Originally Posted By: Ken Ross
This post was automatically imported from our archived forum.
Hi guys. Sorry, this might get wordy, please read through it as I could really use some advice.
Here's a quick history. I purchased a townhome (2 stories + walkout basement) in January of this year '05. The community was constructed in 90 - 91. It's a poured concrete foundation and is the middle unit in a row of 5.
Prior to moving in I painted the master bedroom with one coat of primer and was forced to leave it at that due to time constraints. Now, 4 months later I found a hairline crack over the bathroom door frame that goes from the frame (left of center) and straight up about 8". So it has formed within that time frame.
I then checked outside on the front of the house (the bedroom is in the front) figuring that would be the best place to start and have noticed some things that are now worrying me. (This being my first home, I've become extremely sensitive to these things and am probably going to worry myself to an ulcer...)
There are what appears to be two repairs in the front of the house. There is a false brickface that was added on, but in these two places there is just concrete that was plastered in. Secondly, I noticed a very straight looking and very narrow gap near the end of the unit. It almost looked like an error in the false brick. I then went into the basement and I see a hairline crack has formed at the top of the wall right in the middle (coinciding with one of the front repairs) and is about 10" long. There is nothing noticeable where the other repair is.
However, where I see the odd gap in the front, inside there are what look to be water stains running all the way down the wall (the front hose bib is right there) and there is a section of the wall starting from the top about 1 1/2" wide and around 2 feet long going straight down where it appears the foundation was filled in. There are two metal .... tabs for lack of a better name sticking out of this repair. It has a little crumbling to it and it looks to be old. I say old because it has a relatively similar color to the surrounding wall. I'm used to newer concrete being darker, but what do I know.
I had an inspector come out and I'm trying to see if there was any mention of this in his report but I honestly don't remember it being there. He had mentioned a horizontal crack in the back of the house (opposite corner) that appears to be cosmetic and I'll be filling that in soon. But should he have mentioned the previous repair or am I mistaking a construction technique for a repair?
Regardless, I'm worried. Someone on another forum mentioned it could be the house settling now that we're thawing out. I also wonder if the gutter draining right into the front of the unit is a good thing either.
I'm not sure if I need one, but I think I would feel 100% better to have a guy that I know damn well knows what he's talking about come, take a look and then give it to me straight. My problem is I have no idea whether I should get an Structural Engineer or another inspector and how to choose one that I can really trust. My understanding is this can be like car repairs. If you don't know anything about them, the mechanic can tell you it's a busted fetzer valve and you need blinker fluid so you just stand there and nod pretending to understand.
So......... What do you think? I could take pictures if requested.
Thanks in advance.