Is Your Foundation Under A "Crack Attack"?- Encinitas Home Inspection

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Home Inspector with Poway,La Jolla,Del Mar,Mira Mesa,Carlsbad,Escondido,Temecula

Is Your Foundation Under A "Crack Attack"?- Encinitas Home Inspection

foundation crack


One of the biggest concerns my clients have may be foundation cracks. If the foundation has problems, the entire structure may be adversely affected. But are all foundation cracks "deal breakers"? Not necessarily. Let's talk about some of these cracks and their potential cause:

 

 

 


cold joint


Horizontal cracks in a slab foundation

 

 

"Cold joints" (horizontal cracks) are often seen in the exterior of slab foundations of homes built from the 60's to the 80's that have a two-pour foundation. A cold joint occurs when fresh concrete is poured on cured or dry concrete. Depending on the width of the crack, it may or may not need repair. Proper drainage around the perimeter of a home becomes very important if a cold joint is present. There is the probability of water migration into the slab which may cause bigger problems.


foundation crack


Horizontal cracks in a raised foundation

Many times, a horizontal crack seen in a raised foundation wall is the result of corrosion of the reinforcing steel (re-bar) within the wall. Excessive moisture may be present or the steel may be located too close to the edge of the wall. This condition should be repaired as soon as possible, or further damage may foundation crackoccur. Many times what may appear as a thin crack at the exterior can be much worse when viewed from inside the crawlspace. Depending on the extent of the corroded steel, this condition may be rather costly to repair.

 




 

foundation crack

Vertical cracks in a slab foundation

 

 

 

Vertical cracking (shear cracks) seen in the perimeter of a slab foundation should always be further evaluated. Excessive moisture, soil movement, settlement, or structural issues may be the cause. To determine the extent of these cracks, the flooring must be foundation crackremoved/lifted (which is beyond the scope of a home inspection) or a manometer test (slab foundation cracklevelness test) may be done. Hairline cracks can be found in virtually every slab foundation out there- concrete shrinks and cracks when it dries. Also, a vertical crack is often seen where the garage slab meets the house slab. This is simply a cold joint between the two slabs which are typically poured at different times and should not be a big concern unless excessive width is present.



Vertical cracks in a raised foundation

I will beginfoundation crack here by saying that some thin vertical cracking can usually be found in all raised foundation stem-walls and are not normally a cause for alarm. If the cracks run diagonally, it may be a sign of more serious issues. Heavier cracks should be further evaluated to determine their cause and whether they will negatively affect the structure of the home. Excessive moisture, poor perimeter drainage, soil movement, or improper construction techniques or renovations may be the cause.




CREIA verify logoICC logoSteve Stenros- First Choice Inspections is a CREIA MCI and ICC-certified home inspector. He can be reached at 888-335-3040. Clients receive a FREE lifetime appliance RecallChek with every standard home inspection.

Originally posted at First Choice Inspections.


Is Your Foundation Under A "Crack Attack"?- Encinitas Home Inspection

 

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Re-Blogged 2 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Dan Edward Phillips 11/14/2011 04:25 AM
  2. Dan Edward Phillips 12/04/2011 06:09 PM
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Rainmaker
137,399
Steve Stenros
Poway,La Jolla,Del Mar,Mira Mesa,Carlsbad,Escondido,Temecula - San Diego, CA
CREIA MCI, ICC, ACI Home Inspector,San Diego

Hi Wes: For a crack like the one you describe, you will want to have a civil or geotechnical engineer come and take a look at it. They will probably want to do a manometer test to check for slab levelness. Are all the doors square in their frame? Where are you located? If you're in the San Diego area, I have a referral for you.

Dec 07, 2011 06:09 PM #14
Rainmaker
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Steve and Jan Bachman
RE/MAX Gateway, Reston, Herndon, Ashburn, Sterling, Fairfax - Herndon, VA
Realtors - Northern Virginia

Not only do you right the best home inspection posts Steve, your illustrations of the problems are awesome.

Dec 13, 2011 10:20 AM #15
Rainmaker
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Steve Stenros
Poway,La Jolla,Del Mar,Mira Mesa,Carlsbad,Escondido,Temecula - San Diego, CA
CREIA MCI, ICC, ACI Home Inspector,San Diego

Thanks for the kind words, Steve! I need to get back on my blogging horse!

Dec 13, 2011 01:37 PM #16
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Connie Harvey
Pilkerton Realtors - Brentwood, TN
Realtor - Nashville TN Real Estate

Steve, I just stopped by to wish you a Merry Christmas!

Dec 22, 2011 07:54 AM #17
Rainmaker
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Steve Stenros
Poway,La Jolla,Del Mar,Mira Mesa,Carlsbad,Escondido,Temecula - San Diego, CA
CREIA MCI, ICC, ACI Home Inspector,San Diego

Thanks so much, Connie! Merry Christmas to you!

 

Dec 22, 2011 12:00 PM #18
Rainmaker
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Dan Edward Phillips
Dan Edward Phillips - Eureka, CA
Realtor and Broker/Owner

Good Morning Steve, Best Wishes for an absolutely wonderful Christmas Eve!

