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Foundation crack question


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As you can see from the pic I just noticed a foundation crack on the front on my house. This could have been here a while. Is it anything I need to worry about? From reading on foundation cracks don't think so but want to make sure.

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I took one more pic, i did notice that about the same spot position wise in the back of the house there is a crack also. The whole reason why I started looking was because there was a crack under my floor running across my kitchen when I tiled it last year and noticed that some of my grout in the kitchen started coming up along that same crack. Other then that no other foundation cracks. Should I be worried???

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Try taking two more photos of the same spots but step back about 5' or so we can see the context. More photo-pairs of other cracks, if you have them, will help too.

This is an area of Al with long rolling-hills if I'm not mistaken.

Marc

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k i took a 5 foot away photo of both front and back the crack in the back is very similiar to the one up front, and yes we do have rolling hills : ) Thanks for looking and helping also. As you can see the crack spans not only across my foundation but the outside walking slabs also. Also please ignore the mess on my back porch. I have two large dogs, lol. As you can see the back crack is right under the doorframe.

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Photo #1 at the top: If I were onsite, I'd be looking for issues on everything from the foundation on up. I'd be concerned because the crack in the 1st photo is wider at the top than the bottom. Also, is it possible that the cracks at the front and rear of the house are the same crack? Double reason to have a top notch home inspector check this out. Don't have to do an entire home inspection, just the investigate the cracks and write up a report. Tell your inspector up front that you don't want any of that 'refer to qualified.... for further evaluation' crap. If he hasn't the acumen and knowledge to tell you about it, find someone else.

Marc

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It could be anything, but if I was laying odds, it's almost assuredly simple shrinkage cracks. Occum's Razor likely applies here.

Shrinkage cracks are vertical, they usually occur at roughly 1/3 intervals, and they're epidemic nowadays (the last 20 years) because no one knows how to mix or place concrete. Everyone soups it up with lots of water because it makes for an easy pour; the problem is it then cracks as it dries out.

I'd bet a tooth it's shrinkage cracks.

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Worrying works. It must, because all the crap I worry about never happens.

All the folks advising additional inspection are right in their recommendation; no one knows anything for sure without considering all variables.

But, there's darn few foundations that crack in the manner yours did that aren't shrinkage cracks.

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Here's some interesting reading that may be relevant.

Or it might not apply, because we haven't discussed the soil type where your house is, or the grading. There are places in the US like Texas where home owners keep the perimeters of their homes wet to prevent shrinkage of clay soil from damaging the foundations.

http://geology.com/articles/expansive-soil.shtml

If Kurt is correct about concrete shrinkage, that would have happened when the house was 1 or 2 years old. Certainly it is 15 years too late to worry about concrete shrinkage now. That is a normal occurrence.

But since you mention moving grout in the kitchen, there could be some shifting going on there. The floor is a concrete slab, right? Is there pre-tensioned reinforcing in the slab? Does a straight edge lay flat across the area where the crack was?

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I didn't find any comment about it being a slab; I was operating on it being a basement of some sort.

Even if it is a slab, the central part of a floor system isn't load bearing; cracked grout could be the floor slab shifting; more than worry about shifting, I'd be wondering why the tile installer didn't use an isolation membrane or other crack reducing improvement. Actually, I wouldn't even wonder......most guys don't use membranes....slabs move, grout cracks.

If it's a wood floor platform, the tile guy didn't do his job as well as he might have; it's unlikely to have anything to do with the foundation.

It's dangerous asking a bunch of home inspectors online what a problem might be. The knee jerk is usually to the most extreme possibility, like geological calamities. If you have expansive soils, every one of your neighbors is going to have the same issues. Ask around, see what the neighborhood's doing.

You said you just noticed the crack; that means it may have been there for a decade or more. Your straightedge is telling you the floor is flat. Cracked grout is common as the dirt. I'm still not hearing anything that makes me think it's serious. All descriptions thus far say shrinkage, not settlement.

I reserve the right to change my mind if additional evidence is presented that points to critical issues.

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Occum's Razor likely applies here.

Occum's Razor??!!!

Jeez, Kurt,

How many times have I got to warn you. You're a home inspector. Showing any semblance of an intelligence level above oaf is going to get you in a heap of trouble. You're gonna get yourself labeled dangerous.

The Zoid Queen has probably already dispatched a crack squad of vegemitazoids to kidnap you, haul you off to the bug house and have you lobotomized before you start giving the rest of us wild ideas.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Occam's razor (also written as Ockham's razor, Latin lex parsimoniae) is the law of parsimony, economy or succinctness. There ya go. Hope this helps.

It is a principle urging one to select from among competing hypotheses that which makes the fewest assumptions.

Aha.

For the aerial theatre company, see Ockham's Razor Theatre Company.

It is possible to describe the other planets in the Solar System as revolving around the Earth, but that explanation is unnecessarily complex compared to the contemporary consensus that all planets in the Solar System revolve around the Sun.

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See Kurt?

I knew what Occam's razor was but I'm not going to let the Zoid Queen know that I know. Johns new compared to you, kurt. You should have set a better example. Now John's gone and exposed himself. Hope you're happy now; you guys'll look like bookends with your matching lobotomies.

Tsk [:-cry]

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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See Kurt?

I knew what Occam's razor was but I'm not going to let the Zoid Queen know that I know. Johns new compared to you, kurt. You should have set a better example. Now John's gone and exposed himself. Hope you're happy now; you guys'll look like bookends with your matching lobotomies.

Tsk [:-cry]

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

You have now let her know that you knew. I guess y'all will be the new three moneys, see no evil, speak no evil and hear no evil. [:-monkeyd[:-paperba

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