What Do You Think Is Happening Here ?

I just completed an inspection today. This house has a decent size deck in pretty decent condition at first glance. When I moved in and was checking it out from the underside I noticed just about each footer has major cracks in them. What do you think?


From photos it looks like they dug a hole, set the post in it, and poured concrete around it. Not the true description of “footer”. Movement at post will cause concrete to crack.

edit: post, not “pole” :slight_smile:

That was my first thought. unless someone has other trhories I’ll buy that one.:roll:


The wood is getting wet and expanding which is causing it to crack at the corner which is where the greater stress is. I would also speculate that the concrete was from a bag and may not of been mixed correctly resulting in lower strength but thats just a guess.

Post should sit on top of the concrete with the proper connector.
Water is getting in and either expanding the wood or freezing in the winter.

Here’s a good link

I agree with the weak cement in conjunction with possible freezing action. Ice is strong and will break a lot of otherwise strong materials.

I agree with Peter!
I no way should the treated lumber be imbedded into the foundation. This only works for setting in fence posts.
The other thing missing with this deck is post-to-girder diagonal bracing. This would have put extra stress on the corners.

Unreinforced concrete and improper embedment of the posts.

One heck of a large party the other night added weight to the footings.