How worried should I be?

So I bought a house about 3 months ago. I’m a first time home buyer and am currently freaking out because I have found some cracks in the concrete block foundation. They are pretty thin and follow the mortar in a stair step fashion. I can’t see any cracks in the blocks themselves. The house was built in 1959. I had two contractors come out and the first one was just trying to sell me exterior water proofing and didn’t seem to focused on the cracks. The second one stated he really didn’t see them as problematic at this time and the cracks were likely caused by the clay soil expanding and contracting with moisture. I’m just terrified that my foundation is unsound and I will end up with thousands of not tens of thousands of dollars in repairs I can’t afford. The home inspector did not note any of the cracks upon inspection.
I’m also worried that if I have more people come out to work on it they will try to sell me things I don’t need.

I included a picture of the biggest crack. The others are narrower but in the same type of pattern.

If you want a second or fourth opinion, contact an independent engineer, who doesn’t sell repairs.


You can view some of the causes here to give you an idea.

If the cracks in the interior match the ones on the interior and it don’t leak, indicates to me that the exterior water proofing on the outside is working.
The unraveling of the membrane of sort that I see should be repaired if that is what it is.
I would have a competent foundation contractor evaluate the foundation for you.
There has got to be one in your area that will give you some advice that is not there to sell you something.
Hard to tell with just one picture the extent of your problem. One has to be there to evaluate the whole picture. There is more than just the crack to look at to make a conclusive evaluation of the potential problem. :smiley:

Or perhaps an independent engineer…


I just fixed that, but you beat me.

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Sorry, thought it was a little funny…speech to text or some such anomaly.

What did the home inspector, that you hired before you bought the home, say about those typical mortar step cracks?

He didn’t say anything. I didn’t notice them till a week ago. There is nothing about them in the inspection report

Have you had a lot of rain in the last 3 months?

Fat fingers on a cell phone, while waiting in the DMV.

Not at all.

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Not an issue at all, based upon the photo you have provided. Looks like insignificant step cracks
Cracks of any magnitude, located above grade, will never leak.

Hope this helps

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Appears to be minor step-cracking typical of soil movement or frost heave. In a home that old it’s not that unusual and unless something has changed recently (change of grade, broken plumbing pipe) and this is just the start of a major problem, chances are very good that it’s of little or no concern. If it begins to grow, consult with a foundation contractor (free) if you find one you feel that you can trust, or a structural engineer (not free).

if you like, take a hose and lay it where the crack goes down below grade, have it directed towards the house/crack and a couple inches away from the foundation wall, turn the hose on, let it rip, no trickle bullshtt… you’d need to run the water up to 30 minutes to see if it leaks, if it needs waterproofing in that-area., exxxxxterior waterproofing, not the lying, scamming, INT water-diverting bs.

by the way, contrary to the belief and words of one above, cracks and other direct openings ABOVE grade can, DO leak aka allow water in basement. (“cracks of any magnitude located above grade will never leak”)

One more lil tidbit from my stinky azz, you wrote, the home inspector did not note any of the cracks. All due respect to many of the good Nachi inspectors here, that doesn’t surprise me one bit, dumb azz.
That is part of his/her stinking job so imo, if it turns out you DO need some waterproofing I would call the HI and ask for your money back, damn skippy.

“Cracks of any magnitude located ABOVE ground will never leak”, per a home inspector, lol.

News for ya, almost all of these cracks and other openings above grade leaked, I ran a water test with a hose and guess what, water entered… hellllo!
And so another news tidbit is, one cannot trust many waterproofing co’s, true but one also cannot trust too many home inspectors on this subject, ya dig?

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Pull your flipin’ hair out then get you a great inspector.

yourself and Greenie dude should have a strong hold on FLA home inspections, eh?