Make sure you enjoy it!

Dec 23, 2011 07:25 PM #19
Rainmaker
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Sidney Kutchuk - Realty Works Temecula Kutchuk - Realty Works Temecula
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Realty Works Temecula

Hi Steve:  Have a wonderful Christmas with your family!  

Dec 24, 2011 01:59 PM #20
Rainmaker
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Steve and Jan Bachman
RE/MAX Gateway, Reston, Herndon, Ashburn, Sterling, Fairfax - Herndon, VA
Realtors - Northern Virginia

Merry Christmas Steve and thanks for being the most forward thinking, video embracing, clear presenter on AR young man.penny lane bachman

Dec 25, 2011 12:17 AM #21
Rainmaker
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Dan Edward Phillips
Dan Edward Phillips - Eureka, CA
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Good Morning Steve, my best wishes for an excellent 2012 and a wonderful New Years Eve!  Enjoy!

Dec 30, 2011 09:30 PM #22
Rainmaker
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Steve Stenros
Poway,La Jolla,Del Mar,Mira Mesa,Carlsbad,Escondido,Temecula - San Diego, CA
CREIA MCI, ICC, ACI Home Inspector,San Diego

Thanks for all the Christmas and New Year greetings! I hope the year 2012 outstrips them all for you!

Jan 01, 2012 02:37 AM #23
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Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD
ViewHomes of Clark County - Nature As Neighbors - Camas, WA
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Popped over to say Happy New Year Steve. I look forward to our continued friendship in the Rain.  I have a feeling 2012 is going to be a good year for all of us.  D

Jan 01, 2012 06:08 AM #24
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Toni Weidman
Sailwinds Realty - Trinity, FL
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Hi Steve, just stopped in to wish you a happy, healthy and successful 2012.

Jan 02, 2012 09:12 AM #25
Anonymous
Adirondack real estate

Excellent post! I just stumbled upon your blog page and gathered some good ideas for what I am working on. Cheers!

<a href="http://www.adkpp.com/">Adirondack real estate</a>

Mar 27, 2012 04:09 PM #26
Rainmaker
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Steve and Jan Bachman
RE/MAX Gateway, Reston, Herndon, Ashburn, Sterling, Fairfax - Herndon, VA
Realtors - Northern Virginia

This is a definite keeper post. So many clients freak over cracks that are just NORMAL. Good one Steve as usual.

Apr 20, 2012 05:39 AM #29
Rainmaker
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Patricia Feager
DFW FINE PROPERTIES - Southlake, TX
Selling Homes Changing Lives

Steve...suggested! This is such an excellent post! The educational lessons here are of true value to me and homeowners alike!!!

What do you say when there's a crack like this running from the top to the bottom of the slab?

Jun 10, 2012 12:28 AM #30
Rainmaker
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Steve Stenros
Poway,La Jolla,Del Mar,Mira Mesa,Carlsbad,Escondido,Temecula - San Diego, CA
CREIA MCI, ICC, ACI Home Inspector,San Diego

Thanks Patricia. Your photo shows a crack in the corner of a brick wall, not a slab foundation. Two different animals. The crack in your photo should have further investigation and repairs to keep water out at the very least. Was there cracking at the interior of this corner? Was there any water staining at the interior? Did you notice any other cracks in the brick siding?

If you saw a crack running from top to bottom at the perimeter of a concrete slab foundation, you should definitely be concerned unless it is at the cold joint where the garage slab meets the house slab- this is quite common.

Jun 10, 2012 07:10 AM #31
Rainer
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James A. Browning
Browning Real Estate School/REO Institute - International, IT
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Thanks for the information you posted. Please, join our group on LinkedIn, ‘REO Institute’. We share real estate information regarding market trends, Short Sales, BPOs, REOs, ideas, education/training, and Commercial education. We value you your comments, opinions about the real estate industry.

Thanks

James A. Browning MRE, CEO & Founder, REO Institute

Jul 22, 2012 03:03 AM #32
Rainmaker
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Mike Young
203kOnLine.com, covering California & most other states - Fairfield, CA
FHA 203k Consultant 916-758-1807

you have been spammed, you can delete them and report them to activerain. I like your post, very informative. I see cracked foundations all day as well.

Aug 26, 2012 08:08 AM #33
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Melissa Zavala
Broadpoint Properties - Escondido, CA
Broker, Escondido Real Estate, San Diego County

I'm sure that stuff gives you a heart attack when you see it. I would probably not even notice. That's why I'm not an inspector, I guess!

Jan 31, 2013 11:27 AM #34
Anonymous
Gregg

Hey Steve:

 

Have you seen a lot of homes with cracking issues that are near the Friars Formation? I'm looking at a home in Santee that has some hairline vertical cracks in the pool, any suggestions?

Apr 18, 2013 01:35 PM #35
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Steve Stenros

CREIA MCI, ICC, ACI Home Inspector,San Diego
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