Structural foundation issue

I am curious as to your thoughts on this situation. Cinderblock foundation and a diagonal crack running down to the floor and starting beneath a window. Clients questions are:

  1. Can the crack be sealed? (I’m thinking roofing tar, caulk or something of that sort).
  2. Will they have to do major repair to the foundation within the next 10 years?

The house was more than 40 years old and this was the only significant issue I saw with the foundation.

Should I recommend a further look from a contractor, or maybe a structural engineer?

Thank you!





A good waterproofing contractor like Mark Anderson (aka) John Bubber–:shock:

Could repair that, I would BET.!

I would not recommend an engineer look at it, but its hard to find a waterproofing contractor who won’t rip folks off as John Bubber posts occasionally.

Easily repaired from outside, takes some digging, best left to professionals, but inexpensive. Repairs from inside are nothing more than band-aids, and some literature almost guarantees re-cracking, because if there is any movement, the bond between wall and patching compound fails. Mark Anderson is THE Man when it comes to founadtion repairs, and he never fails to list the names of his honest competitors in his area…he seems to care more that it’s done right than whether he himself does it. Read a few of his entertaining posts, and you’ll get the idea of how it’s to be done.

Terry, with a crack that size I would recommend a structural engineer to re-inspect, there very well may be a failure in the footing under the wall, especially due to the year of construction

Thank you both, Mr Duffy and Mr Hetzel. Your comments are greatly appreciated by this old man.

Terry, here is what the crack will look like outside, a lil wider. This crack is under a window Pic 8,10. House built in 50`s.

99% of the time there is NO cracked-dropped footing,no footing failure, thats what we have seen in 30 years. We hand dig,all jobs done outside so we expose-look at every footing where there are vertical,diagonal,step,horizontal cracks.From homes built in early 1900s to now. If i remember correctly, weve seen 2 footings that were cracked.

Just because a wall is cracked,pushed in etc and/or has bricks that are cracked in no way means there is any problem-failure with the footing.Those who sell helical piers etc will tell people differently,theyll BS HOs into piers/inside systems they do not need…see this all the time.

Just saw this shtt again, HO called n hired first company who came out 2 years ago,told them they needed helical piers, block wall w/several vertical and a horizontal crack,leaked at wall-floor joint. Well, the HO still leaks and cracks have widened because BOZOs-Big-Top-Waterdiverting didnt do anything on the OUTSIDE, left clay soil/roots against wall and didnt waterproof exterior-cracks.This DIPSHTT Co. supposedly sent out an engineer…THEIR-own engineer…PFFT. These people aren`t engineers! They are scams/frauds and talk MANY people into SHTT they do not need.

If these Bozo`s have real ‘engineers’,competent engineers then i am J Krsit, Abe Lincoln and Alexander the Great combined! #-o

See these exterior cracks in block wall? MUCH WIDER. NO footing problem,see for yourself. See pics 15,16,17,18,19

Wall is bowed in, vertical crack much wider than in your pics AND the wall is pushed in. Then look at FOOTING…what ya see? Nada. Lateral soil pressure and roots caused wall to crack,bow in,leak. Dipsticks ‘B Dri’ told this HO she only needed an inside drain tile system pffft. This was 10 or so years ago.The inside blcchtt didnt stop water & insects from entering, didnt remove/relieve soil pressure or roots, cracks widened.

Some pics not so good, what can i say . Another block wall

See cracks, see footing? No problems. 30 years this is what weve repeatedly seen YET many-most inside cos tell people their house is settling,footing is settling…blccchht. Does occur in Texas with those SLABS but rarely w/basement walls and certainly not around here in SE MI,lots of clay here too.

  1. Exterior waterproofing, long as the wall is NOT pushing/bowing in then waterproof the crack, not the entire wall.Did ‘clients’ say theyve seen crack WIDEN? The weaker parts of block walls(from lateral pressures) are at-near middle as the corners have a lil support from adjoining wall but as some of yas noticed, cracks do-can occur near corners too. 1 crack usually costs $875-975 these days…depends on depth to footing and what may be in the way on outside. If someone wanted the entire wall done and wall is 30’ long and 6’ deep then it should cost between $2,500-3,000.
  2. What ‘could-might’ occur in future w/some homes-walls is, IF they hire someone to add new addition or put in new driveway w/use of heavy equipment then the WEIGHT of equipment…or weight of addition-porch or its footings against a wall …‘could-might-can’ cause the wall to bow in or crack to widen.
Scroll down to ‘A Little Crack Can Mean Big Problems’
Not sure if i care for that title…Can=could-maybe…sometimes,depends.
Agree with most of what they state and this is true, 4th para…
“the center of a masonry block wall if often the weakest point…”
“Often however, the biggest load on the foundation is NOT the weight of the house, but the pressure of the SOIL around the foundation”.
Scroll down a tad to ‘BASEMENT WALLS’
See… Cause and Resolution
Prepared by U S Army Corps of Engineers
…all these links ARE important in trying to understand why basement walls crack,leak,bow in and what are best solutions/methods in most cases.

One thing often overlooked is the use of (lack of) steel reinforcing bars and the poor backfilling practices of some. Dont care for this guy too much but he is correct on SOME shtt []( 'Backfill dirt that is placed AGAINST the foundation wall CAUSES a lateral or sideways movement. Vertical reinforcing bars add strength.....lateral pressure can also be CAUSED by heavy machinery.....Backfilling a wall can be very risky IF.....when you calculate the WEIGHT of all the soil being dumped agst the foundation......advice is to wait...builder and many others will scoff at you....fkem…their pressure pales in comparison to the weight of the dirt that is placed against the walls’

In particular, read Q-A 1 and 5…are sumps allowed? what if problem is not related to surface grading (itSNOT)?

…sump pump systems are allowed although this is NOT the approach we recommend…

…preferred method is to (AHEM!) dig outside…down to footing

Dont jump all over my azz on this one but, have seen some HOs hire a structural engineer who did not determine the true cause n subsequent remedy of basement wall crack(s),wall pushing in....sorry, i call em like i sees em. In Fact, go back to U S Army Corps of Engineer link (lrb-Amherst) and see what they said.
2.4.3 Foundation Repairs
‘limited experience revealed there is occasional erroneous diagnosis and subsequent implementation of an inappropriate remedial measure.For example, we observed pilasters that were improperly supported…misapplication of carbon fiber strips…we also observed reputable engineers` design solutions that did not alleviate the settlement and/or lateral pressure problem…’

Looking at the pictures, this is NOT a block wall. It is an old poured concrete wall and the horizontial lines are from wood forms used during the pour.

He is correct, it is poured concrete. They can have an epoxy injection done from the inside but I am a fan of repairing from the outside myself. It looks like the crack is uniform from top to bottom, in my opinion it is a typical concrete crack and that the foundation isn’t experiencing major movement. I would recommend that they monitor the crack and that if it widens to have someone assess it.

At first glance, assumed it was block but sure does appear poured.

Regardless, why would potential BUYER ‘monitor’ an existing crack (a defect/flaw) that sure looks like it has leaked (pic 1 bottom of crack)…BUYER has ONE opportunity to have several waterproofing/foundation contractors give estimates to repair the crack BEFORE putting a bid on house.

About 50% of all injections…re-leak,careful there.
Some will be fine and last,not leak as long as the crack IS dormant AND
REMAINS dormant.
-Applications and Limitations…epoxy injection has been successfully
used in the repair of cracks (poured ONLY) in buildings,bridges,dams…
HOWEVER—unless the crack is dormant (or the cause of the cracking is
REMOVED,thereby making the crack dormant),it will probably RECUR…
possibly somewhere else in the structure.

So when one considers many of the ‘exterior causes of cracks,or the
widening of cracks’, why recommend something (injections) that do not
help relieve/remove these exterior causes.

Posted a Colo geosurvey link, said, expansive soils cause twice as much
damage to homes,buildings etc than floods,earthquakes,tornadoes combined.Lateral-soil-pressure causes alot of damage,causes cracks,leaks
and walls to bow inward.
Several excellent points/facts,one in first para…
‘Often however,the biggest load on the foundation is NOT the weight of
the house,but the pressure of the soil…’

U S Army Corps Engineer pics..... First 3 pics…see what THEY say was the cause of cracks/leaks/bowed wall…lateral soil pressure. Inside crap system/injection/pilasters previously installed/attempted
scroll down a bit to…Basement Wall Damage
See ‘cause and resolution’.

Here`s one builder who has no complaints and completely understands
why one should backfill w/most-all GRAVEL…6th paragraph

Exterior pressure/weight…causes of cracks YOU may NOT see…doesnt mean they arent there. Would ANY INSIDE SYSTEM remove the cause
of these cracks/deteriorated block? Nope.

This is about 2-3’ away,around the corner from the ROOT

Then there are those who SUPPOSEDLY offer lifetime guarantees and will
do just about anything to wiggle their az out
Looks like in 2002 homeowners ‘supposedly’ had some settling problems and hired Olshan to perfrom supposed-repairs to ‘prevent’ further settling… $11,700. Says work consisted of installing 10 pilings and 4 wall

Then this HO sells house and in June 2004 the new homeowner hires Olshan again,does more work including 4 more pilings,3 wall lock anchors
and 1 more brace.Says most of the work performed for BOTH was supposedly covered by a fully-transferable warranty.

Then house is sold again and in July 2006 this HO is given a copy of supposed warranty and told any basement leaks which had previously occurred had been remedied by Olshan`s repairs.HO gets water in basement…another company comes out to inspect,they find a plastic
bag stuck in foundation crack. lolololol

John I do not disagree with you, what I meant by monitoring the crack was if it begins to widen or grow larger at the top as opposed from the bottom then they may want to have a stuctural engineer assess it but at this time I do not believe it necessary. I am a fan of a proper repair for waterproofing from the exterior but I always let people know their options and allow them to decide for themselves after explaining why I like one option over another.