Photos of cracks, as promised.

I hope these photos look alright. There are others that I could post, but I notice there’s an upload limit. Your feedback is always appreciated.

NW G Beam.jpg

NE Corner to G Beam.jpg

NE Slab to G Beam.jpg

I don’t think they are a concern. There appears to be no differental settlement or displacement either lateral or perpendicular.

You didn’t mention the age of structure, but again the cracks appear to have happened sometime in the past. You could monitor for future movement, and that would entail spanning the cracks with glass slides epoxied in place or taking a series of measurments from reference marks on either side of the cracks using a caliper.

I agree with Ray, I wouldn’t loose any sleep over them. Could of been less than desirable compaction of the soil in these areas, possibly poor concrete mixture, or both.

Try some of this to fill the cracks, works good and it’s paintable.

I really appreciate your feedback. At least you didn’t say, “Oh my gawd!” :wink:

In the second photo, the crack that’s going through the grade beam at an angle is not level on both sides. The right side is a little elevated over the left side, which I think is the definition of differential settlement, if I have a proper understanding.

It’s good to know that most of what I have posted appears to be cosmetic, but given that most of this only popped up two years ago, I still have “some” concerns, albeit not the five alarm kind.

I don’t know if you gents read my earlier posting. At least I can take comfort in knowing that our initial response to this situation was probably one of the best we could have made – a wait and see approach. We improved the drainage immensely, and learned a great deal of valuable information that will go a very long way in preventing what might could have become a disaster.

We will stay vigilant and if further action is warranted, beyond the cosmetics, somehow I think I will know when that time has come.

Thanks again. :slight_smile:


That’s a big duh!

And I’m not used to saying that with your writing. You’re usually quite specific and your writing is usually quite precise.

They all appear to be of a concern to me, but it’s the magnitude of that concern that needs to be addressed.

Picture 2 appears to have some differential settling. However, it is almost impossible to determine the cause of the cracks; there could be one factor or multiple factors, but it sounds like the cause(s) are active. While cracks in the garage slab typically are not of a major concern to the integrity of the structure, they could indicate soil conditions that definitely can be a major concern to the integrity of the structure.

We have a lot of houses here that were constructed within the last ten years on landfill. In virtually all cases, cracks appeared in the garage floor within a couple of years. In our climate it’s not surprising because we have very little rain to help the soil settle; we have to rely simply on the weight of the soil on itself and the weight of the house on the soil. In many other areas of the country there are regular (daily/weekly/monthly) rain storms that help the soil settle during the construction process, resulting in fewer cracks, all else being equal.

Since you indicate that these cracks have happened in the last two years, I think there’s some interesting conditions present. First I would want to know where you’re located (weather can play a factor), the age of the house and/or garage slab (an old house with these cracks just now appearing would be more problematic than a new house with these cracks just now appearing), and the soil conditions (landfill, beach, etc.) and/or type of soil (sand, loam, clay, etc.).

I read through your other three threads. The cracks there don’t cause me as much concern as the cracks shown in this thread, but the cracks shown in this thread are in the garage, which kind of makes all the cracks equal.

However, now that I know you went through some hurricanes in 2004, and that the house apparently is at least 18 years old, I think you’ve simply got some settling due to very well-soaked soils.

I’m sure your house isn’t the only one with hurricane rain settling issues. I would call a few foundation companies and see if they’ve been doing a lot of work at other houses in your area. If so, try to get one of them to come out and look at yours since they probably already have done some soil analyses in the area.

With the knowledge about the hurricane rains, I don’t think your house is one to bail on. Real estate comparable market analyses are done on property within ½-1 mile from any individual property, so if all houses in your neighborhood have been affected–and I suspect they have since hurricanes are not discriminatory–the value of the houses will float in relation to each other. As the houses come on the market and the foundation problems are discovered, the value of the houses in the neighborhood might fall, but it’s probably not going to fall by 20% to 30% like it would if you sold it to a “quick buy” specialist.

Your home equity is valuable; don’t give it up to a “quick buy” specialist. Also remember that foundation problems can be repaired at any time, but also keep in mind–and you already said it in one of your posts–that it can take several years for the settling issues to settle. Out here, with the little rainfall we get, I would not buy a home that is less than 10 years old because I don’t know what kind of settling problems Mother and Father Nature will inflict upon me. Older than 10 years means that the house has made it through at least one El Nino season of high rainfall, so what I see is what I get. Now I just have to deal with the cosmetic issues. So I agree with your assessment to monitor it for a couple of years to see if it gets progressively worse.

I expect the cracks to get larger over the next couple of years and then to quit. With the way the soil gets soaked during a hurricane (and I went through many, many hurricanes in South and East Texas during my lifetime–Carla, Beulah, Camille, Allen, etc.), it does take several years for the soils to return to their pre-hurricane moisture level. So if you’re planning on staying for more than two years, I probably wouldn’t do any major foundation repairs for a couple of years. Minor repairs to address cosmetic issues would be in order.


In the past could be yesterday, last week, last month, last year. However in this case these cracks appear to have been there longer then they have been for a shorter period. Duh!

Now look what you did!!! You got you’re Canadian friend’s panties in a wad.:stuck_out_tongue: :stuck_out_tongue: :wink: :wink: :stuck_out_tongue: :stuck_out_tongue: :stuck_out_tongue:

Real men don’t wear panties! :slight_smile: :slight_smile: :wink:

Especially real Canadian men!

Russell, thank you for your feedback; it is very much appreciated. You have validated and addressed my concerns on all fronts. I guess more time will tell.



Whenever you encounter these types of cracks in a foundation you may want to re-evaluate your limitations as a generalist and cover your a$$ as much as possible. As an inspector we all have an opinion about what we see, but rarely do we have the experience or qualifications to report on what we don’t see. This is where we, as inspectors, can get ourselves into a lot of hot water. Although the cracks do not appear to be shearing or displacing, it is important that somewhere in your narrative you include a little disclaimer that removes the guesswork out of the equation. ALWAYS tell your clients that although structural implications do not seem to exist on the surface, it is in their best interest to have a structural or geotech engineer evaluate the condition and offer an EXPERT opinion. Remember - we are all generalists and unless we are qualified to offer expert opinions, we must resist the urge to expand on what we perceive to exist. It is better to be silent and thought a fool, than to speak up and remove all doubt.


I believe Diane is a concerned homeowner, not an inspector. If I am wrong forgive me.

You’re right Doug.

I also got the impression that she was the homeowner in question.

She? Her name is Diana Reese.

Was there a question about her name?

Yes, that’s me :mrgreen: and yes again – I agree wholeheartedly that an SE should have the final say on this situation. We intend to likely stay in our home for many years to come [can’t afford to move on up ;)], but at some point, we will likely want or need to have the foundation meticulously examined and potentially repaired, and you can bet your last dollar that I will have an SE involved during every step.

You guys are great! Too bad I haven’t seen an inspector here from our area who has contacts.


I strongly suggest you monitor the cracks, as a structural engineer cannot ascertain what is going on anymore than we can as inspectors. I good engineer will likely tell you to monitor for movement, and may not be able to ascertain what has occured without further assessment by means of sampling soil, taking measurements and load calculations.

You can assist the egineer by putting in place and recording and documentation by photos so the engineer when retained has a historical perspective on the matter.