Thoughts on settlement and cracks

Stairstep cracks and obvious settlement. This is patio section. Basement foundation walls look solid.


It moved, it cracked… will it crack more? nobody knows, it depends, it could. How old is the screened porch? does it have C of O?

As a home inspector apart from noting the defect, severe structural cracking is outside the scope of a normal home inspection, above my pay grade and something I will always defer to a licensed professional. The real question is why someone would want to buy a house in this condition in the first place. :thinking:

as you know, no house is perfect, you have to compromise somewhere… could be many reasons to buy this house. We only see few pics with few cracks which may not be big deal. anything is fixable, the question is how much.

Yep, settlement and I as well would refer it to an engineer.
In the 2nd picture, it almost looks like the block ‘posts’ with the white wood columns are pushing out at the top.

I do like the color, However!:laughing:

Sure looks like it. The pier support must have settled.

Condition: Evidence of structural settlement Recommendation: Further evaluation by a Licensed Structural Engineer

Settlement is a wag… There is evidence of cracking, but I’ll leave the question of settlement to licensed professionals.

You are far better off referring this to a structural engineer. Home inspectors are well versed in their field methods, report writing, and recommendations for home inspections. The same thing goes for structural engineers. We have our own specific methods, reports, and recommendations. Best thing to do is refer to a structural engineer.

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Was the house built in the 1920s of 1930s? Much heavier “cement blocks” faced to look like stone were used in that era where the foundation walls would be exposed to view. A crack across such a block versus along the mortar joints would require great force.

In the bottom photo, the purple paint is pulled apart across a crack, revealing the gray masonry beneath, suggesting this damage may be of more recent occurrence than the paint job and of an abrupt and structurally significant nature. The reasonable presumption is that differential settlement of the soil beneath the porch caused by water has in turn caused the settlement cracks in the blocks. Is that corner porch pier tipping outward as it appears in the photo? That would clinch settlement as the cause, I’d say.