Need advice on 2 houses I saw in little elm dallas tx area, both houses are new
and DR Horton built, one house which is on the lower side of a 3 feet retaining wall has 2 1/16 inch vertical cracks all across garage floor. One crack has a very
slight offset 1/64-1/32 at a few places.
The soil is clay and water is standing a bit in back yards lower spots after a rain
a day before.
The other house is on the upper side of a 3 foot high retaining wall, and has no
cracks in floor, but on foundation sides it has unexplained dips of 2 inches, on
3 or 4 places, it looks like something was repaired after the House was constructed.
I’m located on the other side of the Metroplex from you and do plenty of new home phase inspections. I’ll start first with the exterior picture as there are several points to make.
First the foundation has been parged (brush coated) as noted by the gray coloring, brush marks, and they improperly ran it up and onto the brick. Parging is used to help provide the foundation a more uniform look by filling in small imperfections. However parging can mask other signs of foundation movement such as cracks in the foundation and other more significant deterioration.
As for the dip you see under the brick we would not be able to tell you exactly what is occurring without removing the parge coat. However I expect it is small damage to the brick ledge from removing form boards to early or dirty/damaged form boards being used. Unfortunately this is a common (not correct but common) issue that has little affect. The builder can use brick mortar up to one inch thick to correct this type of issue but beyond one inch thick these issues should first be repaired before brick is placed on the ledge.
There is another issue that I see with that exterior picture. Notice the two openings on either side of the brick. Brick walls should have weepholes created in them and spaced no more than 33" apart. You can Google brick weepholes for their purpose. In this case there are most likely two because the local Building Inspections Department is requiring the builder to leave out one brick at the bottom approximately every 4’ so they can view behind them and make sure the Mason did not get sloppy and leave lots of mortar droppings behind the brick. Mortar droppings can block the moisture flow from behind the brick. After they inspect the Mason will replace the brick and mortar in 3 sides of the brick leaving one of the vertical sides open as a weephole. It would not hurt to leave two sides open but they should only leave the one.
Another item to note about that exterior picture is how they ran the parge material up to and on the brick. That is very sloppy work and can cause other issues when the brick expands and contracts. Also look at how they are covering the bottoms of the weepholes which can block moisture flow from behind the brick and out the weephole. I would expect this sloppy work has occurred around the entire foundation.
The garage floor cracks appear to be significant shrinkage cracking but that would be difficult to tell just from these pictures. You would need to have the areas surrounding this reviewed for other signs of possible movement as well as the rest of the home to see if movement is possibly occurring. The offset or lip you mentioned is very small and can easily accompany shrinkage cracks for various reasons. Shrinkage cracking is common and can be avoided with proper mixture, placement, and finishing of any concrete surface.
When you are ready to buy your home I do recommend that you have it fully inspected by a properly licensed Texas Inspector. You were given advice on another forum about hiring an Engineer to have these things checked. First have the inspection and then if conditions are significant enough you can pay the extra and have an Engineer check those items out.
Good luck on your purchase and let us know how it works out!
If you see what they build down here it would make your hair stand on end! PT slabs with zero deformed steel in them including at re-entrant corners. PT cables laying on trench floors covered over in dirt/mud. Moisture barriers so balled up running down and in trenches you wonder if there is room for concrete. The list goes on and on and on! And of course all of this is approved by an Engineering firm before the pour. :roll::roll: