Some noobie questions

So, I’ve just started my mock inspections (as part of my education requirments). Structure seems to be the hardest part of this… well for me anyway. I thought I’d post some questions and pics and see if I’m even close on what I’m thinking or get some thoughts on what I have no idea to think lol… so here goes…

I found these today. The interior picture really doesn’t do it justice. I was a large step crack on an interior bedroom wall. Material is plaster. It spanned like this for about 5 feet.

Thoughts please? How would you report this? Suggested causes?

Thanks in advance,


Before we tell you how we would report it, why don’t you report it to us, and we’ll give you some suggestions?:smiley:

Hehehe… I’d love to Mark, I’m just a little lost. I would think for either of these I would report repair and monitor. That outside one was the only crack I saw around the whole house. Inside there were pleanty of very small cracks mostly around the tops of windows etc.

Oh and don’t get me wrong… I’d be happy to look up the information for myself if anyone has some suggestions on where I could look it up. I have been studying my structure course, I’m just not very technical when it comes to structure. A little shove in the right direction would be enormously appreciated.

Don’t get the idea I’m dodging your question… I’m trying to help you in the best way I know, and I’m not sure at this point, just giving you a quick comment will help you the most. How about a resource?.. I got his from someone else on this very board.

No worries Mark, I understand the “teach a man to fish” idea and I’m a fan of it. I took a very quick look at that site and it looks like a ton of information. I’ll be looking forward to going through it. Thanks for the tip!



Thanks Nick, I have completed the first link you sent me but I didn’t see the second one. I’ll be completing that one right away. : )

Just to throw some ideas in your direction; keep in mind that when you ask us questions on this board that we only see the very small view that you show us.

In these cases we have cracks. There are different types of cracks and you should learn to differentiate what causes each type. It tells a large story about what’s going on. There are straight cracks, step cracks, sharing cracks, cracks with lateral movement etc.

I read this a long time ago and it stuck with me. Evaluation of a crack cannot be determined during a one time viewing (such as a home inspection). Without historical reference or future testing, it cannot be determined if this crack is currently active. Photographs are taken for historical reference.

In photograph #1 I see a gutter downspout. Also, what’s that white thing below the crack? This is a heads up to me and should be also considered.
I utilize a 1+1+1+1+1=5 approach to cracks. What does it look like inside the wall, outside the wall, above the crack, below the crack, are there other components such as doors and windows that show signs of structural movement associated with the crack?

I don’t think that any crack requires a recommendation for repair. If it is that substantial, then a structural engineer should be doing the repair part of reporting.

that looks like a parge coat over rigid insulation that is cracked at the seam. it is hard to tell not being there.

Thanks for your thoughts on this. I’m posting anothe picture… It is a picture of what is around the corner. It was hard to investigate this crack from above or below since there is siding and well earth… and from this inside this is also impossible as there is a concrete block wall in front of the new poured concrete wall. So this is all I have to go on…

So that white thing is debris in the yard. And yes, I did mention the downspout discharge should be directed further away from the foundation.

That upside down pitcher looks like it could be covering a pipe in the ground. A pipe in the ground beside a wall could be evidence of a buried oil tank. Watch out for that kind of stuff, it’s not just debris. :mad:

John Kogel