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Tiny hairline fracture cracks in foundation

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Hey there,

We have just moved down to Austin, tx and are in the market of looking for a new home. We found one we really like and want to place a bid on, however it has strange foundation cracks around the house.

First off there are absolutely no cracks showing inside the house, or outside in the brick. It is a 1500 sq ft house, no basement, built in 1985.

There are small tiny hairline fractures that don't reach all the way up or down, just misc. cracking. I took a picture of the worse spot (which is right under the water drainpipe from the roof runoff, I don't know if that means anything, it must right?) None of the other cracks along the foundation are as wide as the cracks shown in the right of the picture, however that is the same style. They are all generally similar to the crack to the left in the picture.

I've searched all over the internet but couldn't find anything that talks about these weird little fracture cracks.

So guys, should we be super worried about these cracks and back away from this home as soon as possible?? Or should we not worry about them, assume it has to do with Austin's heat index, and patch them up once we move in?


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Did you not have an inspection done on the home prior to closing?

If you did (have it inspected) ... if there were any extreme situations your inspector should have noted same in a detailed report ... assuming you chose a good inspector rather than a "drive by" inspector.

Your image shows a downspout with a missing extension and turnout and possibly missing splashblock or other extension to move water away from the foundation.

The cracks (in the image) appear to be a superficial cracking in what might be a coat of mortar spread over the actual foundation beam for the sake of making it look 'nice'. IE: In other words: Cosmetic.

Without more establishing images it is hard to say for sure.

This is not to suggest that there are not any foundation issues with properties in Austin ... all depends upon many issues that are hard to discern from on image and not actually being able to inspect the property.

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It looks like a parge coating on the outside of the foundation. Someone used too much water in the mix.

It's unimportant. Ignore it.

Install a drain pipe to receive water from the downspout and direct it away from the house. (This has nothing to do with the cracks in the picture.)

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Honestly I was of the opinion that it was the cosmetic parge coating as well (though I knew it existed, I admit I had no idea of the name until now..)

We have not had it inspected as of yet, because we have yet to bid on it. I had never seen these cracks before on a house and I was curious about them before getting stuck tied into a bid system.

Thank you both for your opinions! I do appreciate that you took the time to reply.

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If you do sign a contract for the property and start your option period it would be wise for an independent inspection on your behalf.

Send me a message offline and I can provide you with some contacts in the Austin area who are extraordinary inspectors ... NOT "drive-bys".

Nolan AT NolansInspections.com

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