Missing Section Of Footer. Has anyone encountered this before?

These are photos from an Inspection yesterday. It is a brick facade ranch built in 1994 on the side of a large hill / small mountain in Northeast Ohio. Half of the foundation is basement and half is crawlspace. what has me perplexed is the connection from the crawlspace to the basement. There is a 3’ section of footer missing and just above is what appears to some sort of CMU Header? There is a trench that has been excavated as if pipes were to be run through but no pipes are in it. One side has been recently waterproofed and you can see the back side of the dimple mat. the other side just has dirt spilling in. I got the obvious issues of the exposed soil, open trench and lack of vapor barrier.

The only thing I can think of for the missing footer and header is that maybe they were bridging over non virgin earth that had been excavated for the basement and associated footer tile. I am hoping someone else has encountered and understands this.

That is no problem, Arthur.

It is using the lintel block to span the disturbed soil is all. We mostly see it from house basement to garage footing/ or crawlspace, like you mentioned, around here. :smile:

Edit: I see the crawl footing is undermined a little and that may be worth a comment to secure footing to maintain structural integrity of the footing,

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Intentional to span that opening with a precast header footing to footing. I see no problem either.

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Thanks Larry, I would like to recommend they infill the trench with #57 but I am not sure if that is out of my swim lane as a home inspector.

Thanks Marcel. I just stumbled on another thread regarding this where you provided a link to some info on CMU Lintels. Really helpful.

Lintel??? Bond Beam???


That is exactly what they used. :smile:

Something doesn’t feel right to me.

Is this a wood shim?

Is there an addition?


PS what’s with the ABS?

No wood shims that I could see. And the “ABS” I think you are referring to is the back side of the dimple mat from recent waterproofing just on one side of the house. As far as I can tell the crawlspace is original.

The 4" drain?
Is it supported?

Wait till JJ sees this one? :rofl:


Yes the ABS DWV is supported by hangers @36" from the joists above. It is the foam core abs. I don’t know how well it is supported below-grade they did not pay for a sewer scope.

I have to revisit my photos to answer about the clean out

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Excellent. There should be a hanger in close proximity to the elbow before the vertical transition. Distance will vary per jurisdiction usually a foot in the norm. A clean out fitting should be installed before the pipe enters the dirt. Look for clean outs every 120 degrees change in direction.

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Thanks Martin! After revisiting the photos looks like I should have had another write up in the DWV section.:neutral_face: Thank you for pointing these out I truly appreciate it.

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I have a plumbing contractor and licensed plumber for 30+ years. As a home inspector I would only be looking for the proper grade on the pipe for example 1/8 inch per foot on 4 inch and larger and 1/4 inch per foot grade on 3” inch pipe and smaller. Just look for proper hangers common sense will tell you PVC pipe shouldn’t go 10 feet without a hanger. Try to look for long sweet elbows in horizontal to horizontal transitions and vertical to horizontal. Pay attention to P traps and ensure there are no drum traps or s-traps. Some homes still use drum traps and they are not illegal they just need to be replaced with p-traps if the fixture is replaced. If in doubt just report that you feel the plumbing should be looked at by a licensed plumbing contractor.

Judging by some of that fiberglass backing that is burnt it looks like someone did some soldering after the plumbing was installed. That might be something I would look at.

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Who’s JJ??

Sounds like Martin would be a good source of best practices. That is more valuable than referring to code.

As has been said before, code is the minimum. Clients care more about function than code.

Just a thought.


Michael thanks for pointing out the issues with the DWV. I got so focused trying to figure out the dirt spilling in that I didn’t see the missing clean out staring right at me.


Easy to armchair, when you did all the work!