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[#1] Posted: 09/17/2010 - 11:51:53 AM
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This may be old news, but if not, I thought you guys would find it interesting. It's a crack monitor. This brings up a good question. How many of us suggest monitoring of a foundation crack before calling an engineer?
Crack Monitor


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[#2] Posted: 09/17/2010 - 12:16:31 PM
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A crack/movement monitor takes a loooong time to see results.
I would say it's way outside the time-frame of a buyers contingency.

Darren
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[#3] Posted: 09/17/2010 - 12:22:26 PM
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Quote: Originally posted by Ben H

This may be old news, but if not, I thought you guys would find it interesting. It's a crack monitor. This brings up a good question. How many of us suggest monitoring of a foundation crack before calling an engineer?
Crack Monitor



Sure. I used to carry them in the early '90s. I stopped because it's just as good to fill the crack with mortar & look for movement once or twice per year -- the mortar looks better too.

Some people used to use popsicle sticks for the same thing. Others used to glue a microscope slide across the crack & wait to see if it broke after a year or two.

- Jim Katen, Oregon

Jim Katen, Oregon
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[#4] Posted: 09/17/2010 - 12:23:43 PM
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Hi,

I won't call for an engineer for a simple foundation crack until/unless that crack is more than 1/4-inch wide, shows some divergence or lateral offset and there's something to indicate that movement is still going on or there is some reason to be nervous about the crack. I've seen too many cracked foundations to get upset over ordinary curing cracks or really old settling issues that stopped decades ago. With most of those, a $40 crack epoxy injection kit can knit things nicely and remove any doubt from the mind of a future buyer or they can simply ignore them and hope that the guy that inspects the home when they go to sell is experienced enough to know when there is nothing to be concerned about.

There have been times however when there are signs of movement or divergence and I haven't been able to tell if there is still ongoing movement. Saw a bunch of that after the Nisqually quake. Telling a client who is buying a home and is nervous about a crack to monitor a crack which I'm nervous about in order to see if it continues moving doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me. The client isn't going to be able to monitor it until/unless the deal closes; so, if they buy the home in spite of the crack and it's still settling and could eventually become a serious issue, what does the client do then if the client couldn't get the seller to indefinitely put away a wad of money large enough to cover complete foundation replacement if necessary, which we all know never happens? They turn around and blame you for not telling them to have an engineer check it out or tell them to run like hell - that's what they do.

I've had occasion when a client has said to me, "I'm going to buy this home regardless of whatever you find; I just want to know what's going on here so I can deal with it." In those circumstances when I find a crack I'm uneasy about, I've recommended they get an engineer out to check out the suspicious crack and then deal with the situation ASAP; or, if doing so immediately won't be in the budget for them, to monitor the crack closely for additional movement. In those cases, I've recommended that if they intend to monitor the crack that they epoxy two dime store six-inch rulers on either side of the crack with the 1-inch index marks aligned and then check them every few months to see whether there is any ongoing movement. I'm not going to tell 'em to go out and buy an expensive version of two overlapping rulers like that.

Knocking on wood. So far, it's worked for 14-years. I've never had a complaint about my having made a wrong call on foundation cracks.

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[#5] Posted: 09/17/2010 - 12:32:05 PM
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From the installation manual.
"The Crack Monitors are much less likely to be removed by vandals if they are firmly epoxied in place."

Other than maybe a crackhead, who would want to steal one?

I'm Gary Blum and I approve this message

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[#6] Posted: 09/17/2010 - 12:44:29 PM
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Quote: Originally posted by gtblum

From the installation manual.
"The Crack Monitors are much less likely to be removed by vandals if they are firmly epoxied in place."

Other than maybe a crackhead, who would want to steal one?



A 3-year old.

Jim Katen, Oregon
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[#7] Posted: 09/17/2010 - 5:56:55 PM
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Gary,




..........a crack head?

We used them for 8-10yrs for various reasons in the late 80's. Used glass slides before that. Don't use them at all now.

Please remember I am from the era of peppermint oil for exhangers!

Les
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[#8] Posted: 09/17/2010 - 6:24:43 PM
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Do plumbers tape those to their backsides
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[#9] Posted: 09/17/2010 - 6:49:06 PM
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Quote: Originally posted by waynesoper

Do plumbers tape those to their backsides
Hee, hee,

To tell you the truth, when I first saw the initial post and clicked on it, I thought it was probably something funny and had this fleeting imaginary view of a flagman standing behind a plumber who was on his hands and knees under a sink and flagging people away whenever the plumber's shirt tail rode too high.

I was disappointed when it turned out to be something serious.

That would make a great Craig Ferguson skit though.

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[#10] Posted: 09/17/2010 - 8:06:12 PM
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Quote: Originally posted by Les

Gary,




..........a crack head?

We used them for 8-10yrs for various reasons in the late 80's. Used glass slides before that. Don't use them at all now.

Please remember I am from the era of peppermint oil for exhangers!


Sorry, Les. I meant no disrespect.

See? I told you people. Old guys, know!

I'm Gary Blum and I approve this message

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[#11] Posted: 09/19/2010 - 7:47:54 PM
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A major use for the crack monitor in the P.E. world is that it provides formal, objective, and legally defensible data when P.E.s become part of urination festivals held by builders and customers or heavy equipment contractors and homeowners after mishaps, etc...//bb
   
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