in blocks.

Your pics…looks like water could also be getting into the hollow blocks from openings above ground level too.

John, Would you be concerned from a structure standpoint? Thx

Not necessarily…kinda hard to zero in from here ya know.

Looks like there may be a ‘step-crack’ on exterior…where someone filled in WIDE joints on inside. If so, still would not necessarily mean the footing is cracked/has settled etc.

Have seen many step/vertical cracks etc on outside of basement wall(s) where there was NO problem w/footing. And sometimes bricks on top of walls had step/vertical cracks have cracked, as in these pics…

2,3,24,25 step crack in joints, been tuckpointed…NO problem w/footing.Many who sell-install piers/wall anchoring systems and inside drain tile systems blcchtt many people and tell `em 'Oh, ya better hurry up and let us install our systems beofre your house collapses/settles due to supposed/misdiagnosed problem w/footing.

If ya follow that step crack DOWN towards basement window(pics 11,12,13) youll see the basement wall crackedn pushed in a tad…this is what caused the step crack between bricks.

If there is a porch and/or poured concrete steps on outside of this area(your pics) then its possible the weight-of/settling-of the porch,footing and/or steps could have caused crack(s), crack(s) ya might NOT see on the inside. Or roots/lateral soil pressure can also be part-all of cause or,as you say maybe the width or depth of footing or, over time some soil erosion underneath. Dry periods(lack of rain) can cause soil around/underneath footing to settle, even just a TAD, thus a footing could LOSE some soil-support and problems can occur.

Here some roots,especially the one fat-daddy near corner CAUSED cracks and subsequent leaks in basement.

Tree had been removed but damage was already done.
And on inside of any crawl/basement wall any-all cracks may not be visible just like here…2,3,4,5,6 inside pics…wont see the corner-cracks,wont see all exterior cracks on inside…see some but not all.

Pics 8,9 top of corner crack and ROOT
See 14,15 and especially pics 16,17,18 …this isn`t seen on inside.

Then of course…some will try n patch/cement cracks-joints on INSIDE (sometimes to HIDE-conceal)....nuttin wrong w/trying to patch an open joint or crack on inside but it doesnt repair what is still open on the outside.And sometimes when a crack is patched and painted inside it may be hard to see it,hard to know it exists.Seen many HO`s who had no idea there were crack(s) or poured wall control joints that were cracked and had only been patched/painted on inside.

Obviously its good the wall appears straight as ya say but may be best for HI and HO to get an S.Es opinion but as i say that(and many of you folks already know), we could get 5 S.E.s over and some of them could certainly disagree on possible problems/cause/remedy.

Something like this is obviously more worrisome, HO has/had clay against walls and many ROOTS, lots of trees.

Pics 1-4 He had one wall replaced/rebuilt BUT…new wall also cracked n bowed in a tad. Not as bad as original...does not leak. Just like some of you folks have seen, weve seen beams,wall anchors,carbon straps put on/against walls and wall still pushed in, deteriorated INBETWEEN the beams/carbon straps etc.

Pics 12,13,15,16,18 different house… underground footing that was against corner, would never had known the sob was there unless HO knew and told ya…and some dont. lol Luckily for this HO, corner only had small-hairline cracks....have seen much worse. Doing anything inside the basement doesnt remove weight-of-footing,soil pressure,roots etc.

This HO does have visible step crack on INSIDE,among other cracks…here`s what was on EXTERIOR

Pic 12…not visible inside basement. NOT because there was drywall or paneling up.
Pic 10 and 13… there was a 8-12" thick concrete slab where ya see vertical crack, was about 6’ long and right up agst corner walls…lots of weight

Thanks John!

No problem…sorry can`t be more helpful.