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Foundation Problems or Settling?


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Hi guys! Newb here...

I'm thinking about getting a career in home inspection after going through the fiasco with my place. Ever since about a year ago been noticing cracks above a couple doors, but nothing major. I thought I might get some advice on here before I go about getting something done about this. My bathroom upstairs slopes (along with the hallway with it). I opened the crawl space and found that possibly there's dry rot underneath the house? I did notice that possibly one footing is missing?

The first pic attached is the floor level in the upstairs bathroom. The second picture is the front door downstairs. The second to last pic is the upstairs bedroom in which the slope leads to. The last picture is the side door that leads out to the carport.

The house is A frame style (slanted, hard to explain)....

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I wouldn't attach much significance to the cracks at this point but the slope in the bath floor, yeah, that's a lot of slope. I'd start with an attempt to check the elevation of the downstairs structural floor at various points and see if it's localized.

Marc

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Like Marc said, drywall cracks....I wouldn't ascribe much to it yet, maybe when more is known. Bathroom floor....lotta slope, but it's hard to say if it means anything or not with the limited info we have.

How old is the house? Where? Ask around about soil conditions in the area, see if anyone knows anything.

Got a pic of the house?

After that, this sort of thing is hard/impossible to figure out online. You can narrow it down here, but to know something real you probably have to get a competent inspector or an engineer.

Personally, I'd call O'Handley (Seattle based) and see what he says. He started this joint, and he stops in from time to time.

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I know the foundation has one large crack in the back of the house. I'm going to brave it and snap a picture with my camera of the crawl space. That usually has answers as to what's going on. The kitchen downstairs has a slope with the fridge & counter space area.

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More often than not, the conditionsame you are seeing relate to sagging floor joists or beams, but foundation settlement is a possibility. At most areas the amount of movement does not appear to be a concern. Someone knowledgeable would need to determine what is causing the movement. Deteriorated framing in crawl spaces can be an expensive repair.

BTW, settling relates to foundation movement and can be a serious concern. I have heard inspectors refer to movement as "just settlement". In my opinion that is a bad choice of words. Perhaps they mean that the movement is typical deflection (i.email. sagging) of joists or beams.

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  • 2 months later...

A few people said don't worry about the cracking. And I agree with the first and second picture where one is straight vertical and ones straight horizontal. But the third picture with the lightning bolt looking crack at a slant is definitely one of concern. Finding out the cause of that crack will surely lead to the floor slanting that badly those two if on the same side of the house are related IMHO.

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had my father in law come out to fix a busted water heater and inspect with my our crawl space. Here's what it looks like. Isn't this rotted wood? Is there red flags here to watch for? Doesn't seem very supportive to me. The house is from the 80s so it seems like some DIY work was done before we got here. The bathroom floor is bulging up and he suspects possibly a footing or something is sticking up. This house is such a headache. Time to call in the pros asap I bet.

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You have a water problem. The rot and settling are *symptoms* of that problem. It would be the height of folly to fix anything until you've first fixed the water. The crawlspace should be dry. Period. No standing water - ever.

Hire a good drainage contractor to design and install a drainage system to ensure that crawlspace stays dry.

Then assess and fix the other issues.

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