Is this structural?

Would you write this crack up as needing evaluation from a structural engineer?


No that crack alone does not warrant a structural inspection.

That’s what I thought, but I saw it written up in a report as needing evaluation.

Typical settlement crack.Get ready to see many more.

Must have been written by an inspector that’s not too knowledgeable and/or likes to pass on the liability.

It’s surprising how much drywall cracking is considered “normal”. Wood framing can undergo a lot of shrinkage in the first few years or several years after construction. By “a lot” I mean a few sixteenths of an inch, which is minimal for most things but can cause cracks in drywall and other surfaces.
Most older buildings that show cracks in that location, show signs of previous patching as the picture shows and then cracks again at a later date.
The wood framing reacts with the moisture levels of the interior as it drys and swells.
Some support fatique over the years may occur and make the cracks more pronouced at certain times or other.
But even more likely is that the house has experienced some shrinkage or warpage in the framing lumber. Sometimes floor joists will “take a set” or become permanently bowed downward over time. This could cause the cracks as described in the photo.
Hairline cracks in wallboard, plaster or concrete are usually not an issue unless they give the appearance of a V. These types of cracks are usually found at the corners of windows and other openings.
Check for signs of sag in floors and gaps in the doorways in adjacent areas for any signs of movement.
There are numerous indicators for causes of minor cracking in those areas as pictured.
Recommend a contractor to repair and move on.


Here is a wall crack on a six month old house that did have structural issues.

I found beam/pier alignment issues in three locations.

Owner/client also had an engineer come out to look at everything and he confirmed my report. The builder has some work to do…


Thanks to Marcel & Bruce for their voices of experience.

The crack(s) shown in the opening post mean nothing without looking at the rest of the home for additional information. I know all you other guys knew that, and just forgot to say it. Anyone that can look at a crack (and only the crack, as in one single picture), and give a definative answer, without further investigation, is a much better inspector than I am. Good luck in court! :wink:

Good point. I guess I was looking for a “most likely” answer.

I did an inspection in Sanibel Island. I wish I could find the pictures, but anyway there was a large crack down the center of the house. I recommended a structural engineer who said it was typical, but in his 4 sentence report it also stated that this was a quick look and could be liable for nothing…blah blah blah.

I found the blueprints when doing a re-inspection and they forgot two support beams under the house right where the crack was!

I guess there are turds in every profession.

I “assumed” you were, and the others responded accordingly… but… I feel they were only giving you half an answer. The other half should have been questions, requesting more info. on the foundation, other walls in the same or adjoining room(s), etc…


Were there other issues with the foundation, or other walls in the same or adjoining rooms? Was this doorway in the center of the home, or offset towards an exterior wall? If close to an exterior wall, was there cracking in that exterior wall? Etc… etc… :wink:

Thanks Russell. Addresses my point very well of needing more info, even for a seemingly simple crack in the wall.

It wasn’t my inspection so I don’t know. There was no mention of other problems in the report only of this single crack saying have a structural engineer evaluate. I’m just trying to get everything down so when I do inspections my customers get what they deserve…the best.

Great Jeff.
Maybe one of you structural experts can look my post.

Actually, I already did. I am dwelling it over, before I return and ask… what the hell are you asking? It’s been a long day, and maybe I’m tired, but I’m not understanding what you are asking. Please post with your specific concerns and more details… ie… explain “river”.



I can appreciate that, and you will find that the more specific information you provide, the better we can help you. So, were you doing a drive along, this was a friends home that had an inspection and you were practicing, other…? Did you see other damage? Do you have access (family members home) to go back and get more info, etc… ?

We’ll help were we can, so like the saying goes… “Help us to help you” !:wink:

This picture looks like plaster, maybe not, which “cracks” easier than sheetrock. But you new that. :slight_smile:

No, I don’t know how **new **it is. The OP didn’t say! :twisted:

Gee, all this talk for a crack.