This is going to seem like a dumb question to some of you, but I have to ask because I question myself. To me, this is a foundation crack in the brick of non-measurable width. I am questioning how the home is supported. Here is NC, I see alot of crawlspace foundations that are supported by block and brick in the same course, so where does the support lie. All of the way around, like I think, or just where the block is? This always gets me. Thanks for the input in advance.
James, it looks like, from MI, that it is possibly pier and beam construction. Are there beams that span from pier to pier with the brick simply infilling between the piers?
How old is this home?
2 brick wythe and brick pilasters on means two things;
Stability for the wall
or support for the floor framing beams at so many feet apart.
Looks like there is another one in the background of one picture.
There are beams from peir to peir on the edges, however there is a sill plate for the wall framing that rests on this brick wall.
Home was built in 1998
Logically the beams would be at right angles to the pilasters from one side to the other and sill plate around the perimeter and band joist to bear on the perimeter brick.
Hard to tell from those pictures.
Yep, the beams are sitting on the pilasters at the end of the wall, with masonry block peirs going all the way down to the other end of the home. The floor joists are of course perpendicular to the floor beam. The sill plate is on the entire perimeter. The sill plate in that picture is water soaked in the picture because of leaking hose bibb plumbing.
Here isa vague pic of the piers. It was actually a pic of the no vapor barrier dirt.
Yeah, I noticed that too!
Makes sense framing wise. Those must be interior piers, any footing support for those?
I didnt dig, but more than likely not. If so, Im almost sure that they just sit on solid soil a few inches. They are interior piers just supporting the beam and floor framing.
I am assuming that is a cracked foundation wall and those blocks on the outer foundation wall, is just to support additionally the floor beams. I think I just answered my own question, just not 100%. On the next one, I will definitely pay better attention to the actual construction and spend some more time under there.
Differential cracking. The pier is not settling down but the bricks are, causing the cracking.
So what would you advise the client? Keep in mind the client likely has no clue what any of that jargon means
In Texas what an unacceptable crack width is varies. Its very subjective and relies on associated indicators. I would consider the cracks measurable and consider them about 1/64 to 1/32 inch wide (.060 to .032). Using only the cracks as a guideline I would document and refer to them as differential movement (not settlement, upheaval or brick expansion/shrinkage). I don’t think InterNachi Standards require determining cause or predicting the future. In Texas its very easy to say deficient or not when the evidence is clear however when the decision becomes gray its difficult. I recommend the truth (not that you would not). “The cracks represent some movement has occurred. It does not appear significant to me. I am unable to determine the cause or predict the future. I am indicating this as deficient to draw attention to your opportunity to hire an engineer to evaluate the condition. If repairs are not recommended then the engineering report will serve as a baseline for future evaluations.”
Its OK to say you don’t know in this business. If your challenged with “I hired you to tell me” Politely counter with “You hired me to tell you the truth”.
Amen to that. Thanks. I called it out as a vertical foundation crack of a width not measurable(with a standard tape measure), due to differential movement. Recommended a foundation contractor to complete a full evaluation of the condition and repair as needed, then monitor.
Not in those exact words though.
Doubt the foundation contractor is going to do much other than say it’s no biggie. It’s 20 year old house, it had some initial uneven settlement which is common with the way the house was constructed. It’s not going anywhere If the brick wall continued to settle, the crack would be much bigger.