Cracks happen! (an ActiveRain success story)

Real Estate Agent with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage CalBRE #01165532

Russel Ray, a prolific Active Rain member, shares a great success story.  If you don't subscribe to Russel, you really should -- he is one of the true heroes to new members and veterans alike to be found here on AR.  I am disabling comments, so go directly to Russel Ray's post to speak your mind....and by the way, cracks do happen(I have it on good authority).  

Call Russel Ray for all your home inspection needs

Zoey the Cool Cat

Cracks happen!
(an ActiveRain success story)

Out of the 2,564 blog posts that I have, there are twenty that bring me so much business that I can't count it all, which is why I have an Excel spreadsheet that can!

Those twenty blog posts are about cracks. I'm not talking the plumber's crack! I'm talking about cracks in our homes — foundations, walls, ceilings, swimming pools, driveways, garages, walkways....

Yesterday a gentleman contacted me via the ActiveRain contact system. His email started off innocently enough: "I'd like to engage your services to provide me with a confidential analysis of our ***** residence...."

Then he went on, though:

"....a 15' diagonal crack in the front corner (living room) foundation...., going from front windows to side window .... maximum width ½" and level on both sides of crack .... looking at the foundation from the outside .... extensive cracks that appear as in your Lesson 4 (cold pour joints). Previously doctored up .... bought the house 13 years ago .... without a home inspection."

I had an afternoon inspection yesterday but called him to say that I could stop by his place around 6:00 p.m., and that was okay with him.

I spent 1½ hours with he and his wife and discussed everything from foundation cracks to classic muscle cars to Clemson University (him) to Texas A&M University (me) to being a juvenile delinquent (Me! See? If you put it on the Internet, it's out there for all to see, and he saw it! And still hired me!).

I did not get to see the crack in the living room because it was already covered with carpet and tile. However, the configuration of the living room led me to believe, based on his description of the size, width, and elevation of the crack, that it was a common stress crack. No big deal. Epoxy it and move on.

The exterior cracks were a little more unusual because they were longer than I typically see with cold pour cracks:

concrete foundation crack

concrete foundation crack


These cracks had not been "previously doctored up," although I can understand how it could look like that. Rather, this was a slab-on-grade foundation with exterior stucco siding. What you see in the pictures is the foundation stem wall, on which sits the wall framing for the house. Here in San Diego we like to stucco that stem wall so that it looks like the house; no bare concrete! Eventually that stucco will blister and slough from the stem wall, and that's what happened here, leaving evidence of being "doctored."

A close examination of these areas showed lots of aggregate, which is the pebbles you see in concrete. When I see lots of aggregate in one area, I'm pretty sure that it was the last of the concrete in the concrete mixer, or the concrete slop that has been scraped up and thrown in the mix. Either situation will eventually result in a crack.

Zoey the Cool CatExterior siding showed nothing unusual, just common stucco shrinkage cracks at door and window corners. My recommendation was simply to call a foundation repair company and have them repair the cracks, which will probably be patching with a concrete expoxy. I provided the name of a company that I refer quite often and they have already contacted that company. I believe this couple will be another in a long line of happy and satisfied clients who were initially concerned about concrete cracks but now know that "Cracks happen!"

His last email to me: "Thanks for a great job! *****  and I indulged in a wonderful bottle of wine in celebration of your glad tidings!"

Next post will be:

Is arson the next big thing?

Twenty most recent posts

  1. Business & Marketing — You, too, can accomplish something!
  2. I don't need no stinking real estate market experts!
  3. Music on Mondays from the Music Chronicles of Russel Ray — Would YOU like to be in an Octopus's Garden? (complete with octopus and music)
  4. Pay It Forward — I despise nasty, mean people (Why I was depressed on July 5)
  5. Picture of the Moment — SeaWorld at night
  6. ActiveRain — Do not read this if you have more than 4,741 points
  7. Video of the Moment— Cliff diving at Sunset Cliffs on July 4
  8. Friday Flower Fiesta — With a little local history thrown in for good measure
  9. Opinion — I just love paying kickbacks to realty agents
  10. Fun with Russel Ray — But what does it all mean?
  11. Video of the Moment — Over here! Over here!
  12. Unlocking the secrets of your home — I prefer to live out my life at the beach rather than in a prison cell.
  13. Business & Marketing — It's July 6. Do you know where YOUR clients are?
  14. Wordless Wednesday (with a lot of text) — Biking out of depression, part 2
  15. Wordless Wednesday (with a lot of text) — Biking out of depression
  16. Unlocking the secrets of your home — It's time for all homes to have fire suppression systems!
  17. Music on Mondays from the Music Chronicles of Russel Ray — Does anyone remember when pop music was fun?
  18. Video of the Moment — The Grand Finale of the San Diego "Big Bay Boom!" fireworks show!
  19. We Americans are CRAZY, some more so than others!
  20. ActiveRain — Are my attempts successful? (bald eagle pictures included)

If you need a home inspection to make your day,
make sure it's one by Russel Ray!

Unlocking the secrets of your home

Member since 2003 of 
The world’s largest and best trade association for home inspectors!

All pictures are copyright

Click here to subscribe to Russel's corner of the world! 


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Michael Jacobs

Los Angeles Pasadena Area Real Estate 818.516.4393
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