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Cracked Concrete Walkout Tunnel


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We are seriously considering making an offer on a property built in 1974.

The concrete tunnel of the walkout basement was damaged 10+ years ago by a back hoe according to the previous owners (the damage was there when they bought the property - they never had it fixed). It created a deep triangular crack on a side wall next to and leading to the stairs. There is also a crack in the seam of the floor. The ceiling of the tunnel shows no damage. The tunnel is under a wood deck in the back of the house.

Also in that tunnel is a trap in the wall with a drainage ditch that the owners keep from freezing by putting an electrical baseboard heater OVER the ditch [:-bigeyes.

The realtor is trying to get us the owner's inspection report. Thought I would get an opinion as to what I'm getting myself into and what it would cost to fix this for resale down the road.

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There's some question as to whether or not it needs fixing. The floor crack is just a floor crack, the wall crack sure looks like someone with a backhoe whacked it.

I look at an awful lot of old properties with similar cracks and issues in basement entry areaways. If one is looking for best practice, buffed out, no defects whatsoever property, OK...fix it. Around here it'd be $10-15K.

If one is looking at old properties that need various repairs and maintenance and you're fine with that.....this would be somewhere way down the priority list in my world.

No seismic issues in Quebec, oui?

With the info we have right now, I'm more concerned with that pipe sticking out of the wall. It looks like a fuel oil storage tank vent. Anyone talk abut UST's? (Underground Storage Tanks)

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Thanks Kurt. Nope, no mention of an oil tank - the house has central air. Also wondering what the open-ended pipe along the stairs with the wires is. Any relation to the septic? Also, isn't it strange that the sump pump would be in the walkout wall?

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Every basement areaway I've found with a sump pump out in the areaway....there's always a flood problem of some type, maybe big maybe small, but always something stupid.

I kinda skimmed over the age......built in 1974 and it looks like that, I'd be taking a harder look at a lot of stuff.

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If someone excavates adjacent to the displaced wall and pushes the wall back in place, then do some reinforcing or epoxy injection, you may fix it for several thousand.

A new hatch door may minimize the freezing issue. It certainly needs one.

Things look a bit rough for 1974.

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According to the owners the damage was done while updating the septic in 1994. There are 2 lids to the septic and are quite close to the house. One lid is abutting the doors to the walkout in fact. I suspect that pipe near the crack has something to do with the septic. ?

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The septic tank will need to be replaced, too close to the house. Then the field will be old and too small. Around here that is $20K maybe more.

They lived in the house 10 years did not much in the way of upkeep and some dumbsh*t like that baseboard heater. Now they want to sell it for how much? They want more than what they paid plus a cut for the realtors?

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Do you have the inspection report for the last emptying of the septic tank? Tanks must be emptied and inspected minimum every 2 years in QC. It is possible the weeping field is past it's life expectancy (30ish years depending on how badly you abuse it) if it wasn't changed. If one installed at all.. it can be just a seepage pit.

If there is a new drainage field and tank installed in 1996 there must be a schematic for the new septic installation? Which company did the install? Is the tank concrete? The city must approve the installation and send an inspector by before it is back filled. Was the home modified (extended without proper permits?) Does the walkout smell of septic fumes? Is that water at the floor of the concrete wall? The pipe looks like it is ABS, and maybe an auto-vent? Hard to tell by the photo. As for the wires in a pipe, it sounds like they are safely installed in a conduit. Could be electrical for sump pump or yard lighting.. etc... I am in the Montreal area if you need a licensed inspector. I would be glad to inspect the home with you.

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