Have you ever been in a home and noticed a crack in the wall of the foundation in the garage? This is typically caused by a phenomenon known as "street creep." What is street creep? Street creep is when the concrete expands and pushes on the driveway which subsequently pushes the floor of the garage against the wall of the garage which then causes causes the wall to crack.
Are some homes more prone to street creep? Yes, homes that are located on the bottom of a hill on a curve or homes at the bottom of a T intersection. Why do these homes see street creep? Concrete is just like anything else it flows downhill. It is also important to remember that concrete expands and contracts with the weather and this also can effect the amount of street creep.
Can you prevent street creep? Sometimes, if the home does not properly installed expansion joints in the driveway then street creep is more prone to happen. This expansion joint is a gap that allows for movement of the concrete. You can hire a professional contractor to cut the concrete with the proper depth. Unless the expansion joint is the appropriate depth then the movement will still occur.
Sometimes, when selling a home you run across structural issues that are beyond the scope of a typical home inspection. If you have a question in those situations you would want to consult a structural engineer. A structural inspection typically costs approximately $200. This is money well spent and a professional Realtor will strongly suggest this type of inspection if the situation warrants.
David Matney, CRS,GRI
Alliance Real Estate