Same house CMU Cracks pics attached

What a day, this is a pier in the basement. The crack is horizontal approximately 2 feet below grade (frost line). The length is about 26 feet and the crack crosses all 3 CMU piers. The gap in places exceeds 1/4" the attached pics shows the center CMU pier. There is a definate bow. The seller’s condition report discloses nothing. The seller’s have been in the property for 10 years and have never painted the walls. (I suggested they probably should have). My client is a buyer that managed to get a home inspection prior to an offer to purchase was submitted. (Just what we like).

Defect? Maintenance Item? Refer to a licensed structural engineer or qualified foundation contractor?


The most likely candidate is hydrostatic pressure. I don’t know what kind of soils you guys have up there, but around these parts expansive clay soils are often culprits in situations like this…on those relatively rare occasions when we see a basement! I would refer it to an engineer.

don’t know if it is the photo angle, but it looks like the pilaster is starting to bow out in the middle. call it out for an engineer and sleep at night.

Regardless what the seller says, I don’t know for sure it didn’t happen over the last week and even if it was like that for a while, an additional concentrated load of water could exacerbate the problem. IMO, an engineer is appropriate.

Yes it is. Tee center one is the worst. However, the ones on either side of the center aren’t far behind. I would tend to agee with a freeze / thaw condition that started the problem due to the location of the horizontal crack in relation to the grade level. That area where the home is built has a high clay content. (I’m inspecting a new home construction about a 1/2 mile away and my boots can verify the clay)

A potentially expensive fix, although the wall does not look too bad. My house had similar cracks (more of them on one wall and not all the way around). The seller agreed to pay for the cracks to be filled and concreted metal wall stitches to be inserted (these helped to correct the bow in one of the walls). Of course I then had to deal with the cause…poor exterior drainage aggravated by that clay soil. For 20-30 feet of cracks I paid US$7,000. And another US$2,000 for the drainage!

And your sellers are very nice people. My seller tried to cover the cracks by painting. But they reappeared